Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Turnabout is Fair Play

Arnold Machin's portrait of the Queen is on billions of postage stamps. An artist in Machin's home area of Staffordshire has put Machin's portrait on a stamp - or rather, a stamp-like design made of ceramic shards. 

Sean Sargent, an art student, wants more people to know that Machin was from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, so he created his artwork featuring Machin's portrait in a pose somewhat similar to Queen Elizabeth's. He made it of pieces of ceramic tile, a recognition of Machin's achievements as a sculptor.

More information is on the Staffordshire University site here.

A brief biography of Machin is here and an obituary (Machin died in 1999) is here.


Friday, 7 August 2015

What Will the Future Bring?

No, not September 9. The presumably somewhat distant future.

My friend David asks, "What medium is likely to be used to create the profile for definitive stamps when Prince Charles ascends the throne? Photograph? Sculpture? Line-drawing? Illustration? Cartoon? Computer -generated art? Wood or linoleum blockprint? Collage?"

Will there be definitive stamps by then?

What do you think? Make your guess in the comments.


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

New Machin on September 9?

On September 9, Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest reigning British monarch, exceeding the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. There have been rumors of a new Machin and/or a miniature sheet. One of our readers tipped me to this advertisement by British First Day Covers. It shows a first-class Machin in a color that doesn't exist today, and it appears from the image that the security overprint does not extend over the Queen's portrait, something that was done with the Diamond Jubilee special Machin in 2012. 

The UK newspaper The Telegraph had an article about this event in March. But before you go there, here's a trivia question. Which monarch had the longest reign before Queen Victoria? You'll find the answer in The Telegraph article here, along with a list of the five longest reigns in British history to date (at the bottom of the article).

Meanwhile, I took a little trip to Wikipedia to learn what "crouch, bind, set" means.

UPDATE: Ian Billings has more here.