“Furat chi de su mare venit” (Sardinian revenue stamps)

English language

If you would take a closer look at the history of one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea then don’t blame the people for it. The past 2 millennia they were occupied and exploited by the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabians and so on and now the tourists are coming to the island.

A part of this form of exploiting were taxes on the harvest of the land. The first forms of revenue stamps on documents were dated from 1761. During that time Sardinia was a part of the House of Savoy in the State of Piedmont. These sealed documents are found for sure in the catalogue “Marcha da Bollo” from Paolo Magistris.

Some examples dated approx. 1972 as shown in Magistris.

The first adhesives were introduced in 1858 as passport stamps. During that time there was Giuseppe Garibaldi who lived on a small island at the north side of sardinia: Caprera. He was an exile but in the years afterwards he managed with an army of volunteers known as the “red skirts” and the population to set the bases for the new Kingdom of Italy that was proclaimed in 1861.

Passport series 1858 of Sardinia and 1861 fore Italy (seek for the differences).

Italy started to issue an large range of revenue series for several purposes. The passport stamps look similar to the Sardinian ones. They only altered the writings from “Stati sardi”into “Regno d`Italia, together with the National Arms printed as blanc relief. They also introduced the municipal revenues in 1861. An example for this is a Bill of Lading from a Belgian company, coming from Antwerpen with destination Cagliari; the capital of the island. There are approx. 36 municipals on the island who may have issued their stamps.

“MAY HAVE” because there are a lot of small villages which didn’t find it necessary to purchase these stamps. The book of Adolph Koepple dated 1999 recorded 1 from Alghero (39.000 inh.) ; 34 from cagliari (203.000 inh.) ; 6 from Nuoro (37.500 inh.) and 10 from Sassari (122.000 inh.) The inhabitant recordings are from 1990.

You should consider this work as a first attempt for a much larger and complex work. It is possible that Alex Kemura, who published many articles in the RSGB magazine, is working at such a project.

Bill of Lading from 1876 from Antwerpen to Cagliari. With Chamber of Commerce stamp (tassa Sulle polizze) of Cagliari. (In Koepple quoted issued in 1880).

What can you find nowadays on revenues? On municipal level it remains a question mark. The personnel at the hotel were I stayed did not generally recognize the stamps and said that they were not in use anymore.

Map with municipalities on Sardinia on www.knowital.com.
Revenue stamps of Alghero, Cagliari and Nuoro.

I have some examples from the main land from Bagnacavallo and a chapter of reviews of the RSGB (page 44; Vol XIX; No 1 June 08) showed adhesive examples so there is hope for it. What remains are the telematic revenue stamps previously reported by Giovanni Palazzo in the 43th and 45th issue of ‘t Cleyn Segel. A “Tabachhi” in Olbia was selling these stamps and considering that the date on the stamp shows they were printed some days ago, the value of € 1,81 must have been valid for a certain type of (common) document.

Telematic stamps, value of EUR 1,81.

For those who want to know more about Sardinia and it’s revenues I’ll suggest following: follow a course of the Italian language, visit the island, enjoy the weather and if you are lucky to get off the beach or other sight, you may be able to start your search for the missing stamps of Sardinia.

“Furat chi de su mare venit” = “Who comes by sea wants to rob us!”


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