Today in Postal History

Italy to Sweden
December 3, 1936

This commercial cover  was mailed in Milan to Goeteborg, Sweden.

The six stamps are all from the 1936 series commemorating the 2000th anniversary
of the birth of Quintus Horatius Flaccus otherwise known as Horace.
There are three 10c deep green
showing a flock of sheep, one 20c rose red
with a spring view of the countryside, and two 75c rose red of the capital in Rome (Scott 359, 360, and 363).

Although there is no other indication through marking or etiquette, this was probably an airmail.
The airmail rate was
1,25 lire for flat rate foreign ordinary mail plus
0.75 lire for flat rate (every 20 grams) for airmail within European countries (except Albania).

These rates were established by Royal Decree # 272 of "3 March 1932 - X" applicable from April 24, 1932.

Each stamp received a CDS cancel plus the obligatory readable cancel on the left of the cover.
The CDS legend is:
....ferrovia corrispondenze (reparto ordinarie)
Which translates as Milan railway correspondences (department ordinary correspondences)
The date reads "-3 12 36.XV 23", December 3, 1936. The XV is for the fifteenth year of the fascist era.

 Footnote to history:

The 1936 Issue commemorating the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Horace (together with other issues of the period) is an expression, through philatelic means, of the fascist propaganda that tried to awaken in the people the remembrance of the glories of the Roman Empire, not merely for didactic purposes but to push them to emulate it.  This "exaltation of the romanitas" along with a difficult marriage with the Catholic church, which finds its apotheosis (and solution) in the slogan "Rome for which Christ is Roman", finds its last philatelic expression in the 1941 for the 2000th anniversary of Titus Livius (Livy, historian) and, again, selected and well chosen quotations appear on the postage stamps, such as: 


(~ There has not to be any injust empire on the whole earth globe)


(~ The war is right for those who find it necessary)...

It is also suggested that these quotations were taken out of Livy's context toward ends different than his intent.

After World War II there were other Italian issues honoring the nation's rich Roman heritage.

My deepest thanks to Paulo Bagaglia for his wonderful additions to the
understanding of this cover and the circumstances surrounding the stamps thereon.
Thanks also to Matthew1999 for his addition.
Again, see what one can learn from stamps and the people who know about them!


Today in Postal History
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.