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The original dies were the work of different designers
1852 issue was made by Tomasso Rinaldi, that of the 1859 issue by Carlo Setti and
that of the 1859 newspaper tax by Felice Ricco.
The printing material was supplied for the 1852 by the firm of Rocca, Rinaldi and Algeri of Modena and for the 1859 issue by the engraver. The 1852 issue was printed by the Cameral Printing Office of the Ministry of Finance in Modena, the 1859 issue by the printer Carlo Vicenzi of Modena. The 1859 newspaper tax stamps were printed singly with the original die by the printer Carlo Montroccoli of Modena.
The dies of the 1852 and 1859 issues had no value indication and the outside frame linc of the value tablet was omitted at the bottom.
This was done with the purpose of having the same stereotypes that could be used for all denominations and inserting a type-set value in each issue.
This resulted in a basic stamp face with many variations of the position, alignment and in particular the size, position and sometimes lack of the period after the value.
The CENT shows up as CNET (5, 19 and 40c), CEN1 (5c and newspaper 10c), EENT (10c), CE6T (10 & 40c), CENE (10 & 40c), CETN (15c) as well as 49 and 4C instead of the 40c value. There is a 1 invert on the 10c and sideways E (5c) and N (10c) in CENT.
In all, over 100 variations are noted in the Unificato catalog. Some of these are rare and increase the CV considerably.
Generally the 1852 printing was better performed than the 1859 resulting in clearer better defined stamps with less over-inking.
Although there was, except for the 20c, only one printing of each denomination was done but many distinct shades exist.
All Modena stamps were issued imperforate, the dividing lines serving as the only separation aid.
There were considerable remainders of most issues and they were sold to dealers.
There is speculation that although some values had large quantities of remainders, their values are basically equal indicating that much of the remainders may have been destroyed.
The amount of remainders probably accounts for unused ungummed stamps being relatively easy to acquire.
Catalog CV’s with SG (without gum) highlighted
In regard to unused multiples, there are no difficulties obtaining the 1852 issue, as all are rather easily available in blocks, only those items which are scarcer only as singles Of all denominations, even the 5c, 10c and 40c without period, full panes of 60 are known even full sheets
The 1859 issue is also easily obtained in blocks, except the 5c, which is scarce. Some of the early shades especially the 15c brown and the 40c carmine.
Full panes of 30 are known of the 15c gray, 20c slate blue, 20c lilac, 40c brown rose and 80c
Of the newspaper tax stamps, the 9c with large inscription is not known in any multiple, only singles seem to exist. With the other stamps, blocks are common.
After a large part of Modena was consolidated with Parma. and Romagna in December
1859 and the balance of the country came to Tuscany, the stamps of all the territories
involved became mutually valid in all territories under the Sardinian Administration.
Thus Modena stamps are known used outside but are quite rare (example below – auction $4,000).
As genuine unused stamps are relatively easy to find, most forgers concentrated their efforts on producing fake cancellations with remainders.
Complete forgeries of the stamps are VERY plentiful but easy to recognize.
It is different with the newspaper tax stamps, of which the first 9c (with large inscription) and tho 10c of 1859 have always been rare stamps. Rather excellent forgeries exist of them, in particular those of Sperati.
1852 General Issue
5 cent. Green 1,812,720
5 cent. Olive Green 120,000
10 cent. Rose 526,080
15 cent. Yellow 838,080
25 cent. Chamois 998,160
40 cent. Light Blue17,280
40 cent. Blue 501,600
I Lira White 48,000
9 cen. Violet Large BG 12,000
9 cen. Violet Small BG 384,000
9 cent. Without BG 481,680
10 cent.Grey 240,000
10 cent. White 61,200
1. Top of S wider than bottom
2. Bottom foot of I generally missing on the right
3. Horizontal bar of cross slightly tilted
4. Large round dot
5. Broken frame line
6. Generally open on left, right side may also be open
7. Triangles uniform and visible
8. Beak is open
9. Left claw has sharper angle
10. Left ribbon behind twig, right side in front of twig
11. Frame line open both ends
12. Weak spot, may be open
13. Decorations joined
Forgeries compared to genuine (left)
This would appear to be a Placido Torres Forgery
The dot on top of the right branch is missing
The top letters are very different and the I has a foot
The eagle’s head crest is missing
The middle circle of the left and right ornaments is too small
Foot on I
Leaves very different
Inner solid circles of middle side elements too large
Corner elements touch frame
Cross too large and tilted in the wrong direction
No dot on right branch
No breaks on bottom frame line or top one right
The following ones recently appeared on eBay as sets along with similar forgeries from other states. They originated in Russia and were indicated as being forgeries.
They appear to be modern and the central part is very well designed.
They fail mainly in the large inclined corner elements, the unbroken lower frame line and the letters of CENT are joined together..
1859 Newspaper Issue
It was created following the protest of the Poste Sarde which, due to the similarity of existing newspaper stamp (n4 & n5) with postal stamps, they believed the newspapers had been submitted a non – fiscal but postal fee, prohibited by the Convention in force.
This stamp was imprinted individually on preprinted sheets of thin parallel lines, spaced 23.5 mm which generally should show up either vertically or horizontally
1. Wide serif with small points
2. AZ not joined
3. Double dash above crown
4. GA often joined
5. Lower leg of Z much longer than top one
6. Beak is open
7. Noticeable crest on head
8. One or both T’s may be broken at top
9. Ends are flat, forgeries may be beveled
10. Right claw more curved than left
11. Dot generally has white spot inside
12. N is misshapen
13. 2 types, one with horizontal line other with vertical line
NOTE – 1890 Reprinted in gray on white paper with a worn prin.
There is also a very rare original double print.
Forgeries compared to genuine (left)
1859 Provisional Government Issue
5 cent. green 120,000
15 cent. brown 48.000
15 cent. gray 72,000
20 cents. slate 120,000
20 cents. lilac 120,000
40 cent. pink 120,000
80 cents. bistre 120,000
1. F may be damaged in forgeries
2. R has upturned right leg and may be joined to A
3. Bottom of letters generally open or weak
4. Dot inside shape
5. Right side of crown more inclined than left
6. Corner elements uniform in shape
7. M generally faulty
8. Large striped square
9. Top has 5 lines, bottom 6
10. Right leaf large solid dot
11. Point slightly offset to the right
12. Right side serif longer than left
13. Bottom frame line open both ends
14. C has visible serifs. There are private reprints from worn plates where the C is inclined or lacks serifs, letters are different and the F of FRANCO is damaged.
NOTE – To complicate this issue, with original stereotypes, a private reprint was made in Milan using characters thinner for letters and smaller characters for digits; it is believed that it is not a error but rather a distinction reference wanted by the printer.
Forgeries compared to genuine (left)
The reprints may have been made from damaged plates and an indication is the F of FRANCO is often damaged and the CENT letters are different shape especially the C with little or no serifs.
A set of reprints offered as genuine on eBay
Good Fournier Forgery
Top letters are taller and more spread apart
Top and bottom left shield have 6 lines
Corner elements are very different
Base of crown does not have the square shaded spot
C in CENT has no bottom serif
As previously mentioned, forgers used the readily available remainders and added fake postmarks to increase their value. Details are beyond the scope of this article other than to treat any valuable used issue with caution.
These are some of the more common postmarks;