16 July 2020
EUROPA 2020 — Ancient Postal Routes
Date of Issue: July 16, 2020
Value and Quantities: N (108k) W (83k)
Illustration: Orlagh Murphy
Size: 51mm x 30mm
Paper: TR 102gsm Yellow Green Phosphor PVA Gum
Make-up: Sheetlets of 9
Perforations: 13.25 x 14
Printing Process: Lithograpgy
Printer Royal Joh. Enschedé
Original release date scheduled for 16 May 2020.
Each year, postal administrations across Europe produce stamps to a central theme bearing the Europa logo and the theme for 2020 is Ancient Postal Routes.
On July 16, 2020, An Post issued on the theme of ‘Ancient Postal Routes’ as its contribution to European Post Offices (PostEurop) annual pan-European EUROPA philatelic project.
Designed by Red&Grey, the stamps and FDC are based on illustrations by Orlagh Murphy. Taking inspiration from religious art, using a quadriptych (four quadrant layout), the stamps tell the journey of a letter from the letter writer to the receiver during the Middle Ages.
The images on the first stamp (N rate) feature both the author of the message and the message being carried overseas by boat. The images on the second stamp (W rate) feature both the message being carried over land on horseback and the delivery of the message to the recipient.
Inspired by an archival drawing, Orlagh Murphy’s illustration on the FDC depicts a map of the European travel route of Giraldus Cambrensis (c. 1146 – c. 1223). The route shows how he travelled from Dublin to Rome via Paris.
Giraldus Cambrensis was a prolific writer and and influential figure in the twelfth century Renaissance, a period of social, political and economic transformation of Europe. He wrote “Topographia Hiberniae” as an account of the landscape and people of Ireland, circa 1188.