cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Friday, October 20, 2006

You know the famous Oscar Wilde quote.. something along the line of when you are bored of London you are bored of life.. well I think it was Wilde.. anyway, same has to be true for Machins. Don’t you think.

So much has been written on these stamps, but I think the following might be on interest to you. Many thanks to Roy (Machin Man) from the IPDA for this piece.

In the early 1960s the stamp advisory commission felt that the existing Wilding portrait used on definitive stamps and special issues (commemoratives) was looking tired and needed a revamp. It was decided that several artists would submit their ideas for consideration.

Arnold Machin’s designs were eventually chosen as the way forward. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay and are a valuable part of British Postal history.

Arnold Machin OBE RA, (1911 - 1999) was the designer of the plaster casts that were used by the Royal Mail. He will go down in history as the person who was responsible for over 180 billion images on the definitive stamps issued so far.

Did you know that at time of the transition to the use of the Machin head (1967) it was decided that a smaller version of the head was to be used on Special issues? It was decided that the head did not work, so Machin created a new cast which could be used as a detailed drawing or silhouette on special issues. See the pictures.

No one expected that these stamps would run a course of 40 years. Yes! 2007 is therefore the 40th anniversary of the Machin.

A miniature sheet reportedly "with a 1.00GBP value Ruby Machin" has been chosen to commemorate the event. More information
on the anniversary stamp when it comes available

Anyone got any interesting stores about the Machins? I’d be pleased to hear from you at

Best wishes, Michael


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