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
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]