Philatelia – The collections


The search for the missing specimen may require time, energy and evoke some fear. Especially if it is rare and of high quality, and if you want to be sure that it is authentic. Bolaffi meets the wishes of collectors by offering a wide selection of stamps with, for the most valuable specimens, the most coveted guarantee: the Bolaffi Quality Certificate. From the must-haves of international philately to the pre-unification stamps, from the perforated stamps of the Kingdom to those of the Republic, from the aerograms to the cosmograms, all of the pieces are selected and evaluated with scientific rigor by a team of experts.



The universal stamps are the must-haves of philately, specimens that for historical importance exceed the collecting borders of the states that issued them. They include, for example, the Penny Black, the first in history, and the Basel Dove, the first in three color.


The stamps of Italy before it was Italy, the one still fragmented and governed mostly by foreign sovereigns. The collection includes 140 stamps issued between 1850 and 1868 in the pre-unification states: Lombardy-Veneto under the Habsburgs, the Tuscany of the grand duke Leopold II of Habsburg, the Duchy of Parma of the duchess Maria Luisa of Borbone, the Duchy of Modena of Francesco V of Austria-Este, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons, and the Papal States.


Between 1851 and 1861 there are 82 non-perforated stamps with the effigy of Vittorio Emanuele II. In 1851 he was still the king of Sardinia, but the three released on 1 January are considered the founders of the Italian collection. This chapter also includes the following three issues of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the stamps of the provisional governments of Parma, Modena, Romagna and Tuscany, the copies printed in Naples for the dictatorship and the lieutenancy of Garibaldi, the series issued and the one not issued for the Neapolitan Provinces, in addition to the samples prepared for the Kingdom of Sicily.


Perforation is introduced, but the celebration of figures that are not the rulers is still not practiced. There are 92 stamps issued between these two innovations, introduced in 1862 and 1910. The series that opens the chapter was created by adding perforation to the stamps of the fourth issue of Sardinia; there were some still not perforated, before the first truly customary one, the so-called De La Rue. Completing the period are all of the stamps issued under the reign of Umberto I and the first with the face of Vittorio Emanuele III.


From 1910 to 1945, from the first commemorative stamp, that of Giuseppe Garibaldi, to the end of the monarchy, with the issues of Vittorio Emanuele III and Umberto II, the chapter is characterized above all by natural specimens and the series’ during the period of Italian Fascism.


The Democratica serie ideally opens the chapter of the Italian Republic stamps from as early as 1945, catalogued presidency by presidency until the passage from the lira to the euro and beyond, to the present day. Unissued specimens and errors included.


Mail flies; the aerial journey of the stamp began 23 September 1870 aboard a ballon monté that flew over Paris. Since then letters have accompanied legendary aerial endeavors, abroad and in Italy, where mail went up in the sky for the first time in 1898, in Turin on a tethered balloon. Italy also holds the record of having issued the first airmail stamp in 1917, and the first tripartite in 1933. The pages of these collections speak of dramas and successes, acts of courage and enthusiasm, sacrifice and discoveries.


From the Austrian rockets launched in the Twenties to the Soviet satellites of the Fifties and to the conquest of the Moon since 1961, to the space stations orbiting above our heads, the post was there, on board fuselages, missiles and space ships, beyond the Earth, up in space. In this area as well Bolaffi has been at the forefront; it was the first to recognize the value of these priceless historical documents and to invent the word “cosmogram” to describe mail gone into space.

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