Proofs and essays

In this chapter I mean to expose part of those emissions that were overprinted like proofs or essays to search the correct type of overprint. We do not forget, moreover, that several overprint were carried out with the precise attempt of to build rare stamps. The main scope of the Fascetti overprint, was made "to disfigure" the image of the King, with symbols of the new Republican state. As we will see, instead, also stamps lacking in the real image were overprinted. In spite of these philatelic and speculative attempts, the world of the proofs and essays remains a fascinating complement to the study of the RSI stamps. It is not possible to show all the existing proofs knows, however that ALL the stamps belonging to the Imperial set issued on 1929 were equipped of several overprints with several inks .Near the end of war and then, someone entered into possession of the original printing machines,making and overprinting stamps with speculative intents.It is interesting the case of the 2 and the half 7 cents. that were overprinted in spite of they were declared out of validity since4 years! Most of these issues were executed at Verona but other cities like Genoa and Florence carried out this kind of overprint proofs.

Rome essays

Very scarce is the set,overprinted in Rome on January 1944, above showed. Only 200 stamps per type were issued.

Verona essays

The picture above shows some essays overprinted and issued on January-February 1944 at Verona. The very low quantity issued make these items very scarce and valued. Below are showed the quantity issued.

5c. -  100  items                            10c. - 100 items                         15c. - 100 items                            20c. - 100 items 

35c. - 300 items                              1L. - 300 items                     1,75L. - 200 items                             2L. - 300 items 
10L. - 200 items                            20L. - 100 items                        25L.  100 items


Furthermore essays overprinted with black ink.


Another very scarce set. The picture above shows two Air Mail stamps overprinted with red ink in Verona. Only 100 stamps per type ( 1 sheet ), were overprinted.

Black fasces

About five hundreds stamps per type were overprinted with black fasces. The complete set is above showed. They are proofs.



These special delivery stamps were overprinted exploiting the zinc plate for the normal size stamps ( see the set above these stamps ), so a double overprint affected the stamps with this double size. Only 54 complete set are knowed, therefore they are very rare.

The stamp above showed is very rare, only 16 item were recently discovered, the history of this overprint is the same of the previous set.

Red fasces

Furthermore proofs were overprinted with a single fasces, but with red ink.


The proofs above showed, were overprinted with a three row inscription, only the 50 cent. will have this kind of overprint.

This stamp has the overprint of the same type of previous ones , but with black ink, This one, with the 25, 30, 50 and 75 cent, was overprinted at Verona exclusively in vertical couple with another ( upper stamp ) that had another type of overprint ( big fasces ). Certainly It was an issue with philatelic purpose, but only two complete sets are know with the upper stamp attached at lower, most of this couples were separated.

The kind of overprint showed above, was exploited only for 25 cent. and 75 cent. The stamps above are very rare proofs.


25 c. Big red fasces

This stamp maybe was issued ( overprinted with red big fasces ) in Verona as a proof on 1944, but we know some letters ( rare ) left from Toscana,the item above presents, infact, all features of Verona overprinting. 10,000 items were issued, but a great quantity was lost. This kind of overprint was then abandoned and replace with a little black fasces with the words REPUBBLICA SOCIALE ITALIANA ( see chapter " Fascetti " to see this kind of overprint ). For the slight quantity of this stamp on letter, we could think about a philatelic speculation about this issue, but historical documents prove that a wrong cliches was applied on these sheet. This stamp is certainly a valued item.



Verona's  error

The history of this stamp is somewhat singular, it was, in fact, regularly issued, but because of a mistake. This stamp has the effigie of Giulio Cesar rather than the King, rendering unfounded the motivations of overprint. The background colour of the 20 cents. stamp is equal to 75c. ,stamp regularly overprinted because had royal effigie. It seems therefore that the printer puts some sheets of 20 cents under press machine, because background colour was the same of 75 cents. Infact the kind of the adopted overprint is equal to 75 cents of Fascetti issue. This is a very valued stamp when mint, but extremely valued if it is on letter. It was issued on January 1944.


Verona's 50 Lire

This stamp, overprinted on 1944, was issued exclusively for philatelic intents, the value from 50 Lire, in fact, was huge for the postal rates of the age. Original issue was of 5,000 stamps but 2,342 items were burned. It is,however a valuable stamp and, if regularly travelled on letter, very scarce ( letters are, even if always of philatelic origin, extremely rare ).


Florence's 50 Lire

Also at Florence there was a similar emission, obviously with the typical inks and printing styles of this city. Florence's inks exist of three various tonalities (lilac, lillaceous carmine and carmine). The Tuscany issue is rarest than Verona issue, items overprinted were, in fact, only 1,350. The stamp above is in lilac ink.


2 cent. Braille

The stamps above were overprinted only for philatelic purposes. The stamp above ( 2 cent. adopted in Braille mailing between blinds ), was no longer in circulation since 1940 !



15 c. Tete-beche

This was a typical overprint obtained for philatelic scopes. A double sheet ( 100 + 100 ) of 15 cents. stamps was overprinted with the press machine with the zinc slab of the War propaganda stamps, these stamps have double horizontal size than these, so this would have obviously overprinted a stamp and not the next ( see War prpaganda chapter ). After this first overprint the same sheet was put inverted in the same machine, this second print originated this nice variety. All stamps of the sheet were overprinted but, one with straight overprint and the following with inverted and so on for all positions of the sheet.The quantity issued was, therefore, 100 stamps with correct overprint and 100 with inverted. Both have the same value and they are very rare.

Genoa's essays

The zinc plate adopted to overprint double size stamps ( like special delivery ), was exploited to overprint normal size stamps. The complete set above showed is a sample, overprinted with black ink, in Genoa. This set is extremely rare.

Florence's essays

Like the previous set, the picture above shows an inverted red ink overprint performed in Florence.