Greece’s first postage due stamps were issued on March 1, 1875. Curiously enough the Greek postal authorities had always had their postage due stamps printed in Vienna until 1902, although their ordinary issues had been printed at various places, but never at Vienna.
Above: 1875 1 l green & black.
Above: 1876 Redrawn with “Lepton” or “Lepta” in larger Greek letters.
The design was simple in the extreme. In an uncoloured circle are the figure of value, above which the Greek word, ‘LEPTON’, ‘LEPTA’, ‘DRACHME’, or ‘DRACHMAI’, as the case might be, and below ‘EISPRAKTEON’ or ‘EISPRAKTEA’, meaning “to be collected”: on a solid circular band around the centre circle inscribed ‘ENARITHMON CRAMMATOSEMON’ meaning “complementary postage stamp”. The rest of the design, which measured 20×24 mm., consists of a Greek border. The centre portion is printed in black at a second operation, the frame being printed in green, of which several shades can be found.
These stamps were printed by typography at the Austrian Printing Works at Vienna in sheets of 150 stamps. As a result the perforation varieties are legion. The following single-line machines were used: (1) 9, 9½, (2) 10, 10½ and (3) 12, 13; various compounds may also be found. All the values were also issued imperforate: probably the first supplies were delivered in this condition.
Owing to the centre being printed at a second operation, several values are known with inverted centres.
There is one rare variety of the 1 drachme to look out for. One stamp in the sheet, shows the “M” of ‘DRACHME’ quite broad instead of having all the strokes close together.