Revenues of Fiume

There are two major European cities that share a history of constant political change. Danzig in the north is at the border of the German and Russian areas of influence and has changed political affiliation many times, with incarnations as Polish/Russian dominated, German dominanted and independent. In southern Europe, Fiume is a philatelic entity at the northern end of the Adriatic sea which has formed a border between the Austro Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Italian area of influence. Fiume too has seen major political changes.  In the post Napoleonic period, Fiume was part of Hungary, which operated under the jurisdiction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Fiume was the major port for the Hungarian section of the Empire. WWI saw the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Fiume was wrested from Hungary and given to Italy to administer (Hungary was left without a port and without a navy which created the anomaly that the WWII era leader of Hungary was a former naval officer Admiral Horthy-so you had a country without a navy ruled by an admiral).

The Italians issued many stamps for Fiume which make for very interesting collecting. We have sold many better Italian area Fiume stamps and covers over the years but today I saw something I have never seen before-a collection of Fiume Revenues. They are very rare but like most revenues outside the US area not very avidly collected and so sell for only a few dollars a piece. This group has both Italian and Croatian influenced issues (Fiume is now part of Croatia). One of the things I’ve always wondered about is whether life changes much for people living in places like Danzig or Fiume when the political alliegence change, or whether it is more like what happens when your side loses an election-a bit of grumbling, the impression that things are certainly worse, but not much substantive change.

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