ITALY AREA Scott #0 Fiume 1918—1924—I servizi postali e la filatelia * BY EMOROSO - 5 pounds BOOK read carefully for postage costs Stamp

Condition: Fiume 1918—1924—I servizi postali e la filatelia * BY EMOROSO - 5 pounds BOOK read carefully for postage costs
Country: FIUME
******** LAST COPIES IN STOCK **** THIS BOOK IS NOW OUT OF PRINT IN ITALY **** VERY IMPORTANT * WHEN BUYING THIS BOOK IGNORE THE AUTOMATIC $10 charge [we will send you a Paypal invoice or equivalent for the exact amount] -THIS IS a 5 Pounds PACKET- *** SHIPPING COSTS: TO USA $24 ** TO CANADA $43 ** TO OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE AMERICAS & EUROPE $55 ** AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ASIA & FAR EAST $65 *********** Fiume 1918—1924—I servizi postali e la filatelia tra vicende storiche e vita di tutti i giorni, by Oliviero Emoroso, Published 2013, by the Author. Perfect bound 8 1/4” x 11 3/4”, card cover, 424 pages, in Italian, hundreds of colour illustrations. Available from: PO Box 7007, St. Thomas, VI 00801-0007 USA ( Two years ago I heard through the grapevine that a Croatian specialist was publishing a new book on the stamps of Fiume, and a website on the same topic was supposed to be launched by the same person. “Fra il dire e il fare c’è di mezzo il mare” (between words and deeds there is a sea) is an Italian adage that I have learned the hard way that it is true. Philatelic publishing is not a money-making venture, it is an expression of love, an ideal way of sharing one’s knowledge for many years to come, while promoting our favourite hobby. The latest news is that the Croatian specialist is finally putting his last touches to both website and book. Others, however, seem to have been working on similar pursuits with impressive results. It is always a pleasure to hold in one’s hands a new book on the stamps and postal history of Fiume, especially this massive new volume by Emoroso. The first attempt to make a listing of these intriguing stamps came with the Fiume chapter of the Catalogo Storico e Descrittivo dei francobolli d’Italia published in 1923, under the supervision of the great Emilio Diena, based on information provided by the top brass of the Fiume Philatelic Society, Vincenzo Antoniazzo and Umberto Riccotti. In 1981, I published a reprint of this section of the first scientific catalogue of the Italian area. The Fiume listings were deemed incomplete and not reliable by contemporaries (see Rivista Filatelica d’Italia, July 1924, p. 204-5). To complicate things, the bad publicity about the endless number of forged overprints and forged stamps, compounded by the apparent difficulties in deciphering the six hand overprints was a big deterrent. The few articles written on the subject were in Italian and occasionally in German; finally, in 1958, Guglielmo Oliva published his Razionale Catalogazione dei Francobolli di Fiume which was a far from complete compendium that provided a solid starting point and a definite blueprint for other catalogues to build on. Oliva had also written some good articles on the subject. However, the language barrier, technicalities, missing pieces of the puzzle, and intricacies were eased during the 1970s and 1980s when Roy Dehn began to publish a series of articles on Fiume in Italian and British magazines. This was indeed a breath of fresh air and the feedback was so positive that in 1998, Dehn published his handbook and compendium The Stamps and Postal History of Fiume 1600-1924 which remains a cornerstone of the literature on these stamps. In the meantime, Francesco Carlotto had published a well-researched series of articles on the postal history of Fiume (Nuovo Corriere Filatelico, and Bollettino prefilatelico e storico postale, 1983-4). Finally there was light at the end of the tunnel, some cadavers had come out of the closet and information jealously held back in some quarters began to circulate. In 2006, Ivan Martinas, a Croatian expertiser, published his 250-page bilingual (Croatian-English) catalogue Stamps of Rijeka, Fiume 1918-1924 — yes, you read correctly 250 pages! Immediately after, in February 2007, C.E.I. published Carlo Ciullo’s Fiume: Sintesi Prefilatelica e Storico-Postale — a book that was an eye opener for Italian collectors resulting in many cobwebs being removed and quite a few myths unveiled. Fil-Italia, the Italy & Colonies Study Circle quarterly, during the course of its 40 years has published many articles on Fiume, especially about postmarks and postal history aspects. As a result, in 2007 the ICSC published a volume by John F. Gilbert titled The Postmarks of Fiume 1809-1945, and in 2009 a sequel by the same Author titled The Postmarks of the Province of Fiume, 1924-1943 including precursors followed. Having examined the major bibliographic entries on Fiume, it will be useful to the reader who is not too familiar with Fiume to spend a couple minutes on a brief outline of its history and philatelic ramifications. At the end of World War One the Croatian port of Fiume (now called Rijeka) on the east side of the Northern Adriatic Sea became the subject of controversy between the new nation of Yugoslavia and Italy. Fiume’s origins go back to Roman times when it was called “Tarsatica” or “Terra Fluminis Sancti Viti” (the river-land of St Vitus); Fiume, in fact, means river. In 1465, the Waldsee dynasty came to an end and the Habsburgs inherited Fiume from them. This was a valuable acquisition since it gave Austria a much needed outlet on the sea. It later became Hungary’s only major port when it was annexed to that country in 1776 by a decree of Empress Maria Theresa. In 1809, Fiume was incorporated into the Napoleonic province of Illyria, but in 1814 it was returned to Austria, and eight years later assigned to Hungary. In 1848, despite the city’s adverse feelings to ‘Croatisation’, it became part of the Croatian Crownland. In 1870 the postal network was controlled by Hungary. Stamps of Austria were used at Fiume until 1871 when Hungarian stamps were introduced. The secret Treaty of London (26 April 1915) envisaged Fiume becoming part of Croatia, while Italy was to annex Dalmatia. Things went differently, and when the “October Revolution” forced Russia to withdraw, Italy found herself bearing the burden. Thus, expectations of greater rewards were fuelled by public opinion, and while Dalmatia had only marginal connections with Italy, Fiume had a strong ethnic presence of Italians. The suburb of Susak had 11,000 Croats and 1,500 Italians, but the rest of Fiume was said to have 22,488 Italians and 13,351 Croats. On 28 October 1918, the Italian flag was raised on the Civic Tower of Fiume (A4 type: Scott 30-32; SG 36) heralding the strong wind of change. Two days later a plebiscite called for annexation to Italy, and an inter-Allied force (British, French and American) had to intervene to prevent a clash. From a strictly postal viewpoint, the “de facto” Italian annexation resulted in the overprinting of stocks of Hungarian stamps with the name “FIUME” in capital letters. This operation was carried out by letterpress for the post office stocks and by hand for part sheets or single stamps, as well as similar stamps that the public was returning to the post office in order to obtain the new ones. The provisional (overprinted) issue of Fiume (Scott 1-23; SG 1-28) is familiar to specialists for its complexities. Many of these stamps are known to have two distinct types of letterpress overprints and as many as six distinct types of hand overprints. Forgeries abound, but Fiume overprints, as Dehn explained in his monograph, are not exceedingly difficult to assess once some genuine reference copies of each overprint are acquired. Eventually Rome twisted the arm of the Allies and on 22 February 1923 (Scott 184-195; SG 217-224) Fiume was annexed to Italy. The process had been far from painless as it involved the highly embarrassing intervention of Gabriele d’Annunzio - a charismatic hero, poet, aviator, and seducer with a penchant for flamboyance - and his “Arditi” paramilitary force. After the Rapallo Treaty was signed (11 November 1920) it became necessary to get rid of the belligerent poet-hero and his Legionari and on Christmas Eve the battleship Andrea Doria shelled d’Annunzio headquarters and his men capitulated. Between December 1918 and March 1924 (“Annessione” set: Scott 196-207, SG 225-238) Fiume had issued no less than 280 stamps. This figure (which is taken from Sassone - the standard Italian catalogue) excludes the Legionari stamps overprinted for the offshore islands of Arbe and Veglia (now known as Rab and Krk respectively). With virtually no exception all the series issued by Fiume between 1918 and 1923 have been forged. The proliferation of these forgeries was fuelled in the post World War One years when demand for “war stamps” was at its peak. The 1918-1924 issues of Fiume have witnessed a great revival in popularity during the last 30 years. The specialist’s appetite is greater than ever and the advanced collector is always on the lookout for something impressive to add to his collection. The “unique” 1920 d’Annunzio “Pro Fondazione” 15c. soi-disant stamp was until recent times Fiume’s most elusive acquisition. Recent research has proved that the stamp is not “unique” and that some books, a philatelic encyclopedia, some Italian catalogues, and a few over-zealous auctioneers had been deceived by d’Annunzio’s lie. The stamp depicting the poet wearing a lancers beret to disguise his bald head was welcomed by d’Annunzio but was not readily available to the general public. Until recently only one cover with this semi-stamp was known; it was autographed by d’Annunzio himself to give it the needed “pedigree” and attest its “uniqueness”. In due course the cover was auctioned for 50,000 Lire (or today’s equivalent of $35,000). In recent times two postcards with the same unique d’Annunzio stamp have surfaced on the market; needless to say, the perspective buyers feared that many more would come out of the drawer and one such item offered at auction with an estimate of $3,000 found no buyers. To clear d’Annunzio’s reputation from allegations of getting rich at the expense of stamp collectors, suffice it to say that the proceeds from the sale of the “unique” stamp were donated to a Fiume welfare institution. After a few weeks of life the 1920 Legionari issue (Scott type A12; SG type M17) was overprinted and all the Lira denominations were handstamped on the gummed side with the emblem of the Arditi - a snake swallowing its own tail symbolizing eternity and Rome the eternal city. As would be expected, this overprint has been forged causing great concern among collectors. Unfortunately the Arditi handstamp, or backprint, is not illustrated in major catalogues, except for Catalogo Enciclopedico Italiano and Michel. But such illustrations are of little help to the collector who wants to detect forged backprints. This critical information is now available in both Dehn’s handbook and Emoroso’s monograph. With the advent of the Fascist party to power, the 1920 Rapallo Treaty, which envisaged a free state of Fiume-Rijeka with an Italo-Fiuman-Yugoslav consortium for the port, was ignored despite the fact that such a solution had been approved by the Fiuman electorate on 24 April 1921. Benito Mussolini’s pressures resulted in a new Italo-Yugoslav treaty (Rome, 27 January, 1924) recognizing Fiume itself as Italian while Susak was given to Yugoslavia. Emoroso’s book is a dream come true, no exaggeration at all. In 32 well-articulated chapters the Author gives us an in-depth survey of all the stamp issues of Fiume. It is a work of love indeed and one of the reasons is that the family roots of the Como-based Author are in Fiume. The Author points out that all too often philatelists are jealous of their knowledge but — he insists — when it comes to Fiume stamps “it is best to relinquish our protectiveness of petty interests and divulge as much as possible every aspect of our knowledge, thereby creating confidence and promoting interest for this collecting area. This is the only way to disperse the fog and the fear that surround it.” No wonder, that with such a philosophy he has given us an unprecedented amount of information. As stated in the title of the book, ample information on the history of Fiume and day-to-day life is provided so that the reader can land on the philatelic and postal aspect with good knowledge of what was happening. From the outset, Emoroso deals with the first overprint — the large sans-serif provisional type — examining all the evidence and the conflicting reports, as well as the flip-flops of the experts. As you finish reading chapter II you may wonder what is coming in later chapters because this Author seems to leave no stones unturned. In fact, he does that relentlessly and passionately. Two chapters, 21 pages, deal with the Machine overprint I and II on the Reapers and Parliament definitive stamps of Hungary as well on the War Charity stamps, the 2 filler newspaper stamp, and the postage due stamps. Chapter V takes another 20 pages for the six types of hand overprints which brings back memories of when after acquiring the Riccotti collection of Fiume - and a few years later the Bernardelli one - I often went to visit the much revered Milanese expert Commendator Fiecchi who had his office in an hotel room a few yards (yes yards) away from the Cathedral Square. I remember that invariably, when I returned a few days later to get the verdicts, Mr. Fiecchi repeated himself saying “these hand overprints are much more rare than we are made to believe, you should visit Commendator Mondolfo in Rome [publisher of the Sassone catalogue and an avid Fiume specialist] to add this variant and that one and that one, all unlisted and extremely rare, to the Sassone listings”. These hand overprints became necessary to recycle post office remainders that would not be suitable for the typographical system because of being in quarter sheets, multiples, blocks and even single stamps. This process was carried out during late 1918, and as a courtesy the public, and to gather up more old regime stamps for overprinting, the public could surrender them at the post office in exchange for the Fiume ones. Some of the hand overprints are truly rare and some are surrounded by mystery. The latter flourished on the failure of Antoniazzo and Riccotti to publish a second edition of their listings and research that were supposed to include all the relevant information on these hand overprints and their sub-types. This remains a rather important missing piece of the puzzle. The next chapter delves into nuances, old controversies plagued with philatelic convenience, and printed quantities. The section devoted to forged overprints of the early issues is exhaustive and the main focus is on the truly dangerous imitations that can fool even the most advanced collectors. Postal stationery is discussed in great detail and then we go on with the Pictorial series and the various types of paper used to print it, plus plate flaws, as well as printed quantities. The Students’ Education Fund issue is next, followed by a very informative chapter on currency and bank notes. Valuable information also comes from the section devoted to the re-organization of the postal service where we also learn about postal money orders, parcel post and their forms. The chapter on postal rates is very useful and well articulated and the same can be said of the one on postmarks, date stamps, as well as labels for registered and express mail. Emoroso reserves a lot of his energies to shed more light on field post offices operating in the region and their handling and censorship; the same applies to mail from sailors of the Royal Navy as well as the mails from the USA, French, and British Forces stationed in the area. The arrival of d’Annunzio and his Legionari had its philatelic impact, beginning with the Valore Globale overprints on the earlier mentioned Students’ Education Fund stamps. Then came the stamps denominated in Italian currency and featuring the head turned left of d’Annunzio himself. The Lira was not yet the legal tender in Fiume, for that to happen it took years (March 1924); it was, however, used as an accounting currency, and Italian coins were gradually seeing more circulation. The Legionari issues and overprints are examined in great detail and no less than 60 pages are devoted to them. The Provisional Government and the New Constitution overprints get their share of attention. The final pages of this veritable tour de force examine the St. Vitus pictorial series of 1923 and its overprints of 1924 to announce Fiume’s Annexation to Italy. This authoritative and readable volume is lavishly produced with hundreds of high quality illustrations; it is ideal for the beginner, irrespective of his language, and even the most advanced collector will benefit from it as a reference and a source of information that is otherwise scattered over dozens of stamp magazines and catalogues. No matter at what level of Fiume collecting you are, you will find this book to be indispensable. [Review by Giorgio Migliavacca] ******************** VERY IMPORTANT * WHEN BUYING THIS BOOK IGNORE THE AUTOMATIC $10 charge [we will send you a Paypal invoice or equivalent for the exact amount] -THIS IS a 5 Pounds PACKET- *** SHIPPING COSTS: TO USA $24 ** TO CANADA $43 ** TO OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE AMERICAS & EUROPE $55 ** AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, ASIA & FAR EAST $65 **********************
Item Id #: 011493