David Feldman from his parent’s house in Rathfarnham and later in his first office at Leinster Road started the amazing journey with Irish postal history and Irish stamps with his two award-winning books the ‘Handbook of Irish Philately’ by David Feldman in 1968 and the ‘Handbook of Irish Postal History To 1840’ by David Feldman and Bill Kane in 1975. These early publications were the foundations for the two wonderful collections we are bringing to the market at the Winter Auction Series on December 6th, 2023 with approximately 340 lots of postal history, essays, and stamps.


It is with eminent pleasure that we are offering to you the first parts of both the Des Quail Large Gold Medal-winning collection of Irish postal history and the Barry Cousins collection of Irish Essays and Overprints. Both these gentlemen have signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelist of Ireland hence the letters after their names RDP(I).


Postal History of Ireland from 1591 to 1865

The Desmond Quail RDP(I) Collection: The unique characteristic of the collection is the quality of the strikes and the aesthetic beauty of each item. As an art teacher, Des was influenced by the visual impact of each cover he acquired. It had to be visually pleasing to the eye. He adhered to the criteria that the handstamp had to be 95%-100% clear as if canceled to order; This practice was followed in a disciplined manner when building his collection. As a member of the Irish Philatelic Circle from the early 1970s, Des was able to source 19th-century items, mainly from Northern Ireland, in their auctions. However, the publication of the ‘Handbook of Irish Postal History To 1840’ by David Feldman and Bill Kane in 1975 provided him with so much information about the handstamps of Ireland, especially the different types, that he was able to progress to the next stage of his collecting journey. After a period of time, he had amassed enough material to give displays at the local Philatelic societies in the 1990s. Fast forward to 2016 and after many different versions and rewrites of the collection he went to New York in 2016 and was awarded a World Large gold medal and 96 points 
–  a first for philately in Ireland.

Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 30475 – The earliest recorded Free for the whole of the British Isles

Estimation: 1’500-2’000 GBP

Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 30488 – 1762 Folded cover from Norwalk via Belfast to London – The earliest usage of the Belfast SHIP handstamp.

Estimation 800-1’200 GBP

Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 30525 1828 (July 28th) Folded cover sent from Dublin to Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, and redirected back to Dublin

Estimation – 700-900 GBP

Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 30531 – The Famous Window Man. One of only two usages from the year of 1829.

Estimation – 1’200-1’600 GBP

The Essays and Overprints

Barry Sidney Brian Cousins RDP(I) (3rd January 1942 – 18th April 2023): His vast estate is dedicated to the Essays and his in-depth study of the Irish overprints. Barry’s expertise in many areas of Irish Philately is well known and he was most generous with his time when it came to assisting fellow philatelists. His most important contribution to Irish philately has been his studious and academic publications, all of which he has generously donated to various philatelic institutions including the Irish Philatelic Circle Web site, American Philatelic Society Research Library, and the Royal Philatelic Society London. Barry’s work won several gold medals at STAMPA and other International Stamp Exhibitions, and he has written many articles for Irish Philately, The Revealer, Gibbons Stamp Monthly, etc.


Barry’s research endeavors took him into the archives of the British Postal Museum, Irish Security Stamp Printing Ltd., and An Post to find little nuggets of information that have provided extensive details. As you peruse through the sections of Essays and Overprints offered in the over 200 lots from lot 30588 to 30804 you will see much of those studious details in the items he acquired, that are now for sale. Strength in the study of the Essays with die proofs, plate flaws, multiples, and perforation errors. The overprints continue with an outstanding offering of proofs with many large multiples, plus all the various printings from Dollard and Thom with singles mint, used, and multiples showing a vast array of major and minor varieties to both plate flaws and overprints.


Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 30637 -1/2d green, proof overprint in red, mint, and mint nh lower left corner sheet marginal block of six

Estimation – 1’000-1’400 GBP

Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 30768 – 5s rose red, mint nh right sheet marginal block of four showing spectacular diagonal displaced overprint variety

Estimation – 1’000-1’500 GBP

Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 3076910s gray-blue, with perfect “S” in Postage showing double overprint, one inverted

Estimation 1’000-1’500 GBP

Ireland stamp - auction sale

Lot 30782 10s dull grey blue, from the broken “S” plate, minor variety showing “Needle Eye” accent over “É” of “Éireann”

Estimation 1’500-2’000 GBP

This auction and catalogue will hopefully be kept as a record of two wonderful collections from Ireland.

The David Feldman team strives for excellence in the lotting and promotion of every property entrusted to us. We invite you to visit us in person or via the Internet to examine and determine those lots which may be of interest to you. We wish you success with your bids and satisfaction with your purchases.

These lots will be auctioned on December 6th, 2023. 

View the lots online and place your bids now!