IN MEMORIAM: Eros Donnini (1928-2017)

Eros Donnini was born in Urbino, Italy, on 30 January 1928. He first frequented the local Academy of Fine Arts, where he specialised in engraving, and then went on to the Institute for Book Illustrations, where he would later teach design and engraving.

After having entered a competition by the Italian state printers in 1948, he became part of their engraving team in 1949, and moved to Rome. In 1952, his first engraved stamp was issued: the 60l value from the San Marino set marking the 500th birth anniversary of Christopher Columbus. His first Italian stamp appeared in 1959, the 35l from the issue marking the centenary of the Second War of Independence.

A long career followed during which Donnini engraved some 140 stamps, not only for Italy and San Marino, but also for the Vatican City. Even from his early work it is clear how talented Donnini was. The detail on his 1960 engraving for the Centenary of Garibaldi's Expedition to Sicily issue, for example, is incredible, with even the names of the ships in the distance being legible.

Courtesy of 'Nethryk' at
Among his later work, it was especially the stamps engraved for the Fountains and the award-winning Villas series, for which Donnini was praised. The Fountains series ran from 1973 to 1979 and was solely the work of Donnini, as was the Villas series which ran from 1980 to 1986. The ancient town of Spello even awarded honorary citizenship to Donnini after his engraved stamp of their Villa Fidelia was issued in 1983.

Because of the many stamps he has engraved, he has received the nickname Prince of the Burin.

Eros Donnini passed away on 19 March 2017.


  1. The Centenary of Garibaldi's Expedition to Sicily issue is truly stunning!! Love it!


    1. I know! there's nothing like a fully hand-engraved monochrome printed stamp, isn't there?!


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