On September 29, 1987, the Vatican issued a series of stamps commemorating the inauguration of its Philatelic and Numismatic Museum. The series consists of two values: 400- and 3,500-lire.
The 400-lire stamp depicts the interior of a philatelic room in the museum. At the lower left appears a reproduction of the 5-centesimi value of the first series of Vatican City stamps, issued on August 1, 1929.
The Philatelic and Numismatic Museum of the Vatican City State, which previously existed as a state collection, is located in fifteenth-century rooms adjoining the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The museum brings together the entire philatelic and numismatic production of Vatican City from 1929 to the present, including postal cancellations, sketches, typographical plates, plaster casts, castings in bronze that illustrate the various states of production of stamps and coins. There is also a philatelic retrospective view of the Papal States on exhibition, consisting of original material of the period.
The stamps are horizontal in format, measure 40 x 30 mm, with a perforation of 14 x 13 1/4. At the top of each stamp appears the inscription MUSEU FILATELICO E NUMISMATICO. The words POSTE VATICANE and the value appear along the bottom.
The Italian State Polygraphic Institute and Mint printed 450,000 complete sets on white chalky paper in multicolor rotogravure print. They were issued in sheets of twenty. Patrizia Gabriele designed the illustrations.