One of the most important areas of classic philately with many of the greatest names in stamp collecting having formed important collections, the first Greece stamps were printed in Paris and issued on 1st October 1861. However, the plates were subsequently transferred to Athens, where printings were produced from November 1861. These imperforate classical stamps are known by philatelists as the “Large Hermes Heads”. In 1886 a smaller, less impressive design was issued called the “Small Hermes Heads” series, initially printed in Belgium production moved to Athens and perforations in various gauges are known as well as imperforates. The first pictorial issue was for the 1896 First International Olympics, it's classical Greek designs highly regarding amongst philatelists.
Perhaps the rarest stamp of Greece is from the Large Hermes Heads series, the 1870-71 40L ‘Solferino’ is an unusual lilac-rose colour apparently matching a shade created by the mixture of blood and tunic seen in the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino. A turbulent history with many local uprisings saw the Turkish sultan propose a rectification of the frontiers in July 1878 and in the many conflicts that followed. The Balkan Wars, WWI and conflicts with Turkey we see many wonderful and unusual stamps issued! WWII saw invasion by Italy and Germany but Greek stamps continued to be used throughout the territory until independence was regained in October 1944.
Sandafayre are highly respected as the leading expert and the global authority in the field of rare stamps, highly collectable stamps, postal history, collections and entire estates of collectables. We have stamps for sale from Great Britain, The Commonwealth and countries worldwide. Sandafayre buys stamp collections and are philatelic auctioneers. We sell stamps to philatelists and stamp dealers from all over the world. Sandafayre holds online stamp auctions every week, and we also hold public auctions of stamps and stamp collections.