Italy : Diplomatic Conference on International Air Law


Issue date: 29/09/1952



Savoia-Marchetti S.M. 95C (4‑engine with propeller) over the Coliseum ancient amphitheatre in Roma; in the background, poles with flags. Watermarked.                                       


Reverse of the above stamp showing the watermarks: winged wheel third and round form; watermark #277 according to Scott catalogue.


Variety with aircraft touching the Coliseum.


Variety with aircraft largely above the Coliseum.



Variety with white spot in the centre of lower front part of the Coliseum.


Gutter block of four stamps. With Control Number.

Watermark in the gutter: POSTE ITALIANE.


Gutter pair – Upper side of sheet. Watermark in the gutter through the selvage: POSTE ITALIANE.

Block of 10 stamps (upper side of sheet) with marginal inscriptions.


Full sheet of 50 stamps.


First Day Cover: Venetia cachet Nr. 156 – Black and olive-green; Pegasus. There is a stamped number on the back of the cover.

More information on Pegasus can be found by clicking on the following link: The Power of Flight and Peace Symbols.


Back of above cover with hand-stamped number and following inscription: Complete list of Venetia F.D. Covers on “Il Collezionista” Turin.


First Day Cover: Coliseum and airplanes.

It is very interesting to recall that this cover is dated in 1952; however, the two 4-engined jets had not flown yet. The top one looks like a Convair 880 (made its maiden flight on 27 January 1959); the one at the lower-left looks like a Douglas DC-8 (first flew on 30 May 1958).  

As regards the propeller aircraft, the one at the most-left looks like a Convair 440 (maiden flight on 6 October 1955), while the aircraft on the lower-right looks like a Vickers Type 630 Viscount (first flew on 16 July 1948). 


FAO special cancel.


First day of issue: Rare cancellation of Ministry of Interior – Roma Branch 66.


The stamp was utilized for the 4th Philatelic Week held in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy from 27 to 30 September 1952. Cancel dated 29 September 1952.


Souvenir card. This card was prepared for the 9th National Philatelic Meeting held in Roma, from 6 to 8 February 1954.


Reverse of the above card.


Background: The Diplomatic Conference on International Air Law, convened by ICAO in Rome, Italy (in the FAO Palace) at the invitation of the Italian Government, met from 9 September to 6 October 1952. This Conference adopted a new air law convention on damage caused by foreign aircraft to third parties on the surface. Delegates or observers representing thirty-two countries and seven international organizations attended it.

In acting as host to the Conference, the Italian Government followed a precedent set almost two decades before, when it was also host to the Third International Conference on Private Air Law which drew up the Rome Convention of 1933 on damage caused by aircraft to third parties on the surface. A further conference in 1938 drew up the Brussels Protocol regulating certain insurance aspects of the 1933 convention. The new convention constituted a revision of these instruments and was the result of several years’ work by the ICAO Legal Committee. In drafting the new convention, account was taken of the legal and economic problems arising from the tremendous development of international air transport.

More background information on this issue can be found by clicking on: The Rome Convention and its modernization.

This stamp from Italy issued on 29 September 1952 for the Diplomatic Conference on International Air Law was overprinted with AMG‑FTT (Allied Military Government ‑ Free Territory of Trieste) by the Allied Military Government of U.S. and Great Britain (see details at the following link: Trieste A - Diplomatic Conference on International Air Law).

Note on the watermark: There are three types of Winged Wheel watermarks as shown by this illustration. Type 1 is oval in appearance and can be indistinct. Type 2 is only used for certain recess printed stamps. Type 3 is usually much clearer and is more circular in appearance.