Saturday, 4 July 2020
Who remembers the early 1970s?
I do with fondness as I was by this time an avid Machin collector, having been introduced to the complexities by my mothers younger brother, my late uncle Jack.
He taught me about the various things to look for, gums, phosphors, cylinder blocks and early varieties of booklet panes. I used to visit Jack most Sunday afternoons as he still lived with my grandmother. A chance to see her too and sample her specialties, which were also delights. Sponge cake still slightly warm with an aroma of jam & cream. A product which she was famous for, not to mention other items of her home baking sessions.
Jack started me off as a budding pre decimal Machin collector as a young man. At first I just used to admire his Machin collections. Then he passed on to me some of his duplicates, mostly early booklets or booklet panes and there was the odd block here and there.
One pane in particular that he gave me was my pride and joy, as it was miscut, sadly I no longer own it but the memory of writing it up and inserting it into my album still lives with me to this day. It also brings me to write this today
I spotted something similar on eBay the other day. The pane was one of 5 x 3 and half pence stamps with a blank label. I remember these were available with smooth or rough cut margins or perforated margins if my memory serves me right, paper and gum was FCP/DEX.
The miscut pane I owned is similar to the one below it shows the blank label at the top of the pane rather than the norm which should be at the bottom. A nice error of early Machin collecting and some great memories of Sunday afternoon teas. Those were the days.
R.I.P Jack and thank you for the introduction to my favorite stamp design. Little did he know that the design would still be in use today, 50 odd years later.
Thursday, 18 June 2020
This post has nothing what so ever that relates to Machins I know, but I hope that you find it of interest just the same.
One of my other sins of accumulating what my late wife called "stuff", was that of collecting Pictorial Regionals. I thought that they were quite nice designs and I liked the fact that they were completely new stamps. A new definitive from four different regions, different values and a collection from day one of the issue. Every collectors heaven, not my missus though, god bless her. Her favourite saying was, "I spent to much on stuff". In one ear and out the other :-)
The first issues of this new country definitives were printed by Walsall Security Print, issue date 8th June 1999. A set of four values 1st, 2nd, 65p, and E for European rate. Four regions. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
I decided at the time to obtain them in cylinder blocks of 2 x 4 because the borders incorporated the country they related to, the cylinder numbers and the actual printer. Which was a good idea as within a short period of time the contract was then awarded to De La Rue. Dot and no dot blocks added more interest.
Later they also changed the actual design, as borders were added and several new values issued due to postage rate rises which is another story for another time.
Now according to the SG Concise the DLR issue shown are exactly the same stamp as the Walsall issue, which myself cannot quite fathom their logic.
"New printings of Nos W83 and W84 produced by De La Rue instead of Walsall were issued on 28th May 2003 and 4th March 2003, Stamps from these printings do not differ from those produced by Walsall"
End of quote.
Poppycock! Different printer different stamps, or am I being to pedantic? I can see that single stamps with no marginal markings would look the same. But Concise has never been the best catalouge for specialist collectors. As usual I have got a bit carried away and diverted by a long way from what I originally wanted to show on this page, so I will now try to get back on track.
Nothing to get excited about I know, but it is something different to the norm. I like to query anything different. I seem to remember the same type of thing on certain Machin cylinder blocks, but I am not 100% sure of my facts. Perhaps these were missing dots that were added.
I do not foresee that it will make the block anymore valuable, but it does add a talking point, and something to write about in this case. I might also mention if anyone wants it for their own collection I am open to offers of face value +. Just e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
This is also a chance to get involved in this little debate and help me out at the same time. I have a question. Answers in the comments section please.
Does anyone know or have some sort off idea how or why this has occurred? The size and shape of the dot looks to be added or engraved. I am only guessing again here, perhaps a bit of grit has deposited itself on the cylinder.
Back to Machins in my next post.
Monday, 1 June 2020
I was recently contacted by a collector (Michael) who mentioned he had received a Marvel Prestige Booklet with several missing pages.
He informed me "that whilst catching up on his 2019 stamps he opened the booklet in order to remove the Machin definitive pane (pane 5) and it was actually missing." On checking through it the two pages of text preceding the Machin pane he discovers that they were also missing.
Michael was sent the booklet direct from Royal Mail last year and simply had not got round to looking at it. A second PB booklet he received on the same day was normal, all the intermediate pages were intact and it had all five stamp panes.
We wrote about the Marvel PB at the time of issue, when it was noted that the "P" indicating "Prestige" from the source code on all of the Machin values were also missing.
Although he was initially annoyed as he has to source more stamps for his collection, he is now rather pleased. A nice find Michael well done.
Thank you for your report.