Today in Postal History

November 27, 1862

This early cover bears two strikes (one very clear) of a Firenze (Florence) CDS.
Then as now, Florence was one of the gem cities of the world.

The stamp is the 10c yellowish bistre (see Paolo's comments below)
from the first perforated issue in 1862 (Scott 17a).

Paolo has been a great help in adding the following information:

The cover is addressed to:
All' [=Eccellentissimo] Sig. [Signor]
Il Sig. Dot. Carlo Trave-----i Violani [a double surname, maybe noble]
Rocca S. Casciano

It translates to:
To the very excellent Sir
Mister Doctor Carlo Trave-----i Violani
Rocca San Casciano

Paolo added these comments:

From 1 January 1860 the 10c. flat rate (ten cents of lira) was introduced in only
the Postal Department of Firenze (Florence), which comprised all of the Postal Directorates in Tuscany and Umbria.
This Firenze rate was the only one in the Italian Kingdom, since in all the other Postal Departments of the Kingdom
(such as Turin etc.) the flat rate was of 20c. -- and this for the whole state.

Why a lower rate? Maybe because Florence was destined become
(and had already become on 17 March 1861, before the cover was postmarked)
the capital of the Italian Kingdom.  It remained the capital until 1870, when Rome was conquered.
The rate within the Postal District was 5c., like elsewhere.

Rocca S. Casciano was out of the Postal District of Florence although it was within its Postal Department
(nowadays in the province of Forlì, Romagna) hence the 10c. rate.

The franking is a 10c. yellowish bistre (IMO), from a Sardinian design, perforated 11½ X 12 comb down the sheet.
(Once Emilio Diena wrote he had seen the comb up the sheet, but that could have
either been a rare variety or a vision, since there is no further record of the comb up.)
The stamp is defective at bottom right corner (SE corner perforations missing).

The adhesive is tied by the 4th type of Florence CDS, with one single circle, used in Florence in the 'Italian Kingdom' period.
The CDS was repeated (as usual) on the side of the cover.
The postmark indeed reads:
"FIRENZE - 27/NOV/62/4"
the date of today 141 years ago at 16:00 (4 PM)!


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