I know, it's been a while, but I've been sort of busy and I've had a few computer hick-ups, but everything is more or less back on track, so high time to get going again! And what better way to end a messy period than with a messy set! And for this I'm taking you to Istria! Don't worry, I didn't know either at first where Istria was, so here's a little map, and if you still don't know, think east of Italy.
During the second world war the Istrian peninsula was Italian but large parts were occupied by Yugoslav partisans who issued overprinted stamps. The Italians followed suit by producing their own overprinted stamps, for use in Istria and Pola (Pula on the map), but these were not issued. However, four of those received another overprint and these were issued, on 1 July 1945. And now you know what I mean with messy!
This 4l on 2l on 1l violet (can you make that out? I suppose any postal staff would have problems with it!) is from the original 1929 Imperiale definitive set from Italy, and depicts Julius Caesar.
But wait, it gets worse! The 20l on 1l on 50c was also originally from that Imperiale set, but had already been overprinted for use in Mussolini's Italian Social Republic. It depicts the then King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III.
The 10l on 0.10l on 5c brown was a stamp issued by that same republic and depicts St. Ciriaco's Church in Ancona.
The final stamp, depicting a drummer and the slogan "To Arms!", was also from the republic and has been changed into a 6l on 1.50l on 75c.
Now I believe that all these stamps were superseded by the AMG-VG sets that were issued in September 1945 when the peninsula was officially split up with zones under the control of either Allied or Yugoslav forces. This leaves the messy set with a lifespan of say three months, which might explain why you may never find them on cover. Or are they just too messy to be real, and mainly produced for us???? You tell me!