Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Isle Man Triskelion

After receiving an e-mail from Dave F (inquiring about Isle of Man Machins) yesterday, he mentioned in brief "That Larry wrote about the Machin Regionals (part three) but failed to describe (or mention) the Legs of Man in (Part one of his articles. , or Part two" which can be read here

I have back tracked through this blog just to make sure, and right enough it seems we have missed them out. So without much of ado I have done a little research and come up with this post. Perhaps at a later stage Larry can add to it and describe the actual stamps in more detail as he did with the other Machin Country Regionals.

Some background info:

On 7 July 1971 the previous Wilding based designs for the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were replaced with designs similar to the standard British Machin portrait. Each stamp had a reduced size portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin with a national emblem in the top left corner, the latter designed by Jeffery Matthews.

The other emblems used on The Regional Machin stamps have already been described by Larry except for as I have already stated : The Isle of Man, three legged symbol known as The Manx Triskelion and the Celtic Ring.

In the symbol for the Isle of Man, which is located in the Irish Sea, the "three legs embowed" of the heraldic triskelion are represented in armour, "spurred and garnished or (gold)." On Manx banknotes, the triskelion appears within a rim containing the Latin inscription QUOCUNQUE JECERIS STABIT ("Wherever you throw it, it stands").

The Manx triskelion is documented since the thirteenth or fourteenth century at the latest, and is alternatively known in the Manx language as the tre cassyn ("three legs"). The symbol appears on the Isle of Man's ancient Sword of State, which may have belonged to Olaf Godredson, who became King of the Sudreys (Southern Hebrides and the Isle of Man) in 1226.


A triskelion or triskele (both from the Greek τρισκέλιον or τρισκελής, for "three-legged") is a symbol consisting of three interlocked spirals, or three bent human legs, or any similar symbol with three protrusions. A triskelion is also the symbol of Brittany, as well as the Isle of Man and Sicily (where it is called trinacria . The Manx and Sicilian triskelions feature three running legs, bent at the knee and conjoined at the crotch area.

3 comments:

GBStamps said...

I did briefly mention the legs of man in part one of my posts about the regionals, but the focus of my series was the changes in the symbols that occurred in the 1980s. There were no longer any Isle of Man regionals at that time, so I did not mention them further.

--Larry

Machin Man said...

You are correct Larry, you did in fact describe the Isle of Man stamps in part one, my appologies.

I realy should not skim read so much :-)

Of the 4 values issued 2½p, 3p. 5p and 7½p the 2½p and 3p are known to be printed with different papers. Perhaps this may be worth a mention at a later date?

...Roy

GBStamps said...

I was organizing my early Machin regionals a couple of months ago and came face-to-face with the two papers, OCP and FCP - something which I have not dealt with for several years.

(I did spend a lot of time with the De La Rue ATN printings, which is essentially the same thing, but even that was a while ago.)

So yes, the papers of the early regionals (and the standard decimal Machins) are certainly worth a post or two. One of these days...

--Larry