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New Acquisitions

A Letter from Venice

Preprinted, prepaid letter sheet. Venice, 1620

These numbered Venetian prepaid letter sheets are considered to be the first postal stationery sold officially. The letters “AQ,” a contraction of acque, are printed at the top followed by the 1608 statute issued by the city detailing the conditions for the repair and upkeep of the waterworks by the Collegio alle Acque. The 4 soldi surcharge on the cost of posting the letter provided the revenue for maintaining the waterworks. This system remained in operation until the end of 1797.
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