The first series of the Kingdom of Sardinia was issued on 1 January 1851: it consisted of three denominations, 5c., 20c., and 40c. They were litographed by Turin- based Francesco Matraire who also created and manufactured the three ensuing series that were issued later on. The fourth issue is of particular significance because it was used during the unification process of Italy. The Fourth Issue is also very interesting to collectors of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries because of the many shades and variations that occurred over a seven year span of life during which the initial modest postal needs spiraled with the annexation of other populous states. Challenging at first sight, the collection of these stamps is highly rewarding and endearing. All the Kingdom of Sardinia stamps that were issued or postally valid during the transition that climaxed with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy witnessed and were postally protagonists of unprecedented historical changes. It is also quite significant that the early stamps of the newly founded Kingdom of Italy were created by Matraire.
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