International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Vatican City

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Vatican City[edit | edit source]

  • The first meter was installed in early 1933 and used by the newspaper I’Illustrazione Vaticana. No other meter was used in the Vatican until 1942.
  • All Vatican City meter franks contain “POSTE VATICANE”. Town marks contain “CITTA’ DEL VATICANO” or “POSTE VATICANE”. Some town marks also include the postal code or the user's identification at the bottom.
  • The stamps of are grouped according to the appearance of the frank and usage:
A – Small upright frank with papal seal at top
B – Frank with side panels containing three vertical lines
C – Frank with side panels containing leaf design
D – Frank with side panels containing non-representational ornaments with blank space above and below
E – Frank with side panels containing two parallel wavy lines
F – Scalloped outer frame, without side panels, papal seal at top
PO – Stamps generated only by meters used in the Vatican Post Office
  • For specialized information about the meter stamps of the Vatican, see Repertorio – Catalogo delle Affrancature Meccaniche della CITTA del VATICANO, 1998, Barberis, Consolini and Rassu, AICAM Publication no. 201.

GROUP A: Small upright rectangle with Papal seal at top[edit | edit source]

A1. Havas (MV), January 1933.   [$200]

Frank with single-line simulated perforation border, “POSTE/ VATICANE” at bottom.
TM straight-line at left with “L’ILLVSTRAZIONE/ VATICANA” slogan and 4-digit impression counter number above.
Although the latest date seen is 1 X 38, it is possible the meter was used until the newspaper ceased publication in 1940.
V/F:      ★0oo

NOTE: Proofs exist dated 31 XII 32. Although scarce they are somewhat more common than properly used stamps on cover.   [$100]

GROUP B: Horizontal frank with simulated perforation outer border and straight-line inner border. Panels at sides contain three vertical lines.[edit | edit source]

Sub-group BA: Side panel lines broken by a circle at center[edit | edit source]

BA1. Sima (MV), 1942.

Frank 30 to 32 mm wide, with single circle town mark about 35 mm to the left.
Slogan between TM and frank.
The entire stamp is contained in a double-lined box.
A. Slogan in center between TM and frank
B. The outer box is deeper and contains a slogan at bottom
V/F:      00.00   [$200]
V/F:      0.000   [One postally used example known, $500. Several proof are known, $200]

BA2. Sima (MV), 1949.

Very similar to Type BA1 but the frank is wider, ~35 mm.
“POSTE VATICANE” has dots or dashes at the sides.
V/F:      ★00.00 (one user known)   [$200]
V/F:      ★00.= (two users known)   [$25]

BA3. Lirma (MV), 1958.   [$10]

Very similar to Type BA1 but the distance between the TM and the frank is smaller, ~24-25 mm.
The frank itself is slightly narrower, ~28-29 mm., than BA1, and the value figures are much smaller.

The panel containing “POSTE VATICANE” does not touch the larger section below.
All examples seen have the Papal seal between the TM and frank.
Five users known.
V/F:      000
a. With “VIA / AEREA” added below frank

BA4. Lirma (MV), 1981.

Very similar to Type BA3 but without the outer box.
Spacing between TM and frank ~30-31 mm.
V/F:   000 (two users known.)   [$10]
V/F:      00000 (one user known)   [$25]

BA5. Lirma (MV), 1970.   [$10]

Similar to Type BA3 but the TM and frank are narrowly spaced, only 1 to 4 mm apart.
Narrow frank, ~26 mm wide.
The frank displaces the lines of the outer box.
User ID in bottom of TM.
Two users known.
V/F:      000

BA6. Postalia (MV), 1986.   [$10]

Similar to Type BA5 but the outer box lines are complete and are not broken by the frank.
The value figures are narrow, sanserif.
The bottom of the TM is blank.
Slogan is outside box at left. (not shown)
V/F:      0000

BA7. Postalia (MV)

As Type BA6 but without greater border around frank and TM.
Reported but not seen by the authors.
The illustration is a retouched photocopy that may not be true in all details.
V/F:      000

BA8. Lirma (MV), 1983.

As Type BA5 but without the outer box.
V/F:      000      0000
a. With Meter ID below frank: “Lmae 404”

BA9. Undetermined, probably Audion (MV).

Frank very similar to Type BA8.
“POSTE VATICANE” is sanserif, and the date figures are different.
V/F:      0000

BA10. Francotyp "Cc" (MV), 1977.

Very wide spacing without outer box.
Value figures oval, large and thick.
One user known.
V/F:      ◆000

BA11. Audion (MV), 1991.

“POSTE VATICANE” sanserif as with Type BA9 but taller.
V/F:      00000
a. TM and slogan boxed together.

BA12. Francotyp-Postalia (MV), 1993.

Wide frank. Panel at top does not have a bottom line completely across the frank.
The lines in the side ornaments are equal in length.
V/F:      00000

BA13. Neopost “Electronic” (MV), 1999.

Wide frank as with Type BA12, but “POSTE VATICANE” is narrower leaving blank areas at the sides.
The central line of the side ornaments is longer than others.
V/F:      00,00      0000

BA14. Neopost (digital).

Relatively narrow frank similar in size to Type BA11.
No panel lines at top or bottom.
The value figures are relatively large and located near the top of the inner box.
The date figures are much smaller than the value figures and located below the center of the town mark.
V/F:      00,00

Sub-group BB: Middle side panel line is much thicker than the others[edit | edit source]

BB1. Audion (MV), 1987.

Frank 33 x 28/29 mm.
Spacing very narrow, ~3-4 mm.
A. TM and slogan are contained within a single-line box with rounded corners
B. Without box around TM or slogan
V/F:      00000 (narrow but thick)

Sub-group BC: Lines in side panel line continuous, not broken in center[edit | edit source]

BC1. Audion (MV), 1988.

Frank nearly square, 27-28 x 26 mm.
V/F:      00000

Sub-group BD: Side panel lines with solid circle in center[edit | edit source]

BD1. Audion “6000” (MV), 1993.

Frank identical to Type BC1 except for the solid circle in the center of the side panels.
One meter in use from 1993 to 1997.
V/F:      00000

==GROUP C: Franks as Group B but side panels contain leaf design ==

Sub-group CA: Side panel leaves ornate with blank circles at top and bottom[edit | edit source]

CA1. Postalia (MV), 1957.   [$10]

Value figures within small box at center.
Narrow spacing between TM and frank, ~1-3 mm.
The entire stamp is contained in a double-lined box.
TM with or without user identification letter at bottom.
V/F:      0000 (narrow sanserif)
a. With “VIA AREA” above the town mark

Sub-group CB: Side panel leaves simple with small cross at center[edit | edit source]

CB1. Lirma (MV), 1968.   [$10]

Similar to Type BA3 but with different side panels.
Frank 27-29 mm wide.
V/F:      000
NOTE: An Italian meter, similar to Type CB1 but without the outer frame, is easily mistaken for a Vatican stamp because it contains the Papal seal between the TM and frank.

CB2. Postalia (MV), 1986.

Similar to Type CB1 but much narrower spacing between TM and frank.
With slogan at left outside box. (not shown)
One user known.
V/F:      0000

CB3. Lirma (MV), 1987.

Similar to Type CB1 but much narrower spacing between TM and frank, 1 to 3 mm.
No outer box.
A. TM large, ~27 mm
B. TM smaller, ~25 mm, and slightly raised. Frank is taller
V/F:      000      0000

Sub-group CC: Elaborate leaf and stem structure without breaks in the side panels[edit | edit source]

NOTE: See also Types PO1 and PO2 for stamps with this frank design.

CC1. Francotyp (MV), 1974.

Tall and narrow lettering of "POSTE VATICANE", with serifs, fills top panel.
Leaf and stem design in side panels leaves little white space.
Narrow spacing between TM and frank.
V/F:      ◆000.=

CC2. Francopost (Frama “M/E”) (MV), 1994.

The letters of “POSTE VATICANE” are larger than with Type CC1 and without serifs.
The design in the side panels is less elaborate than with CC1 and shows more white space.
V/F:      ★0000

CC3. Francopost (Frama “MailMax”) (digital), 2005.

Frank narrow than Types CC1 and CC2.
“POSTE VATICANE” is smaller and surrounded by a double inner frame with dots at the sides.
Value figures are quite large.
V/F:      00,00

Sub-group CD: Side panel contain four leaves, two above, two below, with nothing at center[edit | edit source]

CD1. Francotyp (MV), 1973.   [$25]

Side panels contain fancy leaves.
Small single-circle TM with “POSTE VATICANE” at top, blank at bottom.
“VIA AEREA”, 24 mm wide, above TM.
The stamp is contained within a double-lined box.
With slogan below inside box: “L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO”
V/F:   000 (A)

CD2. Francotyp (MV), 1975.   [$25]

Very similar to Type CD1 but leaves in side panels are simpler.
“VIA AEREA” above TM is narrower, 16 mm.
V/F:      ◆00 (thick, sanserif oval)

CD3. Postalia (MV), 1985.

Very similar to Type CD1, with fancy leaves, but without “VIA AEREA”.
The TM is slightly larger than with CD1, and the value figures are smaller and narrower.
V/F:      00000

GROUP D: The side panels contain a non-representational ornamental design with blank spaces above and below[edit | edit source]

D1. Audion (MV), 1986.

Spacing between TM and frank very narrow, ~2-5 mm
A. TM and slogan are contained within a single-line box with rounded corners. TM: SC
B. Without box around TM or slogan. TM: BIC
V/F:      00000 (narrow but heavy)

D1.1. Audion (MV).

Very similar to Type D1A but the frank is slightly taller, and the ornaments in the side panels are different.
The side ornaments have little balls at top and bottom.
V/F:      00000 (narrow but heavy)

D2. Neopost “Electronic” (MV).   [$10]

As Type D1 but frank is not as tall.
“POSTE VATICANE” is narrower.
V/F:      000      0000

D3. Pitney Bowes-GB “A900” series (MV), 1990.

Frank wider than Types D1 and 2.
V/F:      0000

D4. Pitney Bowes-GB “A900” series (MV).

As Type D3 but line under “POSTE VATICANE” extends across the frank.
V/F:      0000

D5. Francopost (Frama “M/E”) (MV).

Frank same size as Type D2 but “POSTE VATICANE” wider with line underneath extending across the frank.
Value figures thick.
V/F:      ★00,00

D6. Francopost (Frama “EPS”) (MV).

As Type D5 but value figures are not as large or thick.
V/F:      00,00

D7. Meter model uncertain, possibly Lerma (MV).

Similar to Type D6 but the frank is smaller and the value figures are quite narrow.
Value box has line at bottom.
V/F:      00,00

D8. Pitney Bowes (digital).

The side ornaments are narrower that found on previous Group D franks and have separated elements.
One column of numbers at left of TM.
Model number with "PB" prefix stacked between TM and frank.
Date figures without stops.
V/F: € 000,00

GROUP E: The side panels contain two parallel wavy lines[edit | edit source]

E1. Audion (MV), 1988.   [$10]

Frank 27/27 x 24 mm.
Spacing very narrow, ~3-4 mm.
V/F:      00000

E2. Audion (MV), 1988.

As Type E1 but frank is slightly larger, and “POSTE VATICANE” is taller.
TM and slogan boxed.
V/F:      00000

GROUP F: Scalloped outer frame line, without inner panels. Papal seal at top, “POSTE VATICANE” at bottom[edit | edit source]

F1. Frama “Sensonic” (MV), 28 January, 2000.

Frank is nearly square.
Four meters placed into use.
V/F:      ★0000

GROUP PO: Stamps generated only by meters used in the Vatican Post Office[edit | edit source]

PO1. Hasler (MV), 1958. Post Office stamp.

Frank design as in Sub-group CC, with leaf and stem design in the side panels.
“POSTE VATICANE” in top panel has a dot at each side.
Wide spacing between TM and frank, 46-47 mm.
With slogan consisting of the Papal shield centered between the TM and frank.
TM: BIC with “POSTE” at bottom
V/F:      ◆0000.=

NOTE: This stamp was cataloged as Type CC1 in the original paper version of this catalog.

PO2. Francotyp (MV), 2 February 1969.   [$500]

As with Type PO1 the frank resembles Sub-group CC stamps.
Small frank, 28 x 21 mm.
Box containing registration number between TM and frank.
Used for one month only, February 1969, and used only on registered mail.
TM: BIC with “POSTE” at bottom.
V/F:      ★★★00.=


  • Stamps of this design without a frame around the value figures are receipts.
  • This stamp was cataloged as Type CC2 in the original paper version of this catalog.

PO3. unidentified (digital), 1 January 2011.

Self adhesive label with design consisting of a partial perforated stamp outline containing "raccomandata(1)" at top and "Citta del Vaticano" in negative letters at bottom.
At left are the Vatican coat of arms above "POSTE/ VATICANE" and a code that includes the month and year.
Printed in black.
The stamp was produced by a special digital registered mail franking system available at five locations inside the Vatican, the main post office, a mobile post office, the Vatican Museum, the Swiss Guards offices, and one other internal office.
Although the stamp does not show the date or a postage amount the receipt shows both.
TM: nil
V/F: nil

NOTE: In addition to actual postage meters the newspaper L’Osservatore Romano used preprinted indicia that resemble meter stamps. They are found with date and postage value added by machine printer and also without the date and/or postage. Examples are shown below.

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