Postage Stamp - Italy - 1972


Postage Stamp - Italy - 1972


Postage Stamp



Date Issued



This series of postage stamps—issued during the 1972 UNESCO International Book Year—commemorates the 500th anniversary of the printing of the first three editions of Dante's Divina commedia.1 The first edition was printed in Foligno by Johann Neumeister and Evangelista Angelini. The second edition was printed in Mantua by Georgius de Augusta and Paulus de Butzbach for Columbinus Veronensis. The third edition was printed by Federicus de Comitibus Veronensis in an unknown location. Scholars once attributed the third edition to Iesi (Jesi) and the 180-lire stamp reflects this, however current scholarship attributes the printing to Venice.

The stamps reproduce the first few printed lines of each respective edition taken from specific copies held in three Italian libraries: the 50-lire image is from the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, the 90-lire image is from the Casa di Dante in Rome, and the 180-lire image is from the Convento di San Francesco in Ravenna. Surrounding each central image is a legend: on the 50-lire stamp: "QUINTO CENTENARIO / EDIZIONE FOLIGNATE / DIVINA COMMEDIA" (5th centenary of the Foligno edition [of the] Divina commedia); on the 90-lire stamp: "QUINTO CENTENARIO / EDIZIONE MANTOVANA / DIVINA COMMEDIA" (5th centenary of the Mantuan edition [of the] Divina commedia); and on the 180-lire stamp: "QUINTO CENTENARIO / EDIZIONE JESINA / DIVINA COMMEDIA" (5th centenary of the Jesi edition of the Divina commedia). Along the bottom edge of each stamp is the abbreviated name of the printer: "I.P.S.-ROMA-1972" (Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato).
Denomination: L. 50 (50 ITL); L. 90 (90 ITL); L. 180 (180 ITL)
Perforation: 13 ¼ × 14 (comb) (L. 50); 14 × 13 ¼ (comb) (L. 90); 13 ¼ × 14 (comb) (L. 180)
Printing process: Rotogravure
Print run: 15,000,000 (L. 50); 8,000,000 (L. 90); 8,000,000 (L. 180)


30 × 40 mm (L. 50)
40 × 30 mm (L. 90)
30 × 40 mm (L. 180)

Bibliographic Citation

Michel no. 1377 (L. 50)
Michel no. 1378 (L. 90)
Michel no. 1379 (L. 180)
Sassone no. 1186 (L. 50)
Sassone no. 1187 (L. 90)
Sassone no. 1188 (L. 180)
Scott no. 1077 (L. 50)
Scott no. 1078 (L. 90)
Scott no. 1079 (L. 180)
Francesco Giuliani, "Dante nella filatelia italiana," Dante: Rivista internazionale di studi su Dante Alighieri 10 (2013): 134.


Johann Neumeister
Evangelista Angelini
Georgius de Augusta
Paulus de Butzbach
Columbinus Veronensis
Federicus de Comitibus Veronensis
Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato (Rome, Italy)