Direkt zum Inhalt Direkt zur Hauptnavigation

History of italian airmail

Flight and zeppelin mail at Felzmann in the auction - Historical documents of great importance for the history of early aviation.


Great captains and pioneers of italian aviation

With 95 lots, our spring auction presents an exquisite selection of envelopes and documents which celebrate the greatest Italian aviation pioneers. Alongside world-famous Italian legends such as Umberto Nobile or Italo Balbo, there is a man whose incomparable ingenuity has remained an inspiration right up to the present age of space travel. Prof. Gaetano Arturo Crocco has built more than 30 airships and published over 200 scientific papers. Nevertheless, his name is definitely less well known than the name of other pioneers. He is also one of only two Italians inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame at Alamogordo in New Mexico. We exclusively present museum front pages, letters, patents and even technical airship drawings on this aviation and rocket pioneer Crocco. Please note that a collection can also be found under lot number 8375 of the separate collection catalogue.

Here you can save the catalogue section of the Italian Airmail as PDF file.

From airship into space - the brilliant scientist Gaetano Arturo Crocco 

Lettercard to Captain Crocco, 1907, letter, Brief
Lot 3044, auction 168 - airship M1, 1918, special flight for donations for a children hospital.

General Gaetano Arturo Crocco was a key figure in the development of aerodynamic science in Italy and around the world. He began his research with studies on the stability of airships and completed them in the middle of a project which was to take man into space.

Gaetano Arturo Crocco (b. Neapel, 26th of October 1877; d. Rome, 19th of January 1968) was an Italian officer, scientist and teacher and a pioneer of aviation and rocket propulsion. He graduated in electrical engineering in 1904, published numerous scientific studies during his academic career, filed 30 patents ranging from aerostatics to navigation and from aviation to rockets, and invented about 50 different tools for aviation.

Pläne eines Zeppelins, Luftschiff, Militär Luftschiff, Gaetano Arturo Crocco, Zeichnung, Skizze, Pläne
Lot 3026, auction 168 - 1912, complete set of a construction plan of the military airship P4.
Crocco 1913 Airship, M1, Zeppelin, Luftschiff
Lot 3037, auction 168 - photo card shows the airship M1.
Lettercard to Captain Crocco, 1907, letter, Brief
Lot 3013, auction 168 - letter card written to Gaetano Arturo Crocco on technical and aerodynamic aspects.

Captain Nobile - Polar flights with Italian pioneering spirit

Polar Flight Airship Norge 1926,
Lot 3068, auction 168 - Polar flight with the airship "NORGE" 1926, cut out of the outer skin of the airship. 

With the polar expedition of 1926, Captain Umberto Nobile and the Norwegian polar explorer Amundsen reached the North Pole with the airship "NORGE". After a 70-hour flight they reached the American continent and landed in Alaska. This unique museum object represents the Italian pioneering spirit and the time of discoveries at the beginning of the 20th century.

Airship Italia, Captain Nobile, part of canvas, Teil Stück aus Luftschiff
Lot 3071, Auktion 168 - airship ITALIA / NOBILE, parts of the outer skin, signed by Giuseppe Biagi, a survivor of the expedition to the North Pole.

Equally unique is a part of the outer skin of the airship "ITALIA / NOBILE" with which Captain Nobile started a research expedition to the Norpol in 1928. On the return flight the airship crashed onto an ice floe, parts of the cabin were torn off. The airship flew on with some crew members and was never found again. Captain Nobile survived with parts of his crew for 49 days in the ice. They managed to send a distress radio signal, which was picked up by a hobby radio operator. During a rescue operation Amundsen crashed his plane and died. Nobile and his crew were finally rescued by another rescue team.

General Italo Balbo - great rarity of the Italian airmail

You will also find covers of first flights from the 1930s, a document with personal signature of General Italo Balbo as well as a great rarity of the Italian Airmail in outstanding condition, a document of the North Atlantic flight Crociera 1933 with triptych "SERVIZIO DI STATO" on real flown registered letter "IL PODESTA DI MILANO".

Balbo Squadron flight, Crociera Nors Atlantico, triptych, Milano
Lot 3075, auction 168 - North Atlantic flight Crociera 1933 with triptych "SERVIZIO DI STATO".
Balbo mass flight Tryptich, Airmail, Chicago, 1933
Lot 3076, auction 168 - Mass Flight Triptych 5.25 +44.75 L "I-BALB", with personal signature of Gen. Italo Balbo and Ten. Col. Stefano Cagna.

Place your bids in the online catalogue 

Click here to go directly to the online catalogue.

Would you like to bid live at the auction? Register as a live bidder or come to our auction hall in Düsseldorf.

Your zeppelin collection at auction?

Would you like to sell your airmail & zeppelin collection? Then you are right with us. We have the experience and the right buyers. Let us advise you without obligation. Make an appointment with one of our philatelists.

Your experts for Philately

Auktionshaus Felzmann
Immermannstraße 51
40210 Düsseldorf

Phone:+49 (0)211 550 4416

Here you will find information on the following topics:

How to deliver?
Inherited stamps
Having stamps evaluated
Valuable or worthless stamps?