Here’s a question, when are stamps most unwelcome? The answer of course is when the stamps are Postage Due stamps, added to an envelope which when held in the hand of your postman is a sign that you must run around your home to find money and pay a fine for someone else’s mistake! The deficient postage fine was a feature of the mails right from the start and the earliest covers relied on manuscript markings or even special cachets to warn your postman to obtain money from you before handing the letter over. As soon as postage due stamps began to appear then stamp collectors wanted them, usually printed by the same printers they are closely reminiscent of postage stamps and indeed are often postage stamps with special overprints. The rarest postage due, issued at the Italian Post Office in Peking in 1918 is the best example of this.