DISINFECTED MAIL & RELATED EPHEMERA AND MEMORABILIA FROM EUROPE & OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD * CHECK OUT OUR BOOKS & PHILATELIC LITERATURE SECTION

Health precautions affecting couriers were first implemented in 1463 by the Republic of Siena, Italy; in 1490 the Duke of Milan issued regulations requiring a health passport for all couriers. In 1436 a French monarch who had thought he could escape contagion had barricaded himself in a monastery, but to no avail. Popular lore has it that he had contracted plague by opening the mail that was sent to him; and in 1499 a man was arrested in Rome for attempting to “kill” the pope with a letter from an area infected with plague. It is therefore obvious that at some point paper itself came under suspicion as a vehicle for spreading diseases. Such a possibility was ruled out in some places, but deemed a very high risk in others. One of the early procedures was to “perfume” letters by simply leaving paper in contact with sweet-smelling herbs; whence the term “profumata”. Fumigation of correspondence was a later development. By the late 1500s fumigation was carried out after the letters had been opened and perfumed as a simple procedure. But in the course of time fumigation became more and more elaborate when the fumes obtained from juniper berries, scented resins, storace, olive gum, incense, rosemary, myrrh, gum benzoin and camphor were used to disinfect mail. Another method consisted in the spraying of acids, chlorine, vinegar or sulfur on the pages of the letters. Dipping in vinegar and/or baking by charcoal fires was also used. The vinegar used for this purposed was mostly white wine vinegar which left traces resembling a large water stain if the letter had been dipped in vinegar or a series of small stains if the letter had been sprayed. The scholar has to exercise some caution before describing a letter as disinfected on the basis of some stains; in fact the staining may have been caused by floods or storage humidity. Disinfection of mail left signs which can still be easily seen. On some letters a brownish colouring and also a few signs of burning appears, wide white stripes reveal the use of special pincers with which the letters were held near the fire for fumigation. Acids and other chemicals left spots and at times partial or total discoloration of the paper, sometime blurring the handwriting. In some cases evidence of the opening and subsequent re-sealing of the letter is a good clue for detecting disinfection procedures. Rastel punch holes and slits are further evidence of disinfection as are endorsement indicating that the letter had been treated. Incidentally, slits to facilitate the penetration of the fumigant were first used in 1630 in Ferrara and later on in Venice and eventually throughout the Italian peninsula. The most evident signs, however, remain the handwritten notations, embossed seals, wax seals, handstamps and sometime the labels affixed by the various sanitary offices on the outside of a letter, and sometime inside too: Sporca di dentro e netta di fuori (Unclean inside but clean outside) — Profumata in Pontremoli (Perfumed in Pontremoli) — Sigillum Sanitatis (Seal of the Health [Authority]) — Desinfiziert (Disinfected) — PURIFIÉ FRIOUL (Purified at Frioul) — Purifié au Lazaret (Purified at the Lazaretto) — GEREINIGET (Purified) etc. Disinfection handstamps applied to pieces of mail had a dual purpose: firstly to inform whoever handled that mail at the next cordon or place of inspection that disinfection had been carried out, and secondly to reassure the addressee that all the necessary precautions had been taken. [copyright by Giorgio Migliavacca] ~~~~~ ***** IMPORTANT: it is a well-known and widely accepted fact that Disinfected Mail shows blemishes or defects such as, slits, punched holes, water or liquids damage, discoloration, blotches etc which is expected of this type of mail - therefore such inherent blemishes are no ground for returns

There are 51 items in this category

GIBRALTAR SICILY 1826 DISINFECTED HEALTH PASSPORT
Country: GIBRALTAR
Condition: GIBRALTAR SICILY 1826 DISINFECTED HEALTH PASSPORT
Description: MAY 1826 Health Passport issued by the HEALTH MAGISTRATE at GIBRALTAR to the SICILIAN BRIG "LEONORA" bound for MANFREDONIA 16 CREW SUPERB GIBRALTAR EMBOSSED SEAL IN PERFECT CONDITIONS DISINFECTED AS SHOWN BY THE FUMIGATION BROWNING OF THE PAPER, WHITE AREA LEFT BY TONGS HOLDING THE DOCUMENT DURING FUMIGATION SUPERB POSTAL HISTORY ITEM
Price: $179.00
Item Id #006917    See Details...
1850s COVER FROM NAPLES * boxed UFFIZIO DI SANITA BOCCA DEL PORTO * rare
Country: TUSCANY
Condition: 1850s COVER FROM NAPLES * boxed UFFIZIO DI SANITA BOCCA DEL PORTO * rare
Description: OVAL HANDSTAMP STEAMER "ELBE" FRAISSINET - *** INITIALLED IN PENCIL BY POSTAL HISTORIAN DR MIGLIAVACCA
Price: $135.00
Item Id #014348    See Details...
1847 Letter from CONSTANTINOPLE boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO LIVORNO
Country: TUSCANY
Condition: 1847 Letter from CONSTANTINOPLE boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO LIVORNO
Description: 1847 ENT LETTER from CONSTANTINOPLE boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO DI LIVORNO - VERY FINE * SCARCE *** INITIALLED IN PENCIL BY POSTAL HISTORIAN DR MIGLIAVACCA
Price: $88.00
Item Id #014349    See Details...
1849 Letter from GENOA  boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO LIVORNO
Country: TUSCANY
Condition: 1849 Letter from GENOA boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO LIVORNO
Description: 1849 ENT LETTER from GENOA boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO DI LIVORNO - VERY FINE * SCARCE *** INITIALLED IN PENCIL BY POSTAL HISTORIAN DR MIGLIAVACCA
Price: $68.00
Item Id #014350    See Details...
1836 Letter from GENOA  boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO LIVORNO
Country: TUSCANY
Condition: 1836 Letter from GENOA boxed DISINFETTATA NEL LAZZERETTO ST ROCCO LIVORNO
Description: *** INITIALLED IN PENCIL BY POSTAL HISTORIAN DR MIGLIAVACCA
Price: $66.00
Item Id #014351    See Details...
1835 FORLI TO CASOLA VALSENIO CORDONE SANITARIO
Country: PAPAL STATES
Condition: 1835 FORLI TO CASOLA VALSENIO CORDONE SANITARIO
Description: ENTIRE LETTER from the headquarters of the SANITARY CORDON of the provinces of FORLI' and RAVENNA - CARABINIERI PONTIFICJ handstamp + FORLI' straight line postmark - Letter deals with troops stationed at the cordon. Signed by postal history expert Dr. Migliavacca
Price: $45.00
Item Id #002323    See Details...
1816 FROM CAPUA TO FLORENCE DISINFECTED
Country: NAPLES
Condition: 1816 FROM CAPUA TO FLORENCE DISINFECTED
Description: From CAJAZZO to Florence - gives vivid details about a stage coach robbery experienced by the sender - clear horizontal disinfection slit and some disinfection agent stain as expected - very interesting
Price: $44.00
Item Id #010784    See Details...
DISINFECTED MAIL EGYPT & HEALTH MEASURES BY BIOLATO
Country: EGYPT
Condition: DISINFECTED MAIL EGYPT & HEALTH MEASURES BY BIOLATO
Description: HEALTH MEASURES AND MAIL DISINFECTION IN EGYPT - (DISINFECTED MAIL OF EGYPT) by Biolato, 36p, large format, In English, many illustrations (Millennium Edition of “Pratique” with other interesting articles) THIS IS A MUST HAVE bibliophile publication. WE SHIP WORLDWIDE
Price: $28.00
Item Id #010820    See Details...
DISINFECTED
Country: PAPAL STATES
Condition: DISINFECTED "SANITA'" Bologna to Bazzano 1807
Description: 1807 Entire Letter from the COMMISSIONE DIPARTIMENTALE DI SANITA' (Departmental Health Commission) at BOLOGNA to the Communal Health Agency at BAZZANO BOXED "SANITA'" on back flap the dry seal of the Commissione (see blow-up, darkened digitally to make the seal readable, but actually the paper is off-white) SUPERB, GEM QUALITY!!! signed by noted expert Dr Migliavacca
Price: $90.00
Item Id #006231    See Details...
TUSCANY 1862 GONFALONIERE DI CASCINA to S GIORGIO
Country: TUSCANY
Condition: TUSCANY 1862 GONFALONIERE DI CASCINA to S GIORGIO
Description: 1862 ENTIRE LETTER (lettera con testo) regarding Medical Clinics in the area WE SHIP WORLDWIDE
Price: $18.00
Item Id #008047    See Details...
1816 - MAG[ISTRAT]O / DI SANITA' / MARITTIMA / DI / VENEZIA (MARITIME HEALTH MAGISTRATE OF VENICE)
Country: ITALY
Condition: 1816 - MAG[ISTRAT]O / DI SANITA' / MARITTIMA / DI / VENEZIA (MARITIME HEALTH MAGISTRATE OF VENICE)
Description: 1816 Entire Letter from ROME to VENICE - opened and DISINFECTED on arrival, then re-sealed and hand-stamped twice MAG[ISTRAT]O / DI SANITA' / MARITTIMA / DI / VENEZIA (MARITIME HEALTH MAGISTRATE OF VENICE) - well struck at left being the first strike - not always struck twice, and very early date for this disinfection hand-stamp. De Zanche 7.3.1; RAVASINI p. 208; MEYER p. 262; AISP Disinfected Mail Handbook Type 9 p. 64 -- RARE by all accounts - Signed Migliavacca
Price: $185.00
Item Id #013939    See Details...
1811 VENICE MARITIME HEALTH MAGISTRATE hand-stamp TO NAPLES
Country: ITALY
Condition: 1811 VENICE MARITIME HEALTH MAGISTRATE hand-stamp TO NAPLES
Description: 1811-1813 WRAPPER from VENICE TO HEALTH AUTHORITY IN NAPLES showing Venice postmark and Naples Postal Administration hand-stamp. At top right the scarce boxed IL MAGISTRATO / SANITA' MARITTIMA / IN VENEZIA well struck 90% clearly readable "8" and "6" handwritten postal rates - no text as typical of correspondence from Venice where a separate sheet for correspondence was enwrapped by the sheet with the address and sealed -AISP Disinfected Mail Handbook ADMINISTRATIVE HAND-STAMP TYPE 3 - signed Migliavacca
Price: $105.00
Item Id #013940    See Details...
DISINFECTED ITALY RUSSIA BOJANA LAZARETTO YUGOSLAVIA
Condition: DISINFECTED ITALY RUSSIA BOJANA LAZARETTO YUGOSLAVIA
Description: Rare item FROM DR. MIGLIAVACCA'S CERTIFICATE: ITALY TO RUSSIA: 3 April 1853, entire letter from Genoa (Kingdom of Sardinia) to Odessa (Russia) via overland route showing GENOVA double circle date stamp in red on address side. Transit postmarks on reverse: KRAKAU 8 April and CZERNOWITZ 12 April. Postage paid handwritten in blue ink on address side: “9” Kreutzer, paid by the addressee on arrival; also in blue ink an additional “7” Kreutzer believed to be the disinfection fee (diritto di profumazione) charged by Austrian Posts for clearing the mail at the disinfection facility at Bojana’s Lazaretto, near Czernowitz. This mail disinfection at Bojana is mentioned by Del Bianco in his opus on “Lloyd Austriaco” (Volume 3, p.237-239, Bukovina Mail Disinfection Stations). There is no apparent sign of disinfection; nevertheless, since the late 1830s this type of mail was no longer opened for disinfection and at this late stage a perfunctory, light fumigation might have been deemed sufficient for mail that had already transited through the Austrian postal network (Milan-Verona-Vienna-Krakau-Bojana-Czernowitz). On reverse there is the handwritten notation “2” — indicating the postage paid by the sender at the Genova post office. I have examined the above captioned item which is photographically reproduced here (reduced in size). The reverse of the document is also reproduced here (reduced in size). In my opinion, this item is genuine in all respects and in fine condition. I initialled it “GM” in pencil WE SHIP WORLDWIDE
Price: $240.00
Item Id #007289    See Details...
DISINFECTED MAIL TORRE S. LORENZO TO ANZIO 1854
Country: PAPAL STATES
Condition: DISINFECTED MAIL TORRE S. LORENZO TO ANZIO 1854
Description: 1854 ***ITALY DISINFECTED MAIL - TORRE SAN LORENZO Tirrenian Coast to ANZIO SERVIZIO DI SANITA' MARITTIMA handwritten on entire letter to Health Authority at the Port of Anzio - -- signed by noted expert Dr. Migliavacca to attest authenticity - the Towers (Torri) were used to monitor the Roman coastline, enforce a sanitary cordon when necessary and impose quarantine on suspect vessels - Lettera completa di testo con dicitura manoscritta "RAPPORTO STRAORDINARIO" inoltre S[ERVIZIO] DI SANITA' MARITTIMA - al COMMISSARIATO DI SANITA' PORTO D'ANZIO - La TORRE SAN LORENZO assieme alle altre era usata per sorvegliare il litorale, imporre il cordone in caso di necessita' e anche mettere vascelli ed equipaggio in quarantena e controllare che non vi fosse contrabbando di merce e lettere se non doverosamente disinfettate dalle autorita' competenti -- affascinante e rara lettera - firmata dal perito Dr. Migliavacca
Price: $99.00
Item Id #007291    See Details...
MEDICINE: rare 1849 ROME ORDINANCE ON VACCINE DURING REPUBLICAN UPRISING Superb
Condition: MEDICINE: rare 1849 ROME ORDINANCE ON VACCINE DURING REPUBLICAN UPRISING Superb
Description: 8" x 12" - therefore it may well fit an exhibition page 4 PAGES ORDINANCE LIGHTLY FOLDED AS WOULD BE EXPECTED OTHERWISE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION MOST IMPRESSIVE & DESIRABLE WE SHIP WORLDWIDE
Price: $99.00
Item Id #005515    See Details...
TURKEY TO RUSSIA 1853 CONSTANTINOPLE TO ODESSA DISINFECTED rare3
Country: RUSSIA
Condition: TURKEY TO RUSSIA 1853 CONSTANTINOPLE TO ODESSA DISINFECTED rare3
Description: Entire Letter from Constantinople, 1853, to Odessa showing the effects of disinfection procedures: discoloration of the paper due to disinfectant liquid, three vertical slits (two at the bottom, one at the top) and several punch holes. The oval disinfection cachet of Odessa (Migliavacca Type E, Fig. 7; Tyukov-Vandervelde 8a; only 8 examples recorded) “CLEANED IN THE ODESSA/DATE/QUARANTINE” (ACHISHCH V ADIESS/ / KARANTIN), struck on the backflaps is (as is often the case) average quality as in most instances and 70% readable. The Disinfection Number “120” is handwritten on the backflap. On the upper blackflap is the fine and rare cds of the Russian Consular Post Office in Constantinople (Tchilinghirian Type 3) where the letter was posted. This rare item is genuine in all respects and keeping in mind this type of mail it is in very fine condition. SIGNED MIGLIAVACCA
Price: $325.00
Item Id #012177    See Details...
DISINFECTED MAIL EUROPE & MEDITERRANEAN AREA: ITALY ONLY
Condition: DISINFECTED MAIL ITALY ONLY
Description: DISINFECTED MAIL Storia della Disinfezione Postale in Europa e nell’area mediterranea - History of the mail disinfection in Europe and Mediterranean area by Luciano De Zanche. 200 pages, 8” x 11 1/2”, many illustrations throughout including color. Perfect bound. 2008 Edition based on the 1997 edition This book is pre-eminently in Italian, but some history background is given in English; and most chapters have a good introduction in English; the technical information is also translated into English. Contrary to what the title of this book may lead you to believe, this monograph deals solely with the disinfection of mails within the Italian peninsula. CONTRARY TO WHAT IS SAID IN THE REVIEW BELOW NO PRICES ARE GIVEN for Disinfection marks It is quite possible that the Author may have thought of this as volume one of a series; unfortunately Professore De Zanche died recently leaving the task of completing the research at a European level to the next generation of postal historians. In dealing with the Italian peninsula De Zanche lavished a considerable amount of information and although the main text is in Italian, many key items are also explained in English in concise but clear and useful abstracts. After examining the approach of medical science on plague, yellow fever and cholera, the Author devotes a chapter to explain why letters and mail in general were subjected to disinfection procedures in times of epidemics. For those who may think that this procedure is a rather empiric and primitive precaution taken in the dark ages, suffice it to say that modern treatment, against smallpox in German and Austrian military hospitals in both World Wars, and the use of autoclaves in leper colonies dates back only a few decades from our days and age. The methods of mail disinfection are examined in great detail and this chapter, like most of the others, is replete with lengthy footnotes. De Zanche answers the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on when and where mail was disinfected, and how the collector or specialist can recognize a “disinfected” letter. On finer points the Author also delves into ways and means of assessing the type of disinfection used to sanitize a certain piece of mail. Multiple disinfection at different points in transit and on arrival are well researched. The catalogue of cachets, seals and notations includes listings for the Republic of Venice, Genoa, Tuscany, the Kingdom of Sardinia, Nice, Lombardy & Venetia, Modena and Reggio, Parma, the Duchy of Lucca, the Papal States, the Kingdom of Naples and Two Sicilies, and finally, San Marino. Adequate references are given for areas that changed their geo-political status as a result of wars, treaties, and revolutions. Controversy being the spice of life, this valuable and exceedingly interesting book is not exempt from it. In introducing his chapter on the Republic of Venice the Author uses much of the information he had divulged in his article for the Postal History Journal [No. 105, 1966 - Republic of Venice: The Disinfection of the Sea Mail coming from the Levant]; in doing so De Zanche finds himself on a collision course with noted Swiss postal history expert Paolo Vollmeier who deems some of the Venetian disinfection marks “stupid marks stamped by the faker”. This material has come under suspicion in the past and De Zanche concedes that some of the seals and hand stamps may prove to be bogus; only new and conclusive evidence can establish their status. In many respects this new book supersedes the pioneer research by Ravasini and Meyer, at least for the Italian area. In comparing De Zanche’s work with the standard reference published by the A.I.S.P. [Bolli e Documenti di Sanita’ dell’area Italiana - Rome 1981] the former has the decidedly apparent advantage of a more scholarly and scientific approach (notwithstanding the leaner listings of notations and hand stamps strictly related to mail disinfection). Furthermore De Zanche has by far surpassed all of his predecessors with time-consuming research on primary sources, unearthing a sizable amount of previously unpublished information. Additionally, the catalogue is cross referenced with Meyer, Ravasini and AISP numbers, which simplifies the task of the specialist; the Author has, however, decided to include a valuation chart to help assess a monetary value for this material. We have mixed feelings about the need for such a chart and we would have rather preferred that the Author had left the task of putting a price to this material to the postal history “merchants” and the auction houses. The footnotes are placed at the bottom of each page and not confined at the end of each chapter, or worse yet, at the end of the book as an appendix, as is often the case with academic works. A very comprehensive bibliography is the crowning point of this major and scholarly effort in divulging this fascinating aspect of postal communications. Given the limited appeal of this book to a relatively small number of specialists we empathize with the Author/Publisher about production costs. Anyone interested in disinfected mail must secure a copy of this book before it’s out of print as we understand it had a very small print run. [review by GIORGIO MIGLIAVACCA] THIS IS A MUST HAVE bibliophile publication. rather heavy and large book -
Price: $145.00     Sale Price! $115.00
Item Id #004244    See Details...
DISINFECTED 1836 FORLI TO BAGNACAVALLO slits
Country: PAPAL STATES
Condition: DISINFECTED 1836 FORLI TO BAGNACAVALLO slits
Description: 1836 letter from FORLI' TO BAGNACAVALLO - disinfection slit taglio di disinfezione
Price: $40.00
Item Id #006038    See Details...
DISINFECTED 1849 FROM TORRE ASTURA TO ANZIO Sanitary
Country: PAPAL STATES
Condition: DISINFECTED 1849 FROM TORRE ASTURA TO ANZIO Sanitary
Description: 2 FEBRUARY 1849 Letter headed: SERVIZIO SANITARIO MARITTIMO DELLA TORRE ASTURA FROM SANITARY CORDON FORTRESS OF ASTURA Handwritten on address side SERVIZIO SANITARIO MARITTIMO to the HEALTH COMMISSIONER AT PORTO D'ANZIO Written during the uprising that resulted in the Roman Republic a week later. The Roman Republic was a state declared on February 9, 1849, when the government of Papal States was taken over by a republican government. The pope left Rome for Gaeta. The republic was led by Carlo Armellini, Giuseppe Mazzini and Aurelio Saffi. Together they formed a triumvirate, a reflection of a form of government seen in the ancient Roman Republic. Garibaldi and his men came to help. THIS LETTER IS FROM THE UPRISING DAYS LEADING to the RULE OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC, IMPORTANT & REMARKABLE ITEM Signed by Expert Dr. Migliavacca Firmato Migliavacca
Price: $90.00
Item Id #007320    See Details...
1849 ROME ORDINANCE ON VACCINE DURING REPUBLICAN UPRISING
Condition: 1849 ROME ORDINANCE ON VACCINE DURING REPUBLICAN UPRISING a
Description: 24" x 17" FOLDED AS WOULD BE EXPECTED OTHERWISE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION MOST IMPRESSIVE & DESIRABLE WE SHIP WORLDWIDE
Price: $73.00
Item Id #007065    See Details...
1825 ENTIRE LETTER MALTA PAID TO ALEXANDRIA EGYPT DISINFECTED
Country: DISINFECTED
Condition: 1825 ENTIRE LETTER MALTA PAID TO ALEXANDRIA EGYPT DISINFECTED
Description: Nice Prix Courant of the MALTA STOCKMARKET to Alexandria, arrival cds on the back (has some reinforcement not detracting) DISINFECTION SLITS and handwritten postal rates - the letter opens well for display and it is quite attractive - signed Migliavacca
Price: $150.00
Item Id #010912    See Details...
1848 WRAPPER FROM ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, TO MALTA - DISINFECTED
Country: DISINFECTED
Condition: 1848 WRAPPER FROM ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, TO MALTA - DISINFECTED
Description: RED CIRCULAR DATESTAMP "ALEXANDRIA" well struck + double circle PURIFIE AU LAZARET MALTE, disinfection slits and hadwritten postal rate "10" - very fine for this type of mail and quite desirable
Price: $115.00
Item Id #010913    See Details...
1836 HEALTH MAGISTRATE OSIMO TO SANSEVERINO
Country: PAPAL STATES
Condition: 1836 HEALTH MAGISTRATE OSIMO TO SANSEVERINO
Description: 20 AUGUST 1836 CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE HEALTH MAGISTRATE AT OSIMO TO HIS COUNTERPART AT SANSEVERINO ATTESTING THAT "BY THE GRACE OF GOD THIS JURISDICTION ENJOYS PERFECT HEALTH" There is no cover to this document superb and highly desirable WE SHIP WORLDWIDE
Price: $34.00
Item Id #006818    See Details...
1848 WRAPPER FROM ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, TO MALTA - DISINFECTED
Country: DISINFECTED
Condition: 1848 WRAPPER FROM ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, TO MALTA - DISINFECTED
Description: 1850 - two-page MALTA STOCKMARKET PRIX COURANT - MALTA cds (reinforced because of disinfection slit, not detracting at all) + arrival cds of the FRENCH POST OFFICE "ALEXANDRIE EGYPTE", opens well for display - very fine on the whole - signed Migliavacca
Price: $115.00
Item Id #010914    See Details...
1841 ENTIRE LETTER: CORFU - MALTA DISINFECTED - Purifie Au Lazaret Malte
Country: DISINFECTED
Condition: 1841 ENTIRE LETTER: CORFU - MALTA DISINFECTED - Purifie Au Lazaret Malte
Description: Fine oval (coat of arms) UFFICIO DELLA POSTA GENERAL CORFU, handwritten postal rate "3", and on the back, oval CORFU datestamp 22 OTTOBRE (reinforced to prevent damage, fine and not detracting) + PURIFIE AU LAZARET MALTE (slits for disinfection and MALTA cds 25 OCT 1841 - the document opens well for display and is in fine condition for this type of mail - impressive - signed Migliavacca
Price: $235.00
Item Id #010915    See Details...