An Post Breakfast Stamps Ailbhe Dollard featuring Nicholas Mosse Stamp

 Nicholas Mosse Stamps by Ailbhe Phelan,  An Post Edition

Ailbhe’s collection includes not only a full spread of Irish breakfasts and a nod to fellow potters but conveys a sense of Ireland itself - its landscapes and views, as well as the warmth of hospitality that we’re known for.



We’re absolutely delighted that one of our most classic patterns – Old Rose – features in one of An Post’s Special Issue stamps. The Irish Breakfasts collection is created by home grown illustrator and designer Ailbhe Phelan. Ailbhe has not only captured the fabulous tastes and smells of Ireland at breakfast time, but a real sense of place - the brush of the sea breeze and the feel of the dewy morning air.



Nicholas Mosse Stamp by Ailbhe Phelan An Post Edition

 Ailbhe says she chose the Old Rose bowl because “it looks such a happy, pretty bowl and brings joy to any breakfast table!. I like pottery that feels balanced in the hand.”



From an artist’s point of view, I’m used to applying imagery to the confined and very specific shapes of pottery we make, and while I’m not stamp collector, I do find incredibly fascinating to work out how such a tiny, tiny frame of an image can tell so much about where it is from and the when it is sent. Such a range of subjects often fills these compact spaces to showcase national flora (a personal favourite!) and fauna, commemorations and celebrations. Stamps are wonderful windows of history and of geography, and I suppose in this case, anthropology, through the national ritual that is breakfast. 


Nicholas Mosse Pottery Bennettsbridge Ireland

Nick enjoying his larger than life (though not quite billboard size) presentation print of Breakfast Porridge stamp. Of her choice of props and locations Ailbhe says she “felt it was important to weave Irish elements into the stamp story and all those elements have personal meanings to me.”
Stamps must be the smallest of printed marketing materials. It has to be said that there’s much power in something so small over say, the giant, ever-changing digital billboards of Time’s Square, purely because it’s tangible. We can make a human connection with it, touch it, hold it up close to discover more details, and, feel its presence. This is also true of printed photographs that exist as objects on shelf here or a wall there rather than as many a digital file unseen in our phones. I also refuse to give up all my CDs (and the wealth of miniature artworks on each of their covers) for a purely digital ‘record’ collection.
I love the thought of how far and wide these miniature artworks travel from sender to receiver. They certainly often kindle a moment of nostalgia in me when post arrives from long-lost friends around the globe. It’s amazing that something so diminutive and unassuming can also be so exotic and evocative. Given that not so many letters and postcards are sent these days it does make them all the more precious. Long live philately! Looks like I might have just talked myself into starting a stamp collection…
Susan Mosse