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Greek Stamps

Definitives of 1862-1882

Greek stamps of the Large Hermes Head type continued to be produced through 1882.  During this time period, there were many different printings, with new denominations, changes in color, changes in paper type, and changes in production methodology.

Images of all these varieties will not be shown on this page, however they will all be described in the catalog detail tables below.

1862-1867 Athens (Consecutive) Printings
Scott #16-22


The seven Large Hermes Head type Greek stamps shown above were issued between 1862 and 1867.  They are typographed on unwatermarked papers of various tints, and they are all imperforate.

The stamps printed during this period are referred to by specialists as the Consecutive Printings.  They represent a series of printings for each denomination, up until the time the plates were extensively cleaned in 1868.  Impressions range from very fine and clear to coarse and blotchy.

Scott catalog detail for stamps without denomination numerals printed on the back side:

  • 01 L.  (1862 - Sc. #16,16a,16b) - Brown on Brownish, Red Brown on Brownish, Chocolate on Brownish.
  • 02 L.  (1862 - Sc. #17,17a) - Bister on Bister, Brownish Bister on Bister.

Scott catalog detail for stamps with denomination numerals printed on the back side:

  • 05 L.  (1862 - Sc. #18,18a) - Green on Greenish, Yellowish Green on Greenish.
  • 10 L.  (1864 - Sc. #19,19a,19c) - Orange on Bluish, Yellow Orange on Bluish, Red Orange on Bluish.
  • 20 L.  (1862 - Sc. #20,20a,20b,20c) - Blue on Bluish, Light Blue on Bluish, Dark Blue on Bluish, Blue on Greenish.
  • 40 L.  (1862 - Sc. #21,21a,21b) - Lilac on Bluish, Grayish Lilac on Bluish, Lilac Brown on Lilac Gray.
  • 80 L.  (1862 - Sc. #22,22a) - Carmine on Pink, Dull Rose on Pink.

1868 Athens (Cleaned Plate) Printings
Scott #23-29


The seven Large Hermes Head type Greek stamps shown above were issued between 1868 and 1870.  They are typographed on unwatermarked papers of various tints, and they are all imperforate.

The stamps printed during this period are referred to by specialists as the Cleaned Plate Printings.

Scott catalog detail for stamps without denomination numerals printed on the back side:

  • 01 L.  (1868 - Sc. #23) - Gray Brown on Brownish.
  • 02 L.  (1868 - Sc. #24) - Gray Bister on Bister.

  • 01 L.  (1870 - Sc. #30) - Deep Reddish Brown on Brownish.

Scott catalog detail for stamps with denomination numerals printed on the back side:

  • 05 L.  (1868 - Sc. #25,25a) - Green on Greenish, Yellowish Green on Greenish.
  • 10 L.  (1868 - Sc. #26) - Pale Orange on Bluish.
  • 20 L.  (1868 - Sc. #27) - Pale Blue on Bluish.
  • 40 L.  (1868 - Sc. #28) - Rose Violet on Bluish.
  • 80 L.  (1868 - Sc. #29) - Rose Carmine on Pale Rose.

  • 20 L.  (1870 - Sc. #31,31a) - Light Blue on Bluish, Blue on Bluish.

Scott catalog detail for stamps without mesh, printed on medium to thin paper, and with denomination numerals (except 1 L. and 2 L. denominations) printed on the back side:

  • 01 L.  (1870 - Sc. #32,32a) - Brown on Brownish, Purple Brown on Brownish.
  • 02 L.  (1870 - Sc. #33) - Salmon Bister on Bister.
  • 05 L.  (1870 - Sc. #34) - Green on Greenish.
  • 10 L.  (1870 - Sc. #35) - Light Red Orange on Greenish.
  • 20 L.  (1870 - Sc. #36) - Blue on Bluish.
  • 40 L.  (1870 - Sc. #37,37a) - Salmon on Greenish, Lilac on Greenish.

Scott catalog detail for stamps showing mesh, printed on thin transparent paper, and with denomination numerals (except 1 L. denomination) printed on the back side:

  • 01 L.  (1872 - Sc. #38,38a) - Grayish Brown on Straw, Red Brown on Yellowish.
  • 05 L.  (1872 - Sc. #39,39a) - Green on Greenish, Dark Green on Greenish.
  • 10 L.  (1872 - Sc. #40,40a) - Red Orange on Greenish, Red Orange on Pale Lilac.
  • 20 L.  (1872 - Sc. #41,41a,41b) - Deep Blue on Bluish, Blue on Bluish, Dark Blue on Bluish.
  • 40 L.  (1872 - Sc. #42,42a,42b,42c) - Brown on Bluish, Olive Brown on Blue, Red Violet on Blue, Gray Violet on Blue.

Scott catalog detail for stamps printed on cream or yellowish paperwith denomination numerals (except 1 L. and 2 L. denominations) printed on the back side:

  • 01 L.  (1875 - Sc. #43,43a-e) - Gray Brown, Deep Red Brown, Black Brown, Red Brown, Dark Red Brown, Purple Brown
  • 02 L.  (1875 - Sc. #44) - Bister.
  • 05 L.  (1875 - Sc. #45,45a) - Pale Yellow Green, Dark Yellow Green.
  • 10 L.  (1875 - Sc. #46,46a) - Orange on Cream, Orange on Yellowish.
  • 20 L.  (1875 - Sc. #47,47a,47b) - Ultramarine, Blue, Deep Prussian Blue.
  • 40 L.  (1875 - Sc. #48) - Salmon.

New Denominations
1876 Paris Printing - Fine Impression
Scott #49-50


Paris Printing - Clear Impressions - Without denomination numerals printed on the back side.

  • 30 L.  (1876 - Sc. #49,49a) - Olive Brown on Yellowish, Brown on Yellowish.
  • 60 L.  (1876 - Sc. #50) - Green on Greenish.

Athens Printing - Coarse Impressions - Yellowish Paper.

  • 30 L.  (1876 - Sc. #51,51a) - Dark Brown, Black Brown.
  • 60 L.  (1876 - Sc. #52) - Green.

Scott catalog detail for stamps printed on cream paperwithout denomination numerals printed on the back side:

  • 05 L.  (1880 - Sc. #53) - Green.
  • 10 L.  (1880 - Sc. #54,54a,54b) - Orange, Yellow, Red Orange.
  • 20 L.  (1880 - Sc. #55) - Ultramarine.
  • 20 L.  (1882 - Sc. #56,56a,56b) - Pale Rose, Rose, Deep Carmine.
  • 30 L.  (1882 - Sc. #57,57a) - Ultramarine, Slate Blue.
  • 40 L.  (1880 - Sc. #58,58a) - Lilac, Violet.

There are additional varieties of many of the Greek stamps reviewed on this webpage.  Consult the various Worldwide catalogs or the Vlastos specialized Greece catalog for further details.

The early Large Hermes Head Greek stamps can be very complex and difficult to identify.  When one buys any of these stamps, they should buy them from a dealer that has experience in cataloging and selling early Greek stamps.

As with any collectibles of substantial value ..... forgeries of early Greek stamps do exist.  If one is buying any expensive stamp of this era, one should make sure the items they are buying are guaranteed and / or certified.




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Greek Postage Stamps

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SBI!






The Large Hermes Head classical stamps of Greece could be a magnificent philatelic specialty.  They were issued over a period of more than 20 years, and they offer a wide selection of printing, shade, and paper varieties.  There are also many production errors, generally with the misplacement of the printed denomination numerals on the back of the stamps.

These classical Greek stamps are actually pretty scarce, especially nice appearing examples, yet they are very reasonably priced.  Most of them are in the double to triple digit pricing range, with very few of them being more expensive than that.  That is pretty unusual for the 19th Century stamps of any major country.


The Scott catalog listings for these stamps can be very confusing, and to the novice visitor, the listings could seem very intimidating.  Some of the major varieties look very similar to each other, and proper classification could mean the difference between a stamp that is worth a couple dollars and one that is very expensive!

For anyone considering a specialty in this series, I would strongly suggest getting a copy of the Vlastos Greece Specialized catalog (shown above).  The catalog is bilingual, in Greek and in English.  I have provided a couple links below.


Vlastos Greece Catalog at
vlastos.com


Vlastos Greece Catalog at
eBay.com