Irish stamps

Stamps—masterpieces in miniature

Few people who buy stamps realise just how much work and skill have gone into producing those little pieces of coloured paper. Yet, ever since 1840, when the first Penny Black was issued, artists, engravers and printers have been combining their skills to produce what are in effect works of art in miniature.

At first, the designs were quite formal: a monarch’s head, a national symbol or a post horn. Gradually, however, the subject range expanded and now new stamps, often relating to a current cultural theme or event, are regularly issued.

Since independence in 1922, the Irish Post Office has created distinctive and attractive stamps which reflect the customs, culture and character of the Irish people. Examples of these are shown below.

To see some of the stamps on display in the Letters, Lives and Liberty exhibition in the An Post Museum, watch this video.

The Penny Black                            Definitive Stamp                         Commemorative Fashion Stamp