Euro-Cuprum 2001, (Loubin, Poland)

st_euro01_7_lThe catalog of exhibition


A long time ago there came into my possession an Olympic stamp, specifically a 25 Lepta/1896, with an entirely exceptional variety of perforation.

My over 50 years experience in the area of Olympic Philately and the follow-up that I performed in subjects related to this area, drove me to the conclusion that the above case is unrecorded (unpublished) in any Hellenic or foreign stamp catalogue. In addition I never met this item in any Museum exhibit or in any display at World Stamp Exhibitions in which I participated or visited up today.

The case, as I mentioned above, is concerns the special perforation of the 25L/1896 stamp, which is (partly) double in the lower left part of the stamp, parallel to the perforation of the long side of it (Photo 1).


Some existing catalogues, report the 1896 Hellenic Olympic issue varieties of double, partial or complete lack of perforation in only 3 values (2 Lepta, 2 DRH and 10 DRH). During the last 50 years, the following have been exhibited in Exhibitions, or appeared in auctions:









A/2 LEPTA: 7-8 stamps with full double perforation in the lower part of the stamp. In two cases, this variety appeared in the block of four stamps always in the bottom row of stamps (photo. 2); all other sides of the stamp(s) have regular perforation. From the above, once only and only one stamp was used (See D. Feldman Auction 19/9/97, Lot No 40039).

B/2 DRAHMAE: Variety with narrower the small side of the stamp, obviously attributes to movement of the perforating comb (possible double perforation). This variety appeared only once, in a pair of stamps, so the width difference was easily recognized. The pair was signed by Pfenniger, and later I was asked to signed it also, which I did (see D. Feldman Auction 16/9/97 Lot. No. 40082).

1. mint pair (once in my collection; photo 3);
2. mint block of four (see Olymphilex'85 catalogue, page 59; photo 4)
3. used single stamp (see D. Feldman February 1999 Auction, Lot No. 60082, photo 5) with partial regular perforation, rest part imperforated.

C/10 DRAHMAE: With lack of vertical perforation. I know this variety only by description; I never seen this variety in a Philatelic Museum or in an exhibition.


The example of the 25Lepta/1896 stamp with the partial double perforation, that I describe today for public record has a close similarity to the already known case of the 2 DR/1896 and can be compared with it.

In the case of 25L/1896 stamp, a second perforation runs (length 13 holes) towards to the interior of the stamp, from left to right, and is parallel to its lower regular perforation. If it had progressed further it would have reduces the surface area of the stamp, also the size of the narrow side (photo 1). Although such cases are sometimes in the Olympic issue of 1906, the 25Lepta/1896 appears to be the only one worldwide up today. It is possible this perforation continued to the left stamp, which could have been a pair with the existing stamp (similar to the already known block of four 2 DR/1896) but there is no record anywhere in the world up today.

The rarity of this stamp becomes reinforced because the postman at the counter did not see or ignored the irregularity, and the stamp was postally used. In rarity terms used examples are likely to be more difficult than similar mint ones.

Note: To complete this article I must mention the case of the 1 DRAHMI stamp.

I have seen a photocopy of an example with a second horizontal perforation, almost in the middle of stamp's surface. Since it was not the original I cannot give a firm opinion as to its authenticity (photo 6).





However the overprinted stamp 5Lepta/lDrahmi (1901 period) does exist with vertical perforation, which separates the stamp in two equal parts, and is genuine. This perforation variety doesn't exist on the unoverprinted stamp lDrahmi 1896 issue (see my study in the Olymphilex 2000 catalogue, page 116).

Last Updated on Monday, 27 December 2010 10:10

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