Volume 1, Number 4

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 1, Number 4                                                                                                                               April, 1999

A periodic publication for the members of the Éire Philatelic Association, the Irish Airmail Society, the Irish Philatelic Circle and the Forschungs-und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Irland e.V. The newsletter will be e-mailed to all interested members.

Published and edited by Michael Connolly

 Pillar Boxes
Joe Foley

Thought you folks might enjoy the following:

 >>>>>> Analysis: Postman Pat


I see that AnPost have just issued a new edition of stamps to commemorate various post boxes used over the last century and a half in Ireland. Very pleasant too. I’ve long had an interest in post boxes, and I have to confess that to me a post box is more than a hole into which you drop the odd letter and the odd bundle of Christmas cards. No, in the Irish scenario, a post box is a reflection of history.

Somebody bought me a present last week of a full sheet of the new stamps, knowing my interest in them and I duly framed the trophy and placed it on the mantelpiece. Every time I look at it, it does my heart good to see all those green boxes. I don’t care what Connolly said, when he scorned the idea of freedom as being no more than painting the boxes green, in aesthetic and political terms give me a green box any day over one of those red Royal
mail pillar boxes.

Mind you, the pillar box itself is an endangered species, if I’m not mistaken. Coinciding with the arrival of the stamps to celebrate the diversity of the boxes, I’ve noticed a few gaping holes in the streetscape where handsome round boxes once stood.  Ripped out by progress, the pillar box is being replaced by what can only be described as a huge iced lolly on a stick, green livery of course, but as shapelessly modern as the pillar box was strikingly historic. I’m worried.

What odds, you may ask, what shape the post boxes have? The important thing is that they can hold the letters secure until An Post arrives to collect them. Fair enough. But what of all the poor bewildered tourists who – in the mistaken and forlorn belief that Ireland has the greatest distribution of postboxes per capita in Europe – happily drop their holiday post cards into street litter bins, also painted a bright colour of green. I’m surprised the EC has allowed us to change the boxes unilaterally.  Or maybe the change is a directive. Maybe, soon, all the boxes will be replaced by the lollies and painted blue with yellow stars. I’m even more worried.

The collection of stamps just published shows four of the older boxes still in use; a tall square free-standing box, with a crown on top, one with SE (Saorstat Eireann) on the door, a fat double pillar box from the turn of the century and a hexagonal pillar box from 130 years ago. Crafty observers will note that all of the boxes are legacies of British rule in Ireland and throughout the country, on remote corners, sunk into ivy covered walls, or in once busy streets of villages in decline you’ll find these boxes. Many have crowns and VR worked into their crest, or ER or
GR…Victoria Regina, Edward and George Rex, titles as redundant in Ireland now as Tyrannosaurus Rex.  The boxes are a living proof of predators who once stalked our country.

The Saorstat Eireann box is really a Free State door attached to a British box, a mongrel, with the crown above and the liberated door below. While such transitional boxes are few and far between, there are seemingly thousands of the previous British boxes scattered all over the country.  In 1922, out went John Bull and in came Postman Pat; a slap of green paint covered the red and saved the fledgling state a fortune in replacing them.

Now, however, it looks as if a decision has been taken to modernize and replace old boxes. What is it all in aid of? Less cluttered streets? Uniformity? Preventing a rash of claims for back injury to postal workers? Who knows. What is clear, however, is that we run the risk soon of having one more vestige of British rule vanishing for ever, and in its place boring, PC street furniture. I never thought I’d see the day, but it’s come.  I don’t want them to go. I want them to stay. I liked Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian boxes. They said something to me, they told me my past, they reminded me of what we wanted to forget.  And they were prettier. Brits Out, that’s what I say, but leave
your boxes behind.

STAMPA ……Pre-1922 Irish Postal Rates
Dr. Joachim Schaaf

To answer a question you have mentioned: This year’s STAMPA will be during the first weekend in November (this means, Nov 5-7,1999), and this first November weekend is also planned for the next years.

As we are currently researching the Irish rates from 1840 until today, we are busy looking for original sources about foreign rates 1875-1922 (which in fact were UK rates) where we have many gaps to be filled.

During this period, there were UPU rates, non-UPU rates (for destinations not members of UPU), special rates for Commonwealth destinations, etc. etc., so we have many varieties.

Any support on this issue is very welcome, for example extracts on the particular Post Office Guides or directories, or Post Office Notices etc.

With best wishes,
Joachim Schaaf.

Éire Philatelic Association Annual General Meeting
Dave Brennan

Just read in Linn’s on page 20 an article referencing the Philadelphia National Show.  The prospectus is printed and a copy can be had by sending a stamped, self-addressed No.10 envelope to PNSE exhibits chairman, Stephen S. Washburne, P. O. Box 43146, Philadelphia, PA 19129.

This being the site of our AGM, I am asking our members to enter an exhibit.  Please contact me with the number of frames you will need so I can reserve same for the ÉPA.  Let’s make it standard practice to exhibit at our AGMs.

There is no better way to show the philatelic world what an interesting country Ireland is for collecting..


Flaw or Variety
Dan Dobrick

I obtained a cover a couple of weeks ago that has a small printing flaw that caught my eye.  It is similar to the 1 d map variety on the cover of The Revealer for Winter 1987, except is on the 2d SE issue and is located about 1 degree counter-clockwise along the frame.  Just thought I’d ask if this was anything you know about or is it (most likely) just a flaw on this one particular stamp rather than a plate flaw.


(Editor’s note:  This request was originally sent to Joe Foley and he was kind enough to pass it on.  Joe commented “Usually, but not always, the key is to find at least one more example and if at all possible to be able to position the stamp. This distinguishes a recurring flaw from a one time inking variation [which is still of  some interest in itself].”  Can anyone shed any light?)
—————————-Auction Action———————–

FAI Auction 66
Klaus Stange

(Editor’s Note:  I just received the following from Klaus.  It included, as an attachment, the text of the auction itself, so that I could bid on items without having to wait for the arrival of my copy of DIE HARFE journal.  It contains 262 lots of Irish material.  If you are a member of the FAI but not on Klaus’ E-mailing list, drop him a line.  For those of you who are not FAI members, check out their Web site at 
http://members.aol.com/irlandphil/fai.htm )

Dear friends,

……………………..Closing date for mail / e-mail bids is Thursday, 22 April 1999. This auction will be a live auction
    during our AGM weekend. As Manfred Schollmayer will not be with us before Saturday evening (24 April),  I shall have to do the work for this auction. I am leaving early on 23 April 1999 so be sure that I receive your bids early.

Best wishes

Klaus Stange

Whyte’s Auction of Stamps & Postal Hostory
Ian Whyte

Our next public auction is on 17 April and takes place in our galleries at 30 Marlborough Street, commencing at 2pm. The auction will coincide with the “STAMPANIA” show at the Riverside Centre, Dublin – so you have two good reasons to be in “the fair city” that weekend.  The entire illustrated catalogue is now available on: http://www.whytes.ie/auc0499/auc0499_contents.htm

Please feel free to download whatever you want from it.

Best wishes,
Ian Whyte
Whyte’s, 30 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Tel: (+3531) 874 6161. Fax: 874 6020

Most Popular Lots In E.P.A. Postal Auction #116
Joe Foley, Auction Manager

Auction #116 closed a few weeks ago and I thought it might be of some interest to report on the lots that created the greatest interest.  Leading the pack was the very last lot in the auction, lot 211 which was:

Small collection of approximately 264 stamps, Dollard & Thom wide and narrow overprints from the 1922-23 period [no 2/6, 5/ or 10/ present]. Collection includes used and unused singles, blocks and pairs showing broken and wide letters as well as cancellations of Dublin, Killarney, Brandon, Letterkenny, Londonderry, Ballsbridge,
Carlow, Dundalk, Kingstown, used singles and on small pieces.  There is one front. Some stamps on piece contain slogan cancellations such as “learn Irish” and “Invest in Post Office Savings Bank.” Postage dues are from 1925 issues including PD1 through 4. There are also five official pieces indicating the overprint “Rialtas Sealadach na Heireann..” Collection can form basis for study and expansion of overprints used during years 1922-3 and 1925
Fourteen bids were received on this lot. In the order received
they were:
    $ 50.00
    27.50 [bid came in at $29.00 and reduced to lower normal interval]
    30.00 [bid came in at $32.00 and reduced to lower normal interval]
The lot sold to the first bidder at $47.50, one advance over the last bidder.

There were two runner-ups, lots 180 and 206 each had nine bids.

Lot 180 was:
Various overprints on cover [46] chiefly 1/2d, 1d & 2d, mixed condition, circa early 1920s $10.00

Nine bids were received on this lot. In the order received they were:
    $ 50.00
The lot sold to the first bidder at $50.00, one advance over the second high bid of $47.50.

Lot 206 was:
Interesting lot of Irish receipts from 1700s & 1800s displaying a picture of commercial life in Ireland.  Included    are receipts, bills, etc., four with Inland revenue stamps [1d] with script cancellations. Includes copy of the Irish Farmer’s Journal [with red pence stamp at top, from April 27, 1822] about 15 items, mixed condition $10.00

Nine bids were received on this lot. In the order received they were:
    $ 20.00
    14.00 [bid came in at $14.50 and reduced to lower normal interval]
The lot sold to the third bidder at $21.00, one advance over the second high bid of $20.00.

May 14, 1999.  One hundred ninety eight (198) lots of Irish material.  Don’t miss it.  Get your bids in early.

Editor’s Note:  Auction Action will be a regular feature.  Let me     know of any auctions with significant Irish interest that you hear of.)
Editorial statement:

In today’s cyber-age, its only fitting that we interact in cyberspace. I can’t see any reason why the members of our societies should not join in. More and more of our members are now accessing e-mail and the internet.

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“Newsy” bits would certainly interest me personally and would seem to be ideal for a newsletter such as this.

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Brief articles or informational pieces would also be welcome.

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