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Bolaffi Catalogo dei francobolli italiani

Bolaffi Catalogo dei francobolli italiani. By Alberto Bolaffi. In Italian. 1965 edition: 582 pages, published by Societa Culturale Opere Tipografiche s.r.l., Torino, Italy. Second-hand only.

Reviewer: Giorgio Migliavacca

giorgiomigliavacca@hotmail.com

APRL Locator: [G6710 .A1 B687 1965]

There are three major stamp catalogs covering the entire Italian area; all have been on the market for decades. In 1958, with the assistance of Enzo Diena, the Bolaffi catalog gained popularity and greater readership. The publication continues to this day but suffered after the big collapse of the Italian stamp market in the mid-1960s when credibility of “boom” prices were questioned. Bolaffi, being the biggest stamp dealer in Italy, managed to keep its catalog going. It remains a good but dated catalog.

As a footnote, Stanley Gibbons publishes a useful stamp catalog of the entire Italian area, including Colonies etc. [A review of this catalog can be found at Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/17219973/STANLEY_GIBBONS_STAMP_CATALOGUE_PART_8_ITALY_and_SWITZERLAND_2013_EDITION]

Commercianti Italiani Filatelici -Unificato Super 2022: Catalogazione e quotazione dei francobolli di Italia & Antichi Stati...

Commercianti Italiani Filatelici -Unificato Super 2022: Catalogazione e quotazione dei francobolli di Italia & Antichi Stati... By Commercianti Italiani Filatelici s.r.l. In Italian. 2004 edition: 990 pages. Published by Commercianti Italiani Filatelici s.r.l., Milano. Second-hand only.

Reviewer: Giorgio Migliavacca

giorgiomigliavacca@hotmail.com

There are three major stamp catalogs covering the entire Italian area; all have been on the market for decades. CIF-Unificato is owned by a cartel of stamp dealers. Since the 1980s, this catalog enjoyed popularity. However, in recent years the retail prices were adjusted to a 30% lower level, not reflecting the market but being more down to earth than the other catalogs. CIF Unificato did not indulge in price hikes. The catalog has kept a more slim but healthy appearance and has published a series of six volumes by Franco Filanci called “Novellario” on Italian stamps in his typical and very popular outspoken but highly informed and well documented style. After such a tour de force, Filanci has now published his book “Maillennial” through Unificato, which has attracted rave reviews and will soon appear in a new form with a most-welcomed English translation. “Maillennial” is not the customary annual catalog, but it is the most enlightening “catalog” if you collect Italian stamps. No prices are given for the listed items, however it is exceedingly informative, including technical and postal history aspects in great detail without dodging information on postal and philatelic facts and misdeeds. "Maillenial" is focused essentially on Italian stamps only. As the President of the Federation of Italian Philatelic Societies, Dr. Bruno Crevato Selvaggi has written that "Maillenial" is a book to read as much as it is a catalog to consult.

As a footnote, Stanley Gibbons publishes a useful stamp catalog of the entire Italian area, including Colonies etc. [A review of this catalog can be found at Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/17219973/STANLEY_GIBBONS_STAMP_CATALOGUE_PART_8_ITALY_and_SWITZERLAND_2013_EDITION]

Sassone Catalogo Specializzato dei Francobolli D’Italia e dei Paesi Italiani

Sassone Catalogo Specializzato dei Francobolli D’Italia e dei Paesi Italiani. Information presented is for 76th edition, 2017. By Sassone. 2,000 plus pages (2 volumes), color illustrations. Published by Sassone S.R.L., Milano. Current editions available from https://www.cataloghisassone.it/it/.

Reviewer: Giorgio Migliavacca

giorgiomigliavacca@hotmail.com

APRL Locator: [G6710 .A1 C359 2017sp]

There are three major stamp catalogs covering the entire Italian area; all have been on the market for decades. Sassone goes back to the 1940s and has enjoyed great popularity for decades. The catalog had been increasing retail prices since the 1980s, year after year, much to the delight of collectors and dealers. However, after 9/11 and even more so after the financial crisis of 2008, the market showed weaknesses, which also affected international markets. Collectors started to sell their collections, auctions were bursting with dozens of stamps and covers that had been deemed scarce until then… some remained unsold and some were sold for low prices, which in a few years showed that realistic retail prices were 10% or less of those purported by catalogs. Sassone ownership changed after the death of Mondolfo (a major dealer of Italian and worldwide rarities). The prices were kept on the up and up mode. Sassone has the advantage of listing most existing varieties, errors etc... this propensity has attracted some criticism, but has been welcomed by many specialized collectors and dealers. If you want to specialize in some issues or periods Sassone is a good start to give you a “pitch note.”

As a footnote, Stanley Gibbons publishes a useful stamp catalog of the entire Italian area, including Colonies etc. [A review of this catalog can be found at Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/17219973/STANLEY_GIBBONS_STAMP_CATALOGUE_PART_8_ITALY_and_SWITZERLAND_2013_EDITION]

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