PAPAL STATES (Stato Pontificio), 1867 issue, VATICAN CITY and miscellaneous

Return To Catalogue - 1867 issue, reprints - 1851 issue, 50 b and 1 Sc values - 1851 issue - Italy

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them:

Click here for Papal States 1851 issue or here for 1851 issue, 50 b and 1 Sc values


1867-1868 Arms, Value in "Cent" or "CENTESIMI", perforated or imperforate

I've been told that this stamp is genuine

  2 c black on green
  3 c (TRE) black on grey
  5 c black on blue
  10 c black on red
  20 c black on lilac
  40 c black on yellow
  80 c black on rose

Block of four:

Note that the "T" of "CENTESIMI" always seems to be lower than the "N" of the same word in the "TRE CENTESIMI". These stamps became invalid in 1870.

Value of the stamps

vc = very common
c  = common
*  = not so common
** = uncommon
*** = very uncommon
R   = rare
RR  = very rare
RRR = extremely rare
Value Unused Used Remarks
2 c *** R  
3 c RR RRR  
5 c *** R  
10 c * **  
20 c * **  
40 c R RR  
80 c R RR  
Perforated 13 (13 1/4); usually rough
2 c ** ***  
3 c R RRR  
5 c *** ***  
10 c * *  
20 c * ***  
40 c *** R  
80 c *** RR  
All values vc -  

I've seen a stamp with an inverted '3' instead of a '2' in the 2 c value. This misprint has been forged.


Grill cancel together with a 'ACUTO' straight townname cancel and 'ANAGNI' circular date cancel on piece of envelope, reduced size

Lozenge of dots cancel (most usual cancel on this issue), elsewhere on the envelope a circular date cancel was placed, reduced size

Lozenge of dots cancel

The most usual cancel is the 'Lozenge of Dots' cancel which was introduced in 1868. All previous cancelling devices were to be replaced by this one as instructed by the postal authorities.


Unfinished remainders

Some remainders exist of the 5 c, 10 c, 20 c and 80 c. More information can be found on: 5, 10 and 20 c were not gummed and are imperforate with slightly different colours.


ATTENTION: most of the centesimi stamps of the Papal States have been reprinted in large quantities. They are very hard to distinguish from original stamps. PClick here for more information of the very common 1867 issue reprints. These reprints are almost worthless and can still be found in large quantities today. Many of the stamps shown above are probably reprints.


Spiro forgery of the 3 c, the 'F' and 'R' of 'FRANCO' are different, the 'B' of 'BOLLO' too large, etc.

Spiro forgery of the 10 c value, the '0' of '10' is more rounded than in the genuine stamps and there is an 'I' instead of a 'E' in 'POSTALI'

Forgery of the 20 c, reduced size. In this forgery the '20' and 'Cent' are too close together

Forgery of the 20 c with a curved foot of the '2'. The keyhandles are also different. The 'C' of 'Cent' is too big etc.

Forgery made by Senf with strange '40. Cent'.

10 c red on blue; fancy reprint?

Many more forgeries exist.

More dangerous than the forgeries are the reprints (the forger Fournier probably also offered these reprints).

Fournier forgeries

Fournier offers forgeries of these stamps in his 1914 pricelist (perforated 13), I presume he offered one of these reprints. When Fournier's forgeries were acquired by the Philatelic Union of Geneva, they received the overprint 'FAUX' and were mounted in a 'Fournier Album' that was sold to stamp dealers, so they could recognize the forgeries he had made.

(Fournier forgery? overprinted 'FAUX')

Page of a 'Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries' with forgeries with 'FAUX' overprint, also some forged cancels

Page from a 'Fournier Album of Philatelic Forgeries' showing a block of ten 50 B forgeries and a block of four forgeries of the 1 Sc value together with some other forgeries of the Papal States.


A description of how to detect the forgeries and reprints can be found in the books:

1) 'Roman States forgeries - the issue of 1852' by Frederik J. Levitsky;
2) 'Roman States forgeries - the issue of 1867-68' by Frederik J. Levitsky and Rev. Floyd A. Jenkins;
3) 'Roman States essays and reprints - the issue of 1867-70' by Rev. Floyd A. Jenkins.

These books are published by Triad Publications 30 Drabbington way, Weston, Ma 02193 USA (with thanks to Lorenzo who passed this information to me). These books are quite helpful to distinguish forgeries (though some pictures of the forgeries are unclear). I haven't read the third book.


From 1929 on Vatican City issued stamps.

1929 Arms or Pope Pius XI

Arms (with underprint with inscription 'POSTE VATICANE')

  5 c black on lilac
  10 c green on green
  20 c violet on lilac
  25 c blue on blue
  30 c blue on yellow
  50 c black on lilac
  75 c red on grey

Surcharged (1931)
  25 c on 30 c blue on yellow

Pope Pius XI
  80 c red
  1.25 L blue
  2 L brown
  2.50 L red
  5 L green
  10 L olive

Express stamps with Pope Pius XI (larger size)
  2 L red
  2.50 L blue

All the above stamps (except the surcharged stamp of 1931) exist with overprint 'PER PACCHI' (parcel stamps) and were issued in 1931.

10 c with 'SEGNATASSE' overprint

The values 5 c, 10 c and 20 c exist with overprint 'SEGNATASSE' (postage due stamps, 1931). Some values were surcharged and overprinted with 'SEGNATASSE': 40 c on 30 c, 60 c on 2 L brown, 1.10 L on 2.50 L red.


1933 Holy year

  0.25 L + 10 c green
  0.75 L + 15 c red
  0.80 L + 20 c brown
  1.25 L + 25 c blue

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer