Plaster casts of Queen Elizabeth II made by Arnold Machin in the process of designing his iconic stamp have been trickling into the market over the past decade. We've written about sales in 2008 (here and here), 201o (here), and 2013 (here and here). Now another one has surfaced.
The previous casts were all auctioned by Cuttlestones, an auction house in Staffordshire where Machin lived but not one that specializes in philatelic material. This one is being sold by Cavendish Philatelic Auctions, Ltd., one of the leading philatelic auction houses in the U.K. It is being offered in their March 15/16, 2017 auction.
The description says the cast was executed by Machin circa March/April 1966 and was based on his previous work for British coinage.* Based on Douglas Muir's book, A Timeless Classic, and Machin's memoirs, it's probably closer to late February/early March 1966, but I won't pick nits.
The description says they know of one other cast of this model, which is held by The Postal Museum in London. It goes on to state that two casts of the final accepted head were sold, with Royal Mail paying £18,500 for the first in 2008, and a second selling for £21,000 in 2009, eventually winding up at the Royal Philatelic Society in London.
The cast was the property of a deceased estate of a former printer and has some small chips on the edge.
The estimated price is £12,000.
The cast is lot 815 in the sale. The catalog can be downloaded from the Cavendish web site.
*The Cavendish advertisement for it that appeared on the back cover of the January, 2017 issue of The Chronicle, the journal of the Great Britain Collectors' Club, dated the cast from March 1965, which is incorrect. That may have been a typographical error.