Sunday, 24 May 2015

Waterloo Prestige Booklet

A couple of weeks ago Machinmaniac informed us via the comments bar that a Prestige booklet depicting The Battle Of Waterloo will be issued on 18th June 2015.

pane 4

I can now show you the front cover of this booklet and the Mixed Machin pane (pane 4). The pane as shown above will contain 4 new Machin values to collect . 2 x 5p, 2x 50p, 2 x 10p, and 2 x £1.00 values + a central label. The background codes will be M15L/MPIL

Booklet cover

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Great War 2nd Prestige Booklet

A few weeks ago we mentioned that a new prestige booklet  will be issued on 14th May. This will be the second booklet in the series depicting The Great War and will cost £13.96.

The main news was that it will contain a Machin pane mixed with two poppy stamps. I suggested that there will be three new Machins to collect from this pane. I also stated that the stamps on the pane will be 2 x 1p, 2 x 5p and a value of £1.33p.

In actual fact there are 2 x £1.33 Machin stamps on the pane (sorry for the confusion)

The background codes will be as reported M15L/MPIL these are now on view showing the codes via Ian Billings blog.

Ian also informs us in a later blog post that thare are also several new Machins that have been issued in 2015, he now lists a total 31 new 2015 issues to date, all have MA15 or M15L codes unless stated.

Thanks Ian for the information.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Penny Black Anniversary Shows Lack of Imagination ... or Money ... or Both

Have you ever looked at a painting or a sculpture in a museum and said to yourself, "I could do that."? Of course you have. I had the same thought when I saw the stamps that Royal Mail "designed" for the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black.

One is shown above, and Roy pictured them a few days ago.

Royal Mail simply reprinted the two original stamps and added the necessary elements for a modern postage stamp - the Queen's cameo and the service indictor - by slapping them in the upper right corner. The end result looks like, well, something I could have done.

I'm trying to decide how Royal Mail justified these stamps. My guess is they wanted to come as close as possible to allowing people to use the Penny Black and Tuppenny Blue. 

Personally, the stamps look to me like defaced versions of the originals. Plus, Royal Mail couldn't be bothered to use recess printing, not even for the souvenir sheets. The other postally valid commemorations - the Wilding castles, the Seahorses, etc. - were recess-printed, but the Penny Black didn't warrant such treatment, I guess.

Above I show the stamp-on-stamp designs used for the Philympia stamp show in 1970. These stamps weren't recess-printed, either, but at least the original stamps are shown without being disfigured. These stamps look like someone actually put some thought into the design.

For a much better and updated design, here's the recent Penny Black anniversary stamp from the Isle of Man. And yes, it is really selling for 1p.

I have really enjoyed Royal Mail's previous recreations. Other than the artificially high face value, there was nothing to complain about, and even that can be partially justified by the cost of recess printing. These Penny Black and Tuppenny Blue reprints are a real disappointment.