Volume 2, Number 2

Irish Philatelic Newsletter

Volume 2, Number 2                                                                                                                          February, 2000

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

Looking for Exchange Partners 
Lech Jasiak

I am looking for exchange partners in Ireland.  As you know I am very interested in Irish stamp material. I would like to find someone to exchange with.  I am offering Polish stamp material in exchange.

Thank you very much,
Swieciechowska 43
64-100  LESZNO, Poland

IMP 13 – Millennium Greetings

On 11 January 2000, a “wavy lines” “slogan”  was used for machine 1 at 4 p.m..  The usual “Millennium Greetings” slogan was in use at 2 p.m. and again by 5:30 p.m. so the “wavy lines” slogan was short lived. Why it was used like this I have no idea. I have seen but the one example of this IMP 13 “slogan”.

The usual “Millennium Greetings” slogan was in use on machine 2 on all the slogan for yesterday that i have seen for that machine.



Re: Covers from India

Editor’s Note: An article  entitled “Covers from India” from  Stan Challis appeared in vol.2, no.1, January 2000 issue of the newsletter.  The following is a response from Ken Sanford.

Ken Sanford

This [the first cover illustrated and canceled 18 Dec.1937] is a cover from the Imperial Airways crash of the Short S.23 flying boat “Cygnus” at Brindisi, Italy on 5 December 1937.  It is listed in “Recovered Mail” by Henri Nierinck, which is the “bible” on air crash covers.  The cachet is type ‘b”, which is fairly common.  Mail to Ireland and postage due covers are unusual.

The “T” was more than likely applied in Ireland because the stamps were soaked off.  Under the Universal Postal Union regulations, post offices are not supposed to assess postage due to covers which have lost their stamps because of an accident.  Obviously an over-zealous postal clerk was not aware of such regulations, or ignored
them.  This is the first time I have seen postage due applied to an Imperial Airways crash cover to a country other than New Zealand.  The post offices there quite often applied postage due to Imperial Airways crash covers from other crashes which were carrying mail to New Zealand, when the stamps were missing.

Best regards,

Ken Sanford
Geneva, Switzerland 

Re: Covers from India

Editor’s Note: I sent Ken’s response to Stan and he replied with the following message.

Stan Challis

I find myself having to disagree with such an eminent authority as Ken Sanford.

The crash information has been verified by another correspondent.  My thanks for this.  The problem lies with the T in circle.  This was a standard Indian type; unless I am mistaken, the circular type was not used in Ireland.  No doubt someone will prove me wrong, but I am fairly sure on this.

If the Irish post office had wanted to treat the item as completely unpaid (which might have been logical [Ken’s]  other comments noted), postage due for surface mail of 4d would have levied in Ireland.  On the other hand, if it had been determined that the whole air mail postage of ?8 and a half annas had been unpaid, this would have converted as 9 and a half pence sterling (1 rupee equaled one shilling and sixpence at this time) and therefore, in theory at least, 1/7d postage due to pay.

No, I am sure it was just the 10 gold centimes that was due, as marked by the Indian authorities, converted to 1d. The  Irish Post Office would not have raised an internal charge in gold centimes – this notional currency was only used for charges between nations, never internally, not even, I believe, in France.

Best wishes

Stan Challis

Cork Hammerhead
Stan Challis


Most readers will probably have seen at least an illustration of the experimental Hammerhead postmarks of 1923 even if they do not possess one themselves. In fact, after having had the opportunity to examine some 20 copies of the Cork (CORCAIGH) postmark, I am of the opinion that the postmark may not necessarily be as scarce as is sometimes suggested.

Three offices are known to have used the hammerhead  Cork, the subject of this survey, Dublin and Dundalk. The latter is probably the scarcest. The postmarks are very possibly of German origin and were in a design similar to that in daily use in much of Germany at the time.

The earliest date seen for Cork appears to 6 April 1923.  I have some doubt as to the latest date.  It appears to have been used at various times of the day ranging from 11.30 a.m. (several) to 2.15 a.m. (1 example). The Hammerhead was by no means the only postmark used at this time in Cork�s sorting office. The substantial majority of standard size letters were canceled by machine and at least two other handstamps were in regular use. The sorting office handstamps can be told by their showing the time; those in use on the counter (possibly as many as seven) have a star (*) where the time would normally be shown. Thus the Hammerhead was probably used on no more than 5 to 10% of outgoing mail.

I have recorded the following dates (all 1923):-

6, 12, 13 and 28 April, plus 2 unidentified April dates
2, 5, 7 and 26 May
3, 9 and 12 June
30 July (2 � apparently from different items) and another July item (a single stamp) with the first figure of the date missing, the second being an 8.
27, 28 and 29 October
plus what may read 13 December 1923; this is more worn the earlier but the month of use is not clear in the datestamp.

In his book �Irish Postmarks since 1840� Mackay shows this postmark with a date of 31 December 1923, so perhaps that is the last known date.

I conclude from this that usage may have not been continuous, with seemingly a three month gap from late July to late October. Would readers who have examples please be good enough to check the dates of your copies and revert to me please? 

Finally, for the record, I have seen the Hammerhead canceling the following stamps:-
Rialtas ‘Thom’ 1/2d
Rialtas �Wide� 1d
Saorstat 1/2d, 2d and 4d.
Definitives 1/2d and 2d (the commonest).

From the same source has appeared a Cork postmark which I have not seen before, this also of continental appearance. The date is 22 May 1923.  An example is attached.  Does anyone else have a copy?  Measurements are � outer ring 25mm, inner ring 17mm with bar approx. 12mm in length. The example I have has perfin �G�.

Stan Challis

John Barry
Brian Warren

Maurice Barrett passed on a cutting from the local Wexford paper (“The People”) of January 12th which stated that there was a campaign on in the USA to have a joint issue for his 200th death anniversary in 2003.  An Post were non committal. No response it seems from USPS as yet.

Brian Warren

ÉPA Meeting in Germany
Dr. Joachim Schaaf

I enclose a short note about our small ÉPA meeting here in Germany with a picture showing the participants.

Best wishes,
German chapter meets in Darmstadt   by Joachim Schaaf

Jan 29, 2000, an unofficial meeting of Irish philatelists and postal history enthusiasts took place in Darmstadt, 30 km south of  Frankfurt, Germany.  It was planned for our local/regional chapter of the FAI but turned out to be a national meeting because important people from other parts of Germany came to join us. Thus, it could also be considered a meeting of the German chapter of the ÉPA with Hans Bergdolt, Otto Jung, Hans Moxter and myself.  I am in favour of such “local” meetings which I enjoy very much.  Most members brought parts of their collections which they explained to the others, or some duplicates to swap. And – as it was in a nice restaurant – we enjoyed good food and good beer …

Greetings to all ÉPA members !

Hans G. Moxter, Dr. Joachim Schaaf, Otto Jung and Hans Bergdolt at the Darmstadt meeting.

The Irish Times on Stamp Values
Michael Connolly

I just recently came across this article and thought it might be of interest
Irish Times   Friday, July 16, 1999 

Irish stamps can make first-class prices 

THE COLLECTOR: Joe Armstrong 

What prices are being realised for stamps in Ireland and how might you go about estimating what your own stamps may be worth?

A recent Dublin auction of stamps and postal history, which fetched £30,000 overall, is a good indicator of the kind of values being fetched by stamps at auction in Ireland.  For instance, one collection of stamps from Argentina, comprising stamps from 1858 to 1970, sold at Whyte’s of Marlborough Street, Dublin, on July 3rd for £2,400 to a Buenos Aires dealer.

You can look up stamp values in reference books such as the authoritative Stanley Gibbons catalogue. But the values given there may be considerably higher than that which owners would receive by selling their stamps, according to Mr Ian Whyte, director of Whyte’s auctioneers.

For instance, an 1888 to 1972 collection of Canadian stamps was sold at the recent Whyte’s auction for £1,300 to a Kildare collector. Mr Whyte says that if you added up all the prices for the stamps in that Canadian lot in Stanley Gibbons, it would come to more than £6,000 sterling. But in fact Mr Whyte fairly accurately estimated the lot at £1,200, just £100 less than it actually fetched.

“We estimated it at £1,200 so that’s a lot less than the catalogue, but you’ve got to remember the condition might be a bit mixed. Most dealers are selling Commonwealth stamps at around about half catalogue, sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more. It also depends on whether the stamp is hinged or unhinged. . . But some dealers, you would see them charge only a tenth of Gibbons,” he says.

The standard is there “but people work on percentages of it”, considering the Stanley Gibbons valuation as retailers might regard a recommended retail price (they can and do sell below it. “But there are other factors that come into it. You’ve got to remember that things are second-hand so the nearer it is to perfect the nearer it’s going to be to full catalogue.”

That £6,000 plus sterling value could pertain “if everything in it was perfect”, he says.

Stamp collectors are “very sophisticated”, and they study catalogues in great detail, he says.

A single stamp, a black £1 Postal Union Congress 1929 in mint condition, described by Mr Whyte as “one of the most popular British stamps”, was acquired at the recent auction by a Dublin collector for £600, which exceeded its estimate by £100. “But remember it cost £1 in 1929, which was a lot of  money then,” he says.

A set of eight misspelled “Erie Puist” labels, “forerunners” produced for propaganda reasons by American sympathisers after the 1916 Rising (although not valid stamps), sold for £340 to a collector in Wales, exceeding the £300 estimate.  Had the eight not been split, they may have fetched £400 or £500. “Some of the Irish labels are the most valuable in the world,” says Mr Whyte. One 1930 Shannon Scheme first-day cover sold to a Donegal collector for £550, while a second one went to a London collector for £600. That stamp is of particular interest because of confusion over the precise date of issue and its rarity.

But even relatively recent stamps can be valuable. A 1976 Irish 15p stamp celebrating the US Bicentennial, which had no silver printing on it, estimated at £400, sold for £500 to a collector in Saudi Arabia. “Éire” and its “15” pence value were absent from the stamps, and the astute original purchaser, having noted the error, immediately went back to the post office and bought the full sheet of stamps. 

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