Today in Postal History

Sardinia Internal Usage
January 28, 1863

This folded letter was sent from Bologna in the
center of the Italian boot east to Ravenna on the Adriatic.
It traveled about 70 km.

This was a time for change in Italy during the process of unification.
Romagna, the state which included both Bologna
and Ravenna, had joined Sardinia on March 24, 1860.
Romagna became part of the province of Emilia with Modena and Parma.
In February, the King of Sardinia was recognized as the King of Italy.

The cover is franked with stamps of 1855-63 with a typographed frame
and an embossed colorless head of King Victor Emmanuel II.
There is a 5c green and a 10c bister (Scott 10 and 11).
These imperforate stamps give every evidence of being neatly trimmed with good margins.
Each value has a number of shades associated with the year in which each was printed.
I believe these are from the 1862 and 1863 printings.
This was the last printing as Italian stamps (with perforations)  became available in 1862.

The rate reflects a lowered rate of 15c in effect in January, 1863.
A 15c blue version of these stamps was issued by Sardinia but was not universally available.
It is also possible that the sender wanted to avoid the
confusion the new stamp might cause leading to postage due.
It also ran the risk of being made in valid in February, 1863.
However, the Sardinian stamps were reinstated in March, 1863.*

The stamps were cancelled with three strikes of the Bologna CDS.

There is an oval sender's stamp at the lower left.

*Thanks to Paulo Bagaglia for these added comments concerning the stamps and rates in Sardinia.


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