Trinacria & Crocetta - general introduction

"Trinacria" & "Crocetta": two names quite famous in the collector world: two stamps very rare desired...


This stamp was issued in November 5th 1860, during Giuseppe Garibaldi dictatorship that ended few days later, in November the 8th.
The reason of its issue was the need to have an adequate value to be used on newspapers and printed material, in consequence of the reduction of their rate decided by the Sardinia Kingdom; in fact the printed material paid 1 centesimo each 20 grams, correspondent to Half Neapolitan Tornese. Because a stamp of that value was missing it was been decided to "create" one.
To go faster, due to the urgency to have the stamp and avoid additional costs, a very practical approach was taken: the Half Grana of the second table of the first issue was taken and the "G" (for Grana) was cut off and substituted with a "T" (for Tornese). Only the left half of the table was used (that is the right half of the sheet), 100 samples in total. The printing is in fact in sheets of 100 samples, on the same paper of the previous issue. Therefore 100 varieties if engraving do exist. Even the paper sheets, prepared for the printing of 200 parts, were cut in half for the job.
Pasquale Amendola executed the re-engraving job and the calcographic printing was made by Gennaro De Masa.
The value substitution job left considerable marks of the pre-existing "G": the "T' presents itself almost always surrounded by shadows more or less loaded of color and even the position is not always the same.
The paper quality, the stamp structures and subject is identical to the one of the Half Grana to whom I send you for the various details.
The chosen color was the blue, with a quite constant shade. Between the most important varieties there are the samples showing the double "T" engraving.
Of this very rare stamp we don't know the quantity printed: we know only that 200,000 parts were printed comprehensive also of the "Crocetta".


The previous stamp, the Trinacria, was substituted in very short time by the new value, the "Crocetta".
The Borbonic emblems have to be eliminated as soon as possible, therefore after only one month, in December 6th, a new value was issued, during the Lieutenance of Carlo Farina.
In this case too not so much fantasy was used: the Trinacria table was taken, all the central coat of arms was cut off, value by value, and substituting it with the Savoy one: a white cross.
The job, executed by Pasquale Amendola, was not simple by sure and in fact all the samples present more or less evident the signs of the pre-existent drawing. All the characteristics of the paper, of printing and watermark, are identical to the ones of the previous stamp and therefore to the Borbonic stamps.
The cross was implemented by drawing 4 thin guiding lines made with a graver tool. In the 4 corners delimited by the cross lines and by the external circular frame, thin vertical lines were drawn, usually 12 for each corner, but in some samples this number is different.
Because all the 100 samples of the table were re-engraved one by one allows the correct positioning of each sample in the sheet because of its differentiation from the others in same detail. The differences and the irregularities are often very evident, with incomplete lines, twisted, that go beyond the delimitation, etc, to the point that between two stamps we can find engraving differences even quite relevant.
In this case too the selected color was blue, with shades more evident in comparison with Trinacria, may be because more printing runs were executed. Between the most important varieties in this case too we have the double engraving of the "T" and it cannot be otherwise because the table is the Trinacria one...
As said for the Trinacria, we don't know the quantity printed for this value: 200,000 pieces were printed comprehensive of the previous stamp. The remainder quantity was135,330 pieces, all destroyed.
It was valid up to complete stock elimination and it is known used up to February 1863.