Postage Stamp - Italy - 1938


Postage Stamp - Italy - 1938


Postage Stamp



Date Issued


Date Valid



These stamps were issued by Italy as part of two series (a regular issue with ten stamps and an air mail issue with six stamps) for the "Proclamation of the Empire" featuring prominent Italians and other propaganda imagery. The three Dante stamps have the same design by Corrado Mezzana: a standing figure of the poet, holding a book, with a large imperial eagle in the background. On the regular issue 25-centesimi stamp, a 1925 quotation by Benito Mussolini appears below Dante: "IL PIV ALTO GENIO / DELLA POESIA" (The highest genius of poetry).1 Dante's birth and death years flank the quotation and Mussolini's initial "M" appears below it. At the bottom is "POSTE ITALIANE" and the denomination "CENT. / 25". The other two stamps share the same text as follows: vertically, along the left side: "POSTA AEREA" (air mail); and vertically, along the right side: "ITALIANA"; their respective denominations are at the bottom. Along the bottom edge of each stamp are the abbreviated name of the printer, "IST. POL. STATO. OFF. CARTE VALORI" (Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, Officina Carte Valori), and the designer, "C. MEZZANA".
Denomination: CENT. 25 (0.25 ITL); CENT. 50 (0.50 ITL; air mail); LIRE VNA (1 ITL; air mail)
Perforation: 14 (comb)
Printing process: Photogravure
Print run: 200,000 (CENT. 25); 500,000 (CENT. 50); 500,000 (LIRE VNA)


31 × 26 mm (regular issue)
26 × 31 mm (air mail issues)

Bibliographic Citation

Michel no. 606 (CENT. 25)
Michel no. 615 (CENT. 50)
Michel no. 616 (LIRE VNA)
Sassone 441 (CENT. 25)
Sassone A112 (CENT. 50)
Sassone A113 (LIRE VNA)
Scott no. 402 (CENT. 25)
Scott no. C101 (CENT. 50)
Scott no. C102 (LIRE VNA)
Francesco Giuliani, "Dante nella filatelia italiana," Dante: Rivista internazionale di studi su Dante Alighieri 10 (2013): 127.


Corrado Mezzana
Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, Officina Carte Valori (Rome, Italy)




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