Sale 742


 
 
 
Lot 256

/o

Italian States: Sardinia, Comprehensive Collection of Cavallini Letter Sheets, 1819-49.

The "Cavallini" have acquired both a mythical and romantic aura in the annals of postal history and are considered to be one of the precursors of worldwide postal stationery. In actual fact, the Cavallini letter sheets were introduced in the Kingdom of Sardinia as a fiscal rather than postal measure. In the early nineteen century, there were three forms of transmission of domestic mail within Sardinia. These consisted of official or government mail, usually indicated by free frank markings, mail sent through the state postal service, with the fees usually paid by the recipient, and private mail carried by messenger or courier service. Although this last method of communication provided a quicker or more efficient service, it was cumbersome for the public, since fees had to be paid both at the post office and to the courier or messenger service. The sale of the stamped Cavallini letter sheets simplified this process, while also protecting the state's monopoly on revenue for written communication through the collection of fees for their sale to the public.

The Cavallini letter sheets were made readily available to the public, having been sold not only at the post office, but also at local tobacco shops throughout the island. This letter paper had three handstamped (first issue) or embossed (second issue) denominations, based on the distance of sending of the letter. The motif of the stamped design consisted of a cherub with a posthorn riding a striding "Giara" pony, a wild horse breed native to the island of Sardinia. All communications sent by private or messenger service were required to be sent on these letter sheets, which consisted of the double size of a simple sheet of paper, and, therefore, could be conveniently folded for mailing, with one sheet to be used as the message portion and the other for the outer (address) covering.

The following official printed documents relating to the issue of the Cavallini and published by the Royal Printing Bureau are included in the collection, and the Italian versions are represented by numerous copies. The official French version, which is quite rare, was published for the inhabitants of Savoy and the Comté de Nice.

•    Regie Patenti Con cui S.M. aggiunge alcune facilità a quelle accordate coll' Editto delli 12 agosto scorso, pel trasporto delle corrispondenze del Pubblico per mezzi estranei alla Posta; stabilisce l'uso di una Carta denominate "Carta Postale-Bollata", e dà alter provvidenze relative.
In data delli 7 novembre 1818. Torino, dalla Stamperia Reale.

This patent established the issuance of stamped paper to replace post office handstamps applied to mail transmitted privately, the three denominations to be used, their purpose/rates, and the regulations applying to this system.
Three original published copies.

•    Lettres-Patentes par lesquelles S.M. accorde quelques facilités, outres celles portées par son Edit du 12 août dernier, pour le transports des letters du public par des voies étrangères à la Poste; établit l'usage d'un papier timbre, et donne quelques autres dispositions à cet égard.
En date du 7 novembre 1818. Chambéry, Imprimeur du Roi.

One original published copy.
The French version of the "Regie Patenti…"

•    Manifesto Camerale Portante notificanza che la Carta Postale-bollata, stabilata colle Regie Patenti delle 7 dello scorso novembre, sarà provvisionalmente posta in corso non filigranata; della dimensione ordinaria della Carta cosi detta da Lettere, e munita dei bolli relativi alle tre qualità della medesima pienamente conformi agli impronti ivi delineati.
In data delli 3 dicembre 1818. Torino, dalla Stamperia Reale.

This notice confirmed the issue of three letter sheets of different values, provisionally on regular unwatermarked paper, and then later on special watermarked paper.
Seven original published copies.
The back page of each copy contains original impressions of the three stamped values in blue ("Modelli de' Bolli").

•    Manifeste de la Royale Chambre des Comptes par lequel elle notifie au Public que le papier timbre de Poste établi par les Royales Patentes du 7 novembre dernier sera provisoirement mis en usage sans filigrane, de la dimension ordinaire du papier dit à lettres, et revêtu des timbres rélatifs aux trios qualités de papier absolument conformes aux empreintes, qui y sont figurées.
En date du 3 décembre 1818. Turin, de l'Imprimerie Royale.

One original published copy.
The back page contains original impressions of the three stamped values in blue ("Modèles des Timbres").
The French version of the "Manifesto Camerale…"

•    Manifesto Camerale Portante notificanza che la distribuzione dell'attuale Carta Postale bollata provvisionale cesserà con tutto dicembre prossimo; e che comincierà Alberto Diena aver luogo dal primo gennajo 1820 la distribuzione della Carta postale filigranata bollata a secco, con alcune provvidenze relative.
In data delli 13 novembre 1819. Torino, dalla Stamperia Reale.

This notice called for the cessation of the 1819 first handstamped (provisional) issue and provided an extended usage date and the method of exchanging these for the new embossed (definitive) issue on special watermarked paper. It confirmed the three new definitive values to be issued on January 1, 1820.
Six original published copies.
The fourth page of each copy contains original impressions of the three colorless embossed values ("Modelli de' Bolli").

1819 (1 January - 31 December) Cavallini Provisional Handstamps in Blue

Although this provisional issue was only to be valid for a year, its use was tolerated until the end of January 1820. It was then withdrawn and superseded by the definitive embossed stamped letter sheets. After the end of the provisional period, the letter sheets could be exchanged for the definitive embossed issue. However, these letter sheets were used into 1836.

The Cavallini horseman designs were printed on double sheets (approximately 385 x 245 mm). Most of the surviving unused letter sheets are on single or slightly larger (1½ times) sheets, unless otherwise stated.

The collection contains the following letter sheets :

•    15 centesimi
Unused - 2 letter sheets.
Used within proper period - 1819 (Sept.) entire letter (380 x 245 mm, double letter sheet) from Turin to Pont San Martino, splitting along joins, signed Alberto Diena and G. Bolaffi.
Wrong (misdated) or impossible date - 1818 (Mar. 9) entire letter from Tuggia to Triore, on watermarked paper.
Late dates of use - 1829-49 entires or entire letters (4), two are on watermarked paper.

•    25 centesimi
Unused - 6 letter sheets, one signed Alberto Diena, some of doubtful status.
Late date of use - 1820 (July 13) entire letter (382 x 250 mm, double letter sheet) from Turin to Salzo, with 1972 Giulio Bolaffi certificate.
Late date of use - 1823 (Oct. 7) printed prices current and message on entire letter (double letter sheet) from London to Vigevano via Calais and Milan, thin paper with "W Weatherley/1822" watermark, status doubtful.
Later dates of use - 1824-49 entires or entire letters (4).
Reference - 1819 (Dec. 19) entire letter from Diano to Paris, forged Cavallini 25c handstamp.

•    50 centesimi
Unused - 8 letter sheets, one signed E(milio) Diena, four are on watermarked paper (all expertized: one signed Alberto Diena, one with 1999 Newiger certificate, and the other two with 2005 Sismondo certificates).
Used within proper period - 1819 (Feb. 4) entire letter (405 x 263 mm, double letter sheet) from Genova to San Stefano, not expertized.
Remainder usages - 1820 (May 20) folded official letter sheet (393 x 260 mm) with printed "Amministrazione delle Regie Poste" of Genova, message and 50c stamped impression on inside, from Genova to Loano, signed ED (Emilio Diena).
Remainder usages - 1823 (c.) folded official letter sheet (1+ page) with printed "Amministrazione delle Regie Poste" of Genova and 50c stamped impression on inside, from Turin to Strambino.
Later dates of use - 1828-45 entires or entire letters (3).
Reference - 1819 (Dec. 19) entire letter from Diano to Paris, forged Cavallini 50c handstamp.

1820 (Jan. 1) Cavallini Definitive Issue with Colorless Embossing

These letter sheets were again issued as double sheets on watermarked paper to be folded in the form of covers. The paper has the watermark of the Arms of Savoy and the inscription of authorization of the Directorate General of the Posts. Most of the surviving unused letter sheets contain only half sheets.

This issue remained in use through the end of 1837, though the Postal Decree of March 30, 1836 detailed the cessation of the Cavallini and the handling of private mails, mail matter where there was no post office, and local mail sent within the district of the same town. In future, these privileges would not be taxed by the government, thereby ending the state monopoly over collecting revenue from such communications. As such, there was no longer a need for the Cavallini. The subsequent Postal Circular of June 2, 1836, laid out the instructions for the return of any unused letter sheets, which the general public could return at the end of the month and receive full reimbursement.

The collection contains the following letter sheets :

•    15 centesimi
Unused - 4 half or 1½ (page) letter sheets, one signed Alberto Diena.
Used - 1820 (Feb. 23) entire letter (397 x 270 mm, double letter sheet) from Zoagli to Genoa, early usage.
Used - 1820 (May 17) entire letter (double letter sheet) from Pomparato to Genoa, first year usage, part of address crossed out, signed Alberto Diena.
Used - 1822 (Sept. 11) entire letter (397 x 270 mm, double letter sheet) from Siniscola to Turin, with A. Bolaffi handstamp guarantee.
Used - 1822-29 entires or entire letters (5), one signed Alberto Diena.
Reference - Unused double letter sheet, embossing partly applied over watermark, status unknown.
Reference - Unused double letter sheet, embossing applied over watermark, and six pointed star in watermark, forgery.
Reference - 2 unused single letter sheets, small and large six pointed star in watermark, forgery.

•    25 centesimi
Unused - 18 (approximately) half letter sheets, one signed ED (Emilio Diena) and another signed Alberto Diena with 2005 Sismondo certificate, a number may be of doubtful status.
Used - 1822 (June 22) entire letter (394 x 258 mm, double letter sheet) from Revello to Bene, signed Alberto Diena and with 2018 Helmut Avi certificate.
Used - 1832 (July 3) entire letter (395 x 255 mm, double letter sheet) from Carmagnola to Turin, signed Alberto Diena.
Used - 1825 (Oct. 12) entire letter (397 x 260 mm, double letter sheet) from Ovada to Genova, signed Alberto Diena.
Reference - 2 unused single or half letter sheets, both with small six pointed star in watermark, forgery.

•    50 centesimi
Unused - 8 half letter sheets, one signed Alberto Diena and with 2005 Sismondo certificate, some may be of doubtful status.
Used - 1828 (Dec. 29) entire (single letter sheet) from Spezia to Turin, also showing "Spezia" handstamp + "Dice 29" datestamp, both in red, signed Alberto Diena.
Remainder usages - 1838 (Sept. 17) folded double letter sheet (395 x 255 mm) with printed "Amministrazione delle Regie Poste" of Genova and written message on inside, embossed impression of Cavallini 50c and "Genova/17 Set" unframed datestamp adjacent, with manuscript tax marking.
Reference - 2 unused half letter sheets, small and large six pointed star in watermark, forgery.
Reference - Unused double letter sheet, large six pointed star in watermark, forgery.

•    Collateral
Included are various cut-outs, reprints, forgeries and some presumed genuine, a couple of articles and an F.R. Ferryman (New York) auction catalogue of Jan. 26-27, 1954.

There is also a correspondence of folded letters (half sheets) addressed to the Minister of the Interior in Turin showing embossed 15c, 25c and 50c, all with "Finale" handstamps, three have small or large star in watermark and the other has embossing applied over the Arms of the watermark. Shipping charges apply - weight 12.2 lbs.
Estimate $35,000 - 50,000.

 
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