Postal agreements prior to the General Postal Union/Universal Postal Union in 1875 were highly diverse, though they show increased uniformity over time from 1850 to 1875 in Europe. This post focuses on mail between France and Italy. Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
Organization of this Post
This post is only partially constructed. I have more information that needs to be integrated into the post, but that will likely wait until the end of the year.
- Postal Arrangements (in progress)
- France to Italy Prepaid Rates (in progress)
- Italy to France Prepaid Rates (in progress)
- Border Crossings (in progress)
- Duchy of Savoy and the County of Nice (in progress)
Prior to 1861, Italy was a diverse set of independent states. The postal agreements set by the Kingdom of Sardinia became the basis of those used by the Kingdom of Italy. To reflect this, I am including the prior Sardinian convention to show the development of the agreement.
Franco-Sardinian Convention of Nov 9, 1850
Effective on July 1, 1851, this convention used a linear weight progression along with a distance and/or carriage component. The distance component simply translated itself to a special border rate that amounted to the same thing in the next convention.
|Border < 30 km distance||25 centimes/centisemi||7.5 grams|
|All other distances||50 centimes/centisemi||7.5 grams|
|See carriage||70 centimes/centisemi||7.5 grams|
Franco-Sardinian Convention of 1860
The new convention became effective on the first of the year. The border rate maintained the same 30 km distance but the sea carriage rate was deleted from the language. Postal rates declined slightly while the standard letter weight increased from 7.5 grams to 10 grams. The Two Sicilies did not join until Oct 1, 1861, when the 1860 convention was already in place. The depleted Roman States did not use Kingdom of Italy postal conventions until 1870.
Franco-Italian Convention of 1869
This is the first full convention between France and the Kingdom of Italy though both agreed to apply the Sardinian convention protocols prior to this. The border rate was removed at this point in time.
France to Italy Prepaid Rates
|Jan 1, 1861 (a)||40 centimes||10 grams|
|Jan 1, 1861 - border||20 centimes||10 grams|
|Aug 1, 1869 - all (b)||40 centimes||10 grams|
|Jan 1, 1876 (GPU)||30 centimes||15 grams|
|May 1, 1878 (UPU)||25 centimes||15 grams|
|Oct 1, 1907 (UPU)||25 ctm / 15 ctm||15 g / add'l 15 g|
40 ctms per 10 gms : Aug 1, 1869 - Dec 31, 1875
Paris Etranger Feb 12 75 (verso)
1? Dist Feb 15 (verso)
Napoli Feb ? (verso)
Double Rate Example
|Marseilles Mar 24 1872
Mar 25 72 (verso)
Napoli Mar 26 72 (verso)
|Jan 1, 1861 (a)||40 centisemi||10 grams|
|Jan 1, 1861 - border||20 centisemi||10 grams|
|Aug 1, 1869 (b)||40 centisemi||10 grams|
|Jan 1, 1876 (GPU)||30 centisemi||15 grams|
|May 1, 1878 (UPU)||25 centisemi||15 grams|
|Oct 1, 1907 (UPU)||25 ctsm / 15 ctsm||15 g / add'l 15 g|
40 centesimi per 10 grams : Jan 1, 1861 - Jul 31, 1869
Kingdom of Italy use of Sardinian stamps in Sardinia.
|Torino Oct 7, 1861
Italie Lanslebourg Oct 9, 1861
St Jean de Maurienne
Lyon Oct 9 (verso)
40 centesimi per 10 grams : Aug 1, 1869 - Dec 31, 1875
|Genova Aug 19, 1874
Ventimiglia - Nice (rail opened 1872)
Italie Amb Marseilles Aug 20
Bordeaux Aug 21, 1874
Border Crossings and Exchange Offices
The Ventimiglia Crossing:
The rail line from Genoa to Marseilles was entirely complete by 1872.
Duchy of Savoy and the County of Nice
The Treaty of Turin (Mar 24, 1860) ceded the Duchy of Savoy and the County of Nice to France (from Sardinia) which was confirmed by plebiscite not long after the signing of the treaty. It is an interesting study in politics to read about the techniques used to insure that the plebiscite results matched the intentions of France and Sardinia. Essentially, Savoy and Nice were the price of doing business with the French in the effort to free Lombardy/Venetia from Ausria.
Les Tarifs Postaux Francais: Entre 1848 et 1916 by Jean-Louis Bourgouin
This has been my "go to" site for determining French rates for some time. Data appears to be backed up by postal acts and agreements of which I have confirmed some and I hope to collect access to others as well.
Matha, T and Mentaschi, M, Letter Mail From and To the Old Italian States: 1850-1870, Vaccari, 2008.
While the layout of this book took me a little bit to get used to, it provided some sound guidance for a number of Italian rates. The area I tended to care about falls outside the scope of this book since they tend to only take postal agreements up to the point an Italian State was absorbed in the Kingdom of Italy. After that point, only the Papal States get treatment. But, focusing on Sardinian rates and reading between the lines for the rest can get you a long way. The level of detail is inconsistent at times, but I am pleased that the authors published rather than hold out for perfection.
Convention material links on its way.