Focus: Ireland : The Ubiquitous Dog and Stag stamps.
Second Definitive Series 1968-1982
In 1966 the Irish Government organised an international competition for new designs for the definitive series. The winner of the competition was Heinrich Gerl of Germany and the Irish definitive issues were produced to his designs from 1968 to 1982. The designs are based on motifs from early Celtic Art.
These stamps were printed photogravure by the Government printers up to 1980. From 27 April 1981 they were lithographed by Irish Security Stamp Printing Limited.
The Dog and Stag
There are 47 differing designs of the Dog (Low Values) and the Stag (Middle Values) in the complete set.
from 1971 the watermarked paper for stamps was being phased out as stocks were consumed, ergo, the decimal values exist on both watermarked and unwatermarked paper, increasing existence of varieties to the basic 47 stamp set.
Dog: decoration on an early brooch in the national museum of Ireland.
Stag: from a suspended bowl from Lullingstone, Kent, now in the British Museum.