Friday, 11 September 2009

Regional Machin Symbols - Part 4

At long last, here is the final article in my series on regional symbols and links to part 1, part 2, part 2a, and part 3.

Wales

When Welsh regionals were first issued (with all the other regions) in 1958, they were also sold in the English county of Monmouthshire, an area that was once part of Wales and retains many Welsh characteristics. Catalogs often referred to these regionals as issued for "Wales and Monmouthshire." In 1974, Monmouthshire was officially returned to Wales. Today, most catalogs and listings simply refer to Wales, although Scott retains the two names.




The Harrison photogravure regional Machins for Wales issued from 1971 to 1980 are represented by the 11p shown here with an enlargement of the symbol. As with the other regions, there are no variations of the symbol in the photogravure printings.

The first lithographed Welsh regionals appeared in 1981, printed by Questa. These had the first type of symbol, the one copied from the presentation pack artwork. This symbol is assigned Type I by all of the catalogs. The 17p of this type, issued in 1984, is shown with an enlarged symbol.




Its primary identifying characteristics of the Type I lithographed symbol are a closed eye with a white dot in the center (much like Scotland Type I), thin wing tips separated from the wings and a thin tail. The earlier photogravure symbol has an open eye, thick tips connected to the wings and a thick tail.

The corrected symbol did not appear on Welsh regionals until 1986. The revised 17p is shown here with its symbol. This symbol is referred to as Type II in all catalogs and looks much like the photogravure symbol, with open eye, thick attached wing tips and thick tail.




The 17p Type II is scarce, although it is the least expensive of the four scarce regionals. The 13p Type II is common.

As with the Northern Ireland versions, the 13p's and 17p's can also be distinguished by the background. The earlier stamps have the screened background and the later stamps are solid.

Although the Wales 31p was reprinted in 1987 as the Scotland one was, the symbol on the Welsh stamp remained Type I. Since all 31p lithographed Welsh regionals have the Type I symbol, that denomination does not appear in the chart.

Like the other regions, the Welsh 26p red and 28p violet were issued with both symbol types.

All Questa Welsh regionals after 1986 were printed with the Type II symbol and perforated 15 x 14.



The Walsall regionals that started in 1997 had an interesting characteristic – the "p" was omitted after the numeric value. This was in response to the Welsh Language Act of 1993 that required the Welsh and English languages to be treated equally in all public business uses. Royal Mail would have been forced to put both a "p" and a "c" (for ceiniog) on the stamps; instead, they decided to eliminate the currency symbol. The Welsh symbol, of course, remained Type II. The 26p rust regional printed by Walsall is shown here.

Machin regionals were discontinued in Wales in 1999.

Below is the list of Welsh regional Machins that have more than one type of symbol on the same denomination/color combination. Paper, gum and phosphor varieties are not included.

"Spec Catalog Type" is the type used by Deegam, Connoisseur and MCC. "Scott/SG Type" is the type used by Scott and Stanley Gibbons.

All regionals listed were printed by The House of Questa.

13p Chestnut

Issue: 10/23/84
Spec Catalog Type: I
Scott/SG Type: I
Perf: 15 x 14
Background: Screened

Issue: 4/14/87
Spec Catalog Type: II
Scott/SG Type: II
Perf: 15 x 14
Background: Solid

17p Grey-blue

Issue: 10/23/84
Spec Catalog Type: I
Scott/SG Type: I
Perf: 15 x 14
Background: Screened

Issue: 8/18/86
Spec Catalog Type: II
Scott/SG Type: II
Perf: 15 x 14
Background: Solid

26p Red

Issue: 2/24/82
Spec Catalog Type: I
Scott/SG Type: I
Perf: 13.5 x 14
Background: Solid

Issue: 1/27/87
Spec Catalog Type: II
Scott/SG Type: II
Perf: 15 x 14
Background: Solid

28p Violet

Issue: 4/27/83
Spec Catalog Type: I
Scott/SG Type: I
Perf: 13.5 x 14
Background: Screened, Gradated

Issue: 1/27/87
Spec Catalog Type: II
Scott/SG Type: II
Perf: 15 x 14
Background: Solid, Gradated

--Larry

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