1818 Kingdom of Sardinia ‘Cavallini’

August 9, 2023

Since 1792, the Kingdom of Sardinia authorities had required the payment of a postal tax. This was applicable at any post office, on any letter, regardless of whether it was delivered by the postal service or in actual person by the sender!

Obviously such a postal tax system proved difficult to police, so a practical solution was decided upon in November 1818. The answer was the introduction of pre-paid letter sheets; these incorporated an embossed stamp.

In December 1818, the State published the ‘Manifesto Camerale’. This provided full details of the scheme, together with proofs of the three bluish-green ‘Cavallini’ (Little Horseman) stamps that the scheme intended to use. These were priced at 15c for delivery of up to 15 miles, 25c for up to 35 miles, and 50c for an unlimited distance.

As a further advance, the stationery was to be watermarked – a new technology of the time. In order to deter attempted by-passing of the scheme, a system of penalties was also approved.

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