I wonder if there is any interest in this forum on the ‘Tessera’ (membership cards) and other paper ephemera of Fascist Italy? I am not a serious collector myself, but have picked up a few examples over the years. Apart from being relatively inexpensive, they appeal to me because there is such a wealth of different examples, representing the numerous organisations of the period, which in some cases changed their design on an annual basis. They also seem to me to be a good way into the aesthetics of the regime and its iconography, for example, showing the use of both classical references to the Roman Empire but also a great deal of so-called ‘art deco’ style, connoting Fascism’s strong identification with the modern. I’ve posted a couple of examples below, and wonder if any one else has an interest in this field?
Regarding the images, the top one is for the Confederation of Fascist Corporations, dated from 1926 and issued for the province of Udine in north-eastern Italy. It is perhaps notable that this example uses the conventional western dating system, albeit in roman numerals. The other one, for the Confederazione Fascista dei Commercianti (Fascist Confederation of Merchants), in Salerno, uses the more usual system based on years since the Fascist ‘year zero’ – the beginning of the new era – in 1922. Anno XIX = Year 19 = 1941. I’m sure that all this is well known to list members and add it for anyone who is even more of a novice that I am.