October

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The Stamp of October

Establishment of the Universal Postal Union

OCTOBER 9, 1874

Stamp of the year 1950, class 1000 drachmas from the commemorative issue for the 75th Anniversary of the World Postal Union

Designer: Ioannis Kefallinos

Printing: Engraved issue -Recess “Aspioti-ELKA”

Paper: Pale yellow and coloured in the front

Watermark: Crown

Perforation:     13 x 13 ½

Tirage:              2,672,049

F.D.C :               3,000

Date of circulation:   May 21, 1950

 

The Universal Postal Union – UPU (Universal Postal Union, and in French Union Postale Universelle) was founded on October 9, 1874, by the Treaty of Bern. It was initially called the General Post Union and aimed at the smooth and coordinated postal communication between states, according to detailed rules of procedure. UPU mutually committed its members to facilitate the handling of mail at no extra charge and recognise other countries’ stamps.

From 1947 UPU joined the U.N., maintaining its headquarters in Bern, with the participation of all member states of the Organization. The Union aims to continuously improve the quality of postal services through international cooperation, providing advice, mediation and technical assistance in this direction.

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At the International Postal Congress in Paris in 1948, it was decided that the members of the Universal Postal Union would issue in 1949 a commemorative stamp to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Union’s founding. A competition was announced for the publication’s design in Greece, which did not yield the expected results. The Hellenic Post Office commissioned the stamp’s design to the Fine School of Arts professor Ioannis Kefallinos (1874-1949) inaugurating then their collaboration which lasted until 1954.

The theme of the stamp is “The teenager of Marathon”. Τhe teenager was a  bronze statue of a teenager winner of races found in Marathon in 1927 and dated back to the 4thc. B.C. This stamp was honoured twice: in 1950, as the most beautiful stamp of the commemorative issue in the world and its proclamation as one of the ten most beautiful stamps of the year by the Philatelic Review Stamp Collector’s Annual in London.