I would like to add to Larrys post (below) with this latest press release from the BMPA. Although this does not refer to our subject of Machins, it will be of intrest to many.
Stamp artwork from the reign of George V digitised for the first time.
The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) is pleased to announce the release of the first catalogues of stamp artwork and registration sheets from the reign of King George V.
On Monday 8 January 2009, it will be possible to view nearly 800 records describing the issue of commemorative stamps in the reign of King George V via our online catalogue. For the first time, people will be able to search for and see the original artwork submitted by artists alongside the final, approved stamp issue. Registration sheets for all George V commemoratives and the first Downey Head definitives as well as the Seahorse high value will also be online.
The overall project aims to give wider access to a range of stamp artwork and encompasses stamp issues from the reigns of George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II. It covers the entire process of each issue, from submitted artwork, through essays to the issued stamps.
This first phase of catalogues includes all the submitted artwork for the competition to design Britain’s first commemorative stamp for the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. Commemorative issues for the 1929 Postal Union Congress and 1935 Silver Jubilee followed, as well as a proposed memorial issue following the death of George V.
The BPMA hold a number of objects such as metal dies and rollers that were used in the production of the commemorative issues of George V. These were engraved by JAC Harrison, arguably the finest engraver of the day.
The project will make widely accessible the work of notable artists and designers, such as Eric Gill, Edmund Dulac, Eric Ravilious and Tom Eckersley. The artwork shows how each artist reconciled the problem of achieving a satisfying artistic design within the constraints of a stamp displaying the King’s portrait. At times this led to artists abandoning the King’s head altogether, as in the case of Edmund Dulac who submitted a King-less design for the Stamp Centenary Issue, commenting ‘I don’t suppose [it] will be considered for a moment’.
Douglas Muir, Curator of Philately at the BPMA commented:
“This is the first phase of an exciting project to make our unique collection of philatelic material available to everybody. More artwork and registration sheets will be added to our catalogue in the coming year. Look out for announcements on our website”.
The BPMA will be releasing further catalogues through the course of 2009 and 2010, taking the cataloguing of Stamp Artwork into the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
About the BPMA
The British Postal Museum & Archive is the leading resource for all aspects of British postal history. It is a combined museum and archive, bringing together The Royal Mail Archive and a Museum Store. With collections ranging from staff records to stamps, poster design to photography and from transport to telegrams, it cares for the visual, written and physical records from over 400 years of innovation and service, illuminating the fascinating story of British communications. Records in The Royal Mail Archive are Designated as being of outstanding national importance.
For more information see : www.postalheritage.org.uk.