VALONA * ALBANIA
VALONA [Vlorë, ALBANIA] A very important port of Albania, Vlorë was annexed to the Ottoman Empire in the early 1400s. By the end of the 1800s, the Italian Navy had carried out a survey of the entire Albanian coastline. On 5 May 1908, Italy opened a post office at Vlorë; some sources suggest the office was opened on 15 May, others on 5 June. The Italian postal facility at Vlorë used Italian definitive stamps overprinted for general use in the Italian Levant as well as non overprinted Italian definitive stamps. In February 1909, a set of seven Italian definitive stamps overprinted VALONA on the first line and the face value in Turkish currency on the second line was issued. A complementary high denomination, 40 Piastre on 10 Lire Italian Floreale definitive stamp was issued in January 1911.The Italian post office was closed on 29 September 1911, at the outbreak of the Italo-Turkish War; it was reopened in February 1913 and finally closed on 31 December 1922. It must also be noted that as 1914 was coming to an end, the town was taken over by Italian troops and by early 1915 a Field Post Office was activated. During these years, current Italian definitive stamps were used; however, in January 1916, a 1911, 15c Italian definitive stamp overprinted “VALONA (upper case)/30 para”, in violet, was issued; it is also known in brownish red. The stamp with the violet overprint was overprinted in the course of 1916, to provide a 20c stamp denominated in Italian currency. Meanwhile, in early 1915, Italian post offices were opened at Valona Scalo (Vlorë’s Wharf) and at nearby Kanina; both used Italian definitive stamps and were closed in 1919. Italy had Post Offices at Durazzo (Durres, opened in 1902), Giannina (Yanina or Janina, opened in 1902), Scutari (Shkoder, opened in 1901) and Valona. All of this indicated a strong Italian interest in the area. During World War I, Albania had been overrun by seven different armies. Following a period of anarchy and unrest, and with the help of Italy, the country stabilised itself. At the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920) Italy invoked Article XIII of the Secret Treaty of London (26 April 1915) which made provisions for an “equitable compensation” to Italy in the event of the British colonial dominions being augmented at the expense of Germany and her allies. Additionally articles V, VI, and VII envisaged the possibility of substantial acquisitions of Albanian territory by Italy. Later on, a similar treaty between France and Italy was signed at St. Jean de Maurienne (20 April 1917). Italy’s request for a mandate over Valona (Vlore) and Central Albania was rejected and eventually Italy was allowed to retain the tiny island of Saseno [Sazan]. One important aspect is that Albania did not become a member of the Universal Postal Union until 1922. This situation in post-war Albania made the presence of Italian post offices at Durazzo, Valona, and Valona Scalo particularly valuable and useful for mail to foreign destinations. —— See other sections [Albania (1902-1908), Durazzo, Saseno, Janina, Scutari, etc]. For the 1939-1943 issues of Albania under Italian rule see the specific section. ***** ——- COPYRIGHT: We own the copyright in this site and in material published on it such as articles, technical profiles, technical information, general information, descriptions and photographs of all items. Those works and the entire content of this website are protected by copyright laws around the world. All our rights are reserved. All images, text and stamps featured on this site (virginstamps.com) are our SOLE PROPERTY and may not be copied or reproduced in any form whatsoever. Swift legal action will be taken against any individual, organisation, group, or company found to have violated our copyright in any form or reproduced any of the webpages, images or content without prior written permission.
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