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www.bollatrice.de - English Introduction

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Lana del Rey

Welcome to my website on Early Italian Stamp Machines. I do not have the resources to maintain the whole website in english. But I hope, that at least the catalog part is useable without understanding German. The goal of this website is to provide a manual and catalogue to the "bollatrice a mano" (the hand driven stamp machine) from the Office of Enrico Dani.

The manual part of this site mainly bases on articeles I’ve written for the Italien Rundschau of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Italien im BdPh. The most important one is available - in english - in Fil-Italia, published by the Italy and Colonies Study Circle. An other good reading start might be the second edition of Paolo Vaccaris "Annulli Numerali Italiani 1866-1889": the most valueable extension compared to the first edition is the english translation provided for the text part.

One favour please: if somebody knows any literature covering the Bollatrice, which is not mentioned on this site: please send me a small email: english@bollatrice.de.

Kind Regards


The catalogue part of bollatrice.de contains one page for each known location, where the Bollatrice was used. These pages have a similar structure, which is described here.

Assuming that the reader shows interest both in Italy and its post marks, but is not immediatly aware on the location and importance of every italian town, each page starts with a short introduction - which is copied from the Wikipedia. I assume that each of the linked wikipedia entries has also an english version. The maps base also on the Wikipedia.

Catolog compiled from the Literature

The table "Katalog gemäß ausgewerteter Literatur" compiles the information on the cancels from the Bollatrice I’ve found in the literature. Ornaghi marks his known cancels as "Officine Enrico Dani", so there are no ommissions. From the other main sources (Vaccari, Gaggero) I’ve also taken entries, which are not marked as "Duplex" since the description from Ornaghi was sufficient to identify them. Cancels, not mentioned in Ornaghi are only taken from the other sources, if they meet at least one of the following conditions: a) I know an example b) the cancel is marked as "Duplex" at the source.

At a) most of the items for this condition are part of my collection. But in some cases I’ve only xerox copies or screen shots from auctions. The items from my own collections are published on the website.

To emphase it: all three catalogues evaluated have knowlede on the Bollatrice and explicit mention it in there catalogue part. But: all three catalogues have a different focus then the Bollatrice. Ornaghi - who has the most general view of all three - is excused, since the Bollatice is out off his time frame. His catalogue starts with 1901 and the Bickerdike: but he has surprising complete and accurate information.
Vaccari and Gaggero both catalogue one kind of cancels for whole Italy. In both cases the 60-80 possible post office which might have used the Bollatrice disappear between the 4000 - 5000 post offices catalogized. That the "Bollatrice" post offices are in the "most common" category does not mean that they are better described.

On the point evaluations at Vaccari at Gaggero: in both cases a higher number means higher value. Both books carry a table converting the points into Euro. I’ve decided against republishing these tables, since the they might be of sence in their books, but may lead to misinterpretations. More often the value of the stamp makes the value of the cover, then the cancel. One example: one of the excamples, which I only have xeroxed in my collection is a First Day Cover. The date is nothing special from the point of view of a "bollatrice collector", but the first day of the stamp makes it unpayable.

Ornaghi unknown
Points at Vaccari 1

Catalogue Summary

The final of the catalogue is a "Katalog Zusammenfassung" (summary) - again a table. Here I mention all different cancel texts with the known first and last dates. There are two columns for the first dates, as well as for the last dates. The "bollatrice.de" columns are only filled, if I have corrections to the literature.

For EXAMPLE 1 this means, that the literature mention it in 1889, and that I have no corrections/additons to that information. EXAMPLE 2 means, that there are no dates given in the literature, but I have at least one document for 1889. In both cases it is possible that these only bases on one example. Thats why these table only gives years.

TEXTType First Use (Literature) First Use (bollatrice.de) Last Use (Literature) Last Use (bollatrice.de)
EXAMPLE 1 1889 1889
EXAMPLE 2 1889 1889


The documents are given in chronological order. Hit the icons and a bigger version appears.

Only some of the descriptions are filled. First things first.