Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Own your own genuine plaster cast of QE II by Arnold Machin

Here's a once-in-a-lifetime (actually, a once-only) event. Arnold Machin passed away in 1999 and his wife a couple of years later. Apparently, their family home went to their son Francis, who sadly passed away last year.

The home has been sold and the contents are being auctioned.

Of most interest to philatelists is the discovery that Machin had one of the plaster casts that he had created during the development of the stamp. I don't know where this one fits in with the history of that development, but I certainly hope Douglas Muir (Curator, Philately at the British Museum & Archive and chronicler of the history of the Machins) is on the case. It will be interesting to see if it goes to a private collector or whether the BPMA or other museum will grab it.

There's an article about the auction in The Telegraph.

The auctioneer is Cuttlestones. There's a press release about the auction, with some biographical information about Machin. There's no word yet about how to get a catalog, but keep an eye on their web site. The stamp-related items from the Machin estate will be auctioned on October 1.



Machin Man said...

Thanks Larry for this post, it was always said "that Machin kept a copy of one of the plater casts at his studio."

I feel the starting price for this item will be in the region of £100,000. Approx twenty times the fee that Machin charged for the commission.

I notice that there is also (up for sale)a framed picture of a original design sketch for the two penny stamp based on the penny black.

These items should by rights go to the BPMA and kept for prosperity. As Larry says "lets hope they do so"

Anonymous said...

To add some more information to the Telegraph item. Francis Machin founded the Machin Arts Foundation in 2003, converting part of his home in Shropshire into a small gallery and artists studios. The gallery has works of art spanning the lives of Arnold and Patricia Machin. The Foundation aims to promote the figurative arts, something very important to Arnold. We have also supported a number of artists in studios attached to the Gallery.

With the sale of the home the Foundation has to relocate. To raise some funds to support the move we have decided to sell a very few of the items from our collection. It is highly unlikely we will sell any items in the future.

We hope to re-open in a new location in the near future. We have worked with and supported the BPMA, and will continue to do so. There is currently a small Machin exhibition at the Wedgewood visitors centre curated by Douglas Muir, and with some items on loan from us.

Trustees, Machin Arts Foundation

larry said...

I was not aware that "Machin kept a copy of one of the plaster casts." So I guess that's not big news after all. However, its availability at auction is indeed significant.

Also, thank you to the Trustee who posted the previous comment. We appreciate the additional information.