2023 ELEUSIS. European Capital of Culture.

Card with rural “15” (7th month of use) and TEL. GR. ELEFSINOS (beginning of the second month of use), January 6, 1912. (A. Galinos collection)
Newspaper wrapper with 100×10 lepta Postage Due stamps, with rural “15”. The newspaper mentions the Corfu episode (September 1923), so the parcel must have been mailed somewhere nearby. (A. Galinos collection)

The HPS Medal

The Hellenic Philatelic Society medal for year 2022 awarded to Mr. Pantelis Leoussis for his significant services to hellenic philately.

Pantelis Leoussis

“The history behind the 25 lepta value of small Hermes head in the color of the 10 lepta” 

On Monday’s teleconference we will have the pleasure of hosting Mr. Ilias Tempeli’s presentation on:

“The history behind the 25 lepta value of small Hermes head in the color of the 10 lepta”.

Courtesy participation: Dr. Konstantinos Andrikopoulos, Associate Professor at the Department of Physics of the University of Patras, who will present the study of the Diagnostic Center of Works of Art “Ormylia”.

Presentation start time: 21:00 pm. Email hps@hps.gr for the relevant link.

100 Years of “Philotelia” Journal. On the threshold of 100 years of circulation

2023 marks an important anniversary for the Hellenic Philatelic Society, that of completing 100 years of continuous publication of the magazine “Philotelia”.

“Philotelia” is the 8th oldest (living) philatelic magazine in the world, with international recognition, as expressed by its awards at International Philatelic Exhibitions.

On the occasion of the anniversary, and as a sign of repaying the support of its friends, HPS is providing online the first and the last issue of “Philotelia”. You can find the issues by clicking the corresponding image.


Best Wishes

The 20-cent value of the Small Hermes Head Edition in red color, serrated 12 1/2 on three sides, due to leaf edge.

Canceled, exactly 123 years ago today, stamped “ATHENAI 24DEC. 1899”.

The Hellenic Philatelic Society wishes you Merry Christmas and happy 2023.

Stamp Booklet Service of the H.P.S

The Stamp Booklet Service of the H.P.S was established in September 1928.

As early as 1925 (Article 3) there was already a provision to this effect in its founding Stature. An important factor – that finally allowed it to operate – was the lease, in June 1928, of its first premises at 26A Patision Street (Roma House).

To this day the Stamp Booklets still remain the most traditional way of distributing philatelic material among our members.

The position of the Curator of Stamp Booklets was served with responsibility by important figures of the H.P.S, most prominently held by Eleni Leontopoulou.

Today and after a long break, due to the covid pandemic and the restrictive measures, the Stamp Booklets Service of the H.P.S has resumed its operation.

Manolis Koutsounakis, (contact email: hps@hps.gr), member of the Board of Directors, has been appointed as the Curator, whom our members can contact for receipt, control and disposal of material.

The Stamp Booklets currently will be available on every Wednesday during the opening hours of the H.P.S office.

The Regulations of the Stamp Circulation Service of the H.P.S (1928).


The first Stamp Booklet of H.P.S in 1928.


The first official seal of the Hellenic Philatelic Society (1925)

Handwritten pencil note: “2nd HPS essay approved”.

Historical archives of H.P.S.

The first, not adopted essay of the official seal of the Hellenic Philatelic Society (1925).

A unique treasure!

📍 Copy numbered “404” of the collection of François Fournier forgeries, also known as “Forged Stamps of Geneva” is now digitalised and, for the first time, available to the public.

👉 You can browse the collection which is divided into five parts in the HPS Digital Library here: https://hps.gr/index.php/en/fournier-forged-stamps-album-number-404/ .


This publication is a life’s work!

📌 It is the result of a long, intense and methodical research. Mr Nikos Mallouchos’ quiet dedication, was paramount in gathering information both from postal and archive material, which came to fruition with the release of his book. His book looks into a novel subject that has not been examined before, therefore little has been known about this chapter of our postal history which promotes the philatelic research. It is titled “Ancillary post marks” and it comes to cover a gap in the existing Greek philatelic bibliography.

📚 The author, has magnanimously decided to offer free access of his book to all philatelic enthusiasts and it has been uploaded to the Hellenic Philatelic Federation site (https://www.efo.gr/philatelic-books). It can be accessed, printed or/and downloaded free of charge, to whoever wishes to do so.

👏 The philatelic community is grateful to the author for his tireless work and dedication.


An offer for everyone!

All five volumes of the digitized indexes of “Philotelia” from 1924 to 2008 have been posted and are now available to the public through our website. The first four volumes in pdf format while the fifth is text searchable.

Click here to read them.


Next HPS online meeting

The next webex HPS meeting will be held on Monday 27 of June 2020 at 9:00 pm. Nikos Karniaoutakis is going to talk about:

“Law 2749 – Year 1922 / 100 YEARS SINCE FIRST COMPULSORY LOAN”.

❗ Send an e-mail to HPS  hps@hps.gr and ask for the corresponding link.

Speech by Mr. El. Tempelis: “The Publications of the Hegemony of Samos 1878 – 1912”


Photo from the presentation of Elias Tempelis with subject: “The Stamp Publications of the Hegemony of Samos 1878 – 1912” which took place in the H.P.S. premises on Wednesday 15 June 2022 and attracted great interest from our members. Of coarse, the canceled copy from the First Edition of the Shield of the Hegemony of Samos (one known until today) caught the audience’s eye, as well as the uncanceled sheet from the same Edition (two known to date).

Below you can see the presentation (in Greek).

Next HPS online meeting

The next webex HPS meeting will be held on Monday 13 of June 2020 at 9:00 pm. Myrsini Vardopoulou is going to talk about “Olympus”.


❗ Send an e-mail to HPS  hps@hps.gr and ask for the corresponding link.

Important Distinctions of Hellenic Interest Philately in Helvetia 2022

Α. Κaramitsos : «Hellas 2020», LI 90 G
Th. Αrvanitis : «The Prephilatelic period of the Hellenic Postal Service», PH 86 LV
C. Chazapis : «Greece: The 4th of August regime (1936-41)», PH 85 LV
Ν. Κarniaoutakis, «Large Hermes Heads of Greece Observations on Identifying and Classifying the “easier”
Α. Galinos : «The French Army of Morea, 1828-1830», OF 92
Α. Papadopoulos : «Commercial Zeppelin Letter mail to/from South America in 1936», OF 90
L. Fanchini : «The Fakes & Forgeries of the Large Hermes Head of Greece», OF 86
P. Cangelaris : «The Mafeking Blues 1900», OF 85

Hellenic Philatelic Society warmly congratulates the winners.

Next HPS online meeting

The next webex HPS meeting will be held on Monday 30th of May 2020 at 9:00 pm. Antonis Manoloudis is going to talk about “A short postal history in Athens of 1929”.

❗ Send an e-mail to HPS  hps@hps.gr and ask for the corresponding link.

Historic Presumption of H.P.S.

The Board of Directors after the appointments on April 27, 1930 at its 26a building on Patision Street.

Bottom (from left to right): D. Kitroev First Vice President, A. Bairas President, C. Glenis Second Vice President.

Above (from left to right): A. Zervopoulos G. Secretary, T. Konstantinidis’ Superintendent, K. Angelou Spec. Secretary, S. Makrimichalos Commissioner to the journal, I. Soliotis Dean, K. Kalfarentzos Treasurer.

Photography: A. Syropoulos (EFE 222).

Note: The table of the photo is used till today for the meetings of the H.P.S. Board of Directors.

Philotelia Award

🏅 Philotelia, journal of Hellenic Philatelic Society, earned a Vermeil medal in the Literature Class at London 2022.

An upcoming meeting held in English

❗ Send an e-mail to HPS  hps@hps.gr and ask for the corresponding link.

“Announcement of Α. Virvilis as Chairman of the Centennial Celebration Committee”

The Board of Directors of the Hellenic Philatelic Society at its meeting on March 22, 2022 unanimously decided to appoint the Honorary President of A. Virvilis, Chairman of the Centennial Celebration Committee of the journal “Philoteleia” (1924) and the Hellenic Philatelic Society (1925) to proceed with its formation.

In the photo, the Honorary President A. Virvilis, between the Vice President A. Galinos (left) and the President A. Manoloudis (right), in a modest ceremony that took place in the lobby of H.P.S. on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in the presence of members of the Board and friends, receives the relevant order.

“Classification of Large Hermes Head stamps using AI”

The next teleconference meeting of HPS members will be held on 2 May 2022 at 9:00pm with Dimitris Papitsis talking about: “Classification of Large Hermes Head stamps using artificial intelligence”.
❗ Send an e-mail to HPS  hps@hps.gr and ask for the corresponding link.

The “Neoklis Zafeirakopoulos Library”

7 February 2022

On 6th February 2022, the outgoing President of the Hellenic Philatelic Society, Ioakeim Chalvatzidopoulos, revealed a plaque naming the Society’s Library Room hereinafter as “Neoklis Zafeirakopoulos Library” celebrating the memory of Neoklis Zafeirakopoulos.
Neoklis Zafeirakopoulos, apart for being for many years in charge of the Society’s Library, was a prominent philatelic scholar, an astute thinker and an outstanding personality.
Photo: Ioakeim Chalvatzidopoulos (left) and Theofanis Zafeirakopoulos

NOTOS 2021 – Exhibition Catalogue

6 November 2021

The Exhibition Catalogue (132 pages) has been uploaded on the exhibition website.
Because of its size, it is available in
low definition (10 MB) and
high definition (108 MB).
Recommended page display of the pdf file: “Two Page View”

Tony Virvilis was awarded with the European Philatelic Merit Medal by the AEP

9 June 2021

A few days ago the European Academy of Philately announced its annual awards for 2021:
– The European Philatelic Merit Medal (Mérite Philatélique Européen / MPE) was awarded to Tony Virvilis (Greece).
– The European Parliament Prize was awarded to Christophe-A. Frassa (Monaco).
– The Literature Award went to Serge Kahn (France) for his work Jean-Baptiste Charcot en Antarctique. Dont le courrier façonne l’histoire / Jean-Baptiste Charcot in the Antarctic. Whose Mail Documents Its History.
– The Post Horn by editor Claudio Manzati (Italy) was selected as the best magazine.

Borders, Sovereignty, Stamps – The changes of the Greek territory, 1830-1947

19 April 2021

From 1830 to 1947, the Greek nation grew in various phases, sometimes without absolute certainty. Most of the time, the borders of Greece were permanently secured, in others they were drawn occasionally or ineffectively. They were always associated with the program of national homogenization and national integration, but also with the geostrategic aspirations of the Great Powers. Occupation, domination, co-ownership, compose the intricate shape of the genealogy of a stormy and bloody adventure that runs through the Greek territory before it took the shape we know today.

The postage stamp, either Greek or foreign, is a mark and a means of exercising power, occupation or domination of the territory that became – or did not become – Greek. A strong symbol and message for who exercises political and institutional control over the land, the postage stamp, like the postmark, is associated with every corner of Greek territory once found on one or the other side of the border.

A brand new book by Professor Konstantinos Tsitselikis, published by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation (https://www.laskaridisfoundation.org/en/)

The Large Hermes Heads – A Specialised Catalogue

29 March 2021

Stephano A. Calliga produced yet another masterpiece. Its title says it all: Stamps of the Large Hermes Head in 19th century Greece – Detailed Study – Specialised Illustrated Catalogue. It is indeed a specialised catalogue of the first issue of Greece. “A unique presentation in full colour of all conceivable variety of shades – mint, used, on cover and multiples, previously published or not – and an attempt to consistently price both classical philately and postal history rarities alike”, as mentioned by K. Papathanassiou in the introduction of his presentation of the book in Philotelia.

The book is written in English, in A4 format, spiral-bound, with xvi+212 pages. One of its remarkable features is certainly the 2600 meticulously prepared and presented colour stamp illustrations.

25 March 2021: We celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence (1821-2021)

20 March 2021

Athens, Monument of the Unknown Soldier (photo: ©athensattica.com)

200 years after the Revolution

5 January 2021

These are the first two commemorative stamps of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 1821. They depict the logo of the “Greece 2021” Committee and will be placed in circulation by the Hellenic Post on 28 January 2021.

“L’Empire Lauré”

19 November 2020

New book “L’Empire Lauré”, for the stamps of Napoleon ΙΙΙ, by our member Michèle Chauvet RDP, and member of the Académie de Philatélie (French Philatelic Academy). Available from JF-B Philatelie.

More than 300 richly illustrated pages dedicated to this edition that everyone would think they know… The best sources were sought: The archives of the Paris Mint, responsible at that time of the postage stamps production, which are now kept in the Postal Museum. The dies and the printing plates are presented. Documents unknown to most philatelists were studied and reproduced.

As in her previous works, Michèle Chauvet cites her sources accurately, something that should inspire other writers as well. A book for lovers of philately, with no prices or signs of rarity. Those who read it will not regret their purchase. They will have discovered another world, the world of knowledge.

2500th anniversary of the Battle of Thermopylae

8 November 2020

New stamps from the Hellenic Post were released on the 3rd of November in order to commemorate another major moment in the course of the Greco-Persian wars of the 5th century BCE: the Battle of Thermopylae, only a month earlier than the Naval Battle of Salamis. In this battle, General Leonidas of Sparta and his 300 warriors fell to the last man in defending their homeland, the ideal of heroism and self-sacrifice.

Leonidas’ portrait was designed and engraved by Yiannis Gourzis, professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts.
The other three stamps and the two miniature sheets were designed by Ms. Myrsini Vardopoulou PhD, artist, engraver at the Hellenic Post.
Stamps’ size: 35×45 mm, miniature sheets’ size: 75×90 mm

Stephanos Calliga writes history

15 October 2020

The 1861 20 lepta plate of the Large Hermes Head had been dismantled sometime at the dawn of the 20th century, as indicated by Tryphon Constantinides in his Etude in 1933. The pieces were initially kept in the National Printing House during the early years and subsequently in the Philatelic and Postal Museum following its establishment in the 1970s.
Out of the 150 clichés, 121 have survived to date, the rest are still missing, since at least the days of the Etude, where the missing pieces are clearly mentioned.

In 2019, following a NOTOS 2021 OC inquiry at the Philatelic and Postal Museum, permission was granted to attempt the reconstruction of the plate. Stephanos Calliga, a renowned connoisseur of the Large Hermes Heads, undertook the task to study thoroughly and exhaustively the 121 clichés in order to plate them.
On 14 October 2020 he had verified the plate position of all 121 loose pieces.

2500th anniversary of the Naval Battle of Salamis

18 September 2020

New stamps from the Hellenic Post will be released on the 22nd of September in order to commemorate a major moment in the course of the Greco-Persian wars of the 5th century BCE: the Naval Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE. This was a victory against all odds for General Themistocles, a turning point of a long series of battles, which marked the permanent retreat of the Persian army back to their homeland.

Themistocles’ portrait was designed and engraved by Yiannis Gourzis, professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts.
The other three stamps and the two miniature sheets were designed by Ms. Myrsini Vardopoulou PhD, artist, engraver at the Hellenic Post.
Stamps’ size: 35×45 mm, miniature sheets’ size: 75×90 mm

NOTOS 2021 Partners address the video conference of 29 June

1 July 2020

During the 3rd “NOTOS’ friends” annual gathering, which this year took place via video conference, among the live briefings by the O.C. members, also presented were the video addresses of NOTOS 2021 valuable partners, i.e. the ones of:
Mr. Andreas Pachatouridis, Mayor of Peristeri (click here, in Greek)
Mr. George Konstantopoulos, CEO Hellenic Post (photo) (click here, English subtitles)
Mr. Manolis Georgoudakis, Philatelic and Postal Museum (click here, in Greek)
Ms. Amalia Pappa, Deputy General Director of the General State Archives (click here, in Greek)
Mr. Asteris Karamitsos, A. Karamitsos International Auctions (click here, in Greek)

During the Covid-19 days…

22 May 2020

On 15 April we started regular teleconference meetings for our members. During the six sessions we had until last Wednesday 20 May, we enjoyed:
(a) Rare photographic material from Abdul Hamid’s II visit to Thessaloniki in 1909, by George Thomareis
(b) “The history of postcards”, by Nikos Varouxis
(c) “The two Balkan Entente issues of 1938 and 1940”, by Haris Chrysostomou
(d) “The German Feldpost in Aetolia-Acarnania in 1943-44”, by Yiannis Skarmoutsos
As long as the HPS premises remain closed, a teleconference will be held every Wednesday night, from 8:30 to 11:00 pm.

Significant moments in wine history by Christos Gikas

20 February 2020

It was all about wine yesterday evening at the HPS premises. Christos Gikas has a deep knowledge of the subject and he is a great Thematic collector. We enjoyed stories on Charlemagne, Philippe Auguste of France, Francis Drake, Thomas Jeffferson and Winston Churchill to just name a few. In between, we had the chance to make our acquaintances with the four Grand Crus of the 1855 initial classification, namely the Château Lafite, Château Latour, Château Margaux and Haut-Brion.

Anthony Manoloudis on Aspiotis’ stamp sheets inscriptions

20 December 2019

On Wednesday evening (18/12), the HPS Secretary, Anthony Manoloudis, talked about his favourite subject: The Aspiotis printers and the 1911 definitive set, with emphasis this time on the stamp sheets inscriptions, the perforations in general, the black perforations, a peculiar essay on carton paper, as well as related issues like the 1910 never issued anti-tuberculosis stamp, Queen Olga’s contribution to charities etc.

The postage-stamp as a marker of territorial changes of Greece

14 November 2019

Yesterday evening in the HPS premises the presentation was about borders, territorial sovereignty, postage stamps and how the change in territorial sovereignty is made visible through the use of stamps as symbols of political power.
Konstantinos Tsitselikis (left), professor at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, was the keynote speaker. Nikos Sigalas, historian, researcher at CETOBaC, Paris, and Ms. Myrsini Vardopoulou, artist, engraver, designer of Greek stamps, were also in the panel.

Two presentations by Louis Fanchini in the HPS

19 October 2019

Louis Fanchini traveled from France to Greece in order to visit Sfakia, his great-grandparents’ birthplace in Crete. During his 10-day trip, he visited the HPS premises on two consecutive Wednesdays and made two outstanding presentations on his favourite subject: the Large Hermes Heads (LHH). The first on 9 October titled “How to start an LHH collection” and the second on 16 October titled “The fabrication of the LHH”. Louis spoke in English, while there was instant translation in Greek.

Costumes of the Mediterranean

8 August 2019

This is the latest set of stamps released by the Hellenic Post. They are part of the Euromed series, issued every year by the countries-members of “The Postal Union for the Mediterranean”. The stamps were designed by Dr. Myrsini Vardopoulou and were placed in circulation on 15 July 2019. The stamps are candidates for the 2019 Euro Med Postal stamp of the year. You can vote here as long as the contest is still on: https://euromed-postal.org/Philately/Voting

The Small Hermes Heads in Edition d’Or

8 July 2019

Volume no. 56 of the celebrated series Edition d’Or of the Global Philatelic Network was presented during Stockholmia 2019 by Dieter Michelson (Managing Director of Heinrich Köhler) and Karl Louis (Managing Director of Corinphila). It is dedicated to Anestis Karagiannidis’ Large Gold exhibit “Greece – Small Hermes Heads 1886-1901”. The 153-page hardbound book, of 34×25 cm format, is sold at 79 CHF by the publishers.

Louis Fanchini wins the Grand Prix in Phila-France 2019

25 June 2019

In the French national exhibition Phila-France 2019, staged in Montpellier from 7 to 10 June, our member Louis Fanchini was awarded 96 points, a Large Gold medal and the Grand Prix of the exhibition with his five-frame exhibit “The production and the postal use of the Large Hermes Heads of Greece (1861-1886)”. In the accompanying photo, L. Fanchini (left) receives the Grand Prix, a vase manufactured in Sèvres, along with the written congratulations of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, from the General Secretary of the Prefecture, Pascal Ortheguy, who represented the office of the President of the French Republic.

Elias Tempelis on the “E.T. ΣΜΥΡΝΗ” overprint

15 June 2019

On Wednesday, 12 June, we welcomed in the premises the former member of the Society and former member of the Administrative Council, Dr. Elias Tempelis, Professor of the Naval Academy, who presented his research on the 1919 “E.T. ΣΜΥΡΝΗ” overprint. Among the slides, the speaker showed a number of documents of the High Commission and the Postal Sector 902 (Base of Smyrna), which validate the story of the overprinting and the single-day sales of the overprinted stamps.

Jenny and Norman Banfield in Greece and the HPS

23 May 2019

Yesterday evening, we had the pleasure to welcome in the HPS Jenny and Norman Banfield from New Zealand. Getting back from Essen 2019 and on their way to Stockholmia 2019, they had very wisely decided to spend two weeks in Greece. Jenny was very kind to present and talk on her Open Class exhibit, Medicine – Its History and Development, which was last exhibited in Finlandia 2017 and was awarded a Large Gold medal.
Jenny is Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand (FRPSNZ), a national juror, President of FIP Maximaphily Commission, exhibiting as well in Revenues and Open Class. Her new exhibit in Revenues, Taxed from the cradle to the grave, was awarded a Large Vermeil in Praga 2018. Norman is Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London (FRPSL) and the Royal Philatelic Society New Zealand (FRPSNZ), a FIAP juror, Acting President of FIP Aerophilately Commission, exhibiting as well in Postal History. His exhibits, Russia – Censorship of Mail 1878–1920 and Russia – Airmail Services 1922-1950, have both been awarded with Gold medals in FIP exhibitions.

An evening of gratitude in the HPS premises

9 May 2019

Donor N. Asimakopulos (right)
and G. Sotiropoulos (left)
Donor V. Sekopoulos (right),
President of the Philatelists of Athens,
and G. Sotiropoulos (left)

Members and friends got together yesterday evening in the HPS premises, in order for the OC to express its gratitude and present the donor’s Hermes Club pin to each one that has responded to that day to the call for financial support to NOTOS 2021.
At the opening, Ioakeim Chalvatzidopoulos, HPS President, welcomed the guests, and was followed by Costas Chazapis who presented briefly the progress of the preparations and the short-term targets as set by the OC.
Next, George Sotiropoulos, Hermes Club Director, handed the pins to the donors, while Nikos Mallouchos was on the roll call. The list included 25 names plus 3 anonymous and fortunately enough most of the recipients were present. The ones who could not make it will receive their pin in a future occasion.
(More photos here)

The HPS in the pages of “Kathimerini” daily

9 April 2019

On Wednesday 27 March we had the pleasure to welcome in our premises Miss Ioanna Photiadi, a fine journalist of “Kathimerini” daily. She was briefed on the history and activities of the Society, was shown around the premises and had long talks with several members on various philatelic matters.
Two weeks later, on Tuesday 9 April, in page 8 of “Kathimerini” her six-column article was published under the title “The stamps reveal stories” with three photos. In late afternoon of the same day the article was uploaded on the daily’s website in Greek (read it here) and on Tuesday 16 on the paper’s website English version (read it here).

FEPA News website publishes NOTOS 2021 OC Newsletter No. 2 on the “Magnificent Seven”

7 March 2019

Titled “NOTOS 2021: the “Magnificent Seven” will be exhibited for the first time” the FEPA News website reports on the confirmation of the Philatelic and Postal Museum, Athens, to exhibit to the public together for the first time the seven printing plates of the Large Hermes Heads (read it here).