- Postal Stationery 1937 (and 43) “The Italians”
- Postal Stationery 1952
From 1912, Venezuela left the postcard printing business completely to the private enterprise, focusing only on printing the stamps that allowed the postcards to circulate in the mail.
But by 1937, something changed that made the country decide to take up this business again. A series of 50 different pieces were issued, popularly known as “Las Italianas” due to the printing house that was hired to issue them. The Agostini House in Milan. I have not been able to locate the decree that gave life to this postcards so I have based this writing entirely on what the catalogues say.
The Masssilia catalogue did not provide any information on Postal Stationery whatsoever. When Prof. Valera acquired the rights to this catalogue, he added this important section to it, and this is where I got the information about the number of pieces printed.
On the front of the card -where the recipient’s address is written- are illustrations both vertically and horizontally.
For the value of 10c, it appears that 750,000 copies were issued, but the catalogue does not specify the distribution. It is likely that 30,000 copies have been printed for each of the 25 motives.
For 22½c, it seems that 250,000 were printed, which would give a total of 10,000 pieces per motive.
There were, as I said, 25 different motives and a distinctive color for each value: Green for 10c and sepia for 22½c.
By 1943, the pieces of 22½c were overprinted and their new value became 20c.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to get the decree that dictated the postal rates in the years 1936 and 1941 either (there was a change in rates in both years). These decrees would help us to understand why the 10c rate, those of 22½c and later the 20c rates. My used pieces don’t throw up anything but more questions and doubts, since for the same period and more or less the same destination, the rate is very different.
By 1943, the pieces of 22½c were overprinted and their value became 20c. We don’t know exactly how many pieces were overprinted, but it must have been much less than the 10,000 original pieces given how difficult it is to find them today compared to the regular ones.
The 25 Motives
The catalogues, for reasons of space, only went so far as to mention the different motives that can be found in this series.
As we don’t have that problem here, here is the closing of the article with the gallery of motives available in this series. Note that each motive is in both green (10c) and sepia (22½c). The latter are also overprinted, although it is not certain whether all of them were.
My gratitude goes to my friends Felix Achabal and Wilhelm Guggisberg for providing me with many of the images that accompany this article.