Sunday, 10 February 2019

A Memory Like A Sieve

Since the first postage stamp which we all know was the 1d black that was issued in 1840, Great Britain has issued thousands more in many formats over the reigns of six monarchs.

It is not so unusual that we have to revert to one or two of many catalogues that have been published over the years just to remind ourselves of the details surrounding the various issues.

I was going through a stock book yesterday when I came upon something that I had completely forgotten about.

Amongst a few pages of Country Regional cylinder blocks I noticed that there were a couple of cylinder blocks that did not look quite right.

On inspection I remembered buying them as I liked the design at the time I also purchased several other issues linked to the same design. So easy to forget about this sheet issue as it is only vaguely mentioned in Gibbons Concise as a Gutter pair from the same sheet.

The cylinder block was printed by Walsall showing the A crowned lion holding a shield of St George. Issued on 21st May 2002 to celebrate the kick off of the world cup championships which were being held in Korea and Japan. I have not seen these cylinder blocks advertised anywhere. just a thought I wander what they are worth?

I remembered the same lion stamp as a single, one of the other issues released to co-inside, it was a mini sheet containing one single lion stamp and 4 x flag stamps. There was also a self adhesive custom booklet issued containing 4 x Machins and the 2 x special issues these are the top stamps from the original mini sheet making up the flag of St George. They are listed as different stamps as they are die cut and have self adhesive gum.

Since I wrote this I have found a cylinder block on eBay.  Priced at £9.95 + 99p postage. I was hoping they were worth more : -(

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Douglas Mayall 1922- 2019

It is another sad sad day for Philately. I have heard from Larry that  Douglas George Albert Myall has passed away.

Douglas passed peacefully on Wednesday on 30 January 2019 aged 96 . He was known affectionately to his thousands of followers in the philatelic world simply as Deegam. Contrived from his initials, DGAM.

Douglas is known world wide for his exhaustive study of the Machin stamps, the British definitive series in use since 1967. His catalogue, The Complete Deegam Machin Handbook, is the main reference book in Machin circles about this series.

Born in Essex on 17 December 1922, Douglas worked as a British civil servant. His long career took him to the office of the Inspector of Foreign Dividends where he developed his interest in philately by collecting the stamps from incoming mail. He subsequently moved to the trademarks registry at the Patents Office. For some years after retirement, he travelled extensively acting as a consultant and adviser on trademark and patent law.

In the 1950s and 1960s, he collected Wilding stamps, the first definitive issues of HM Queen Elizabeth’s reign. At the same time, his work required him to study security printing which helped him in his philatelic activities. His first articles began appearing in the philatelic press.

From their introduction in 1967, he studied and collected Machins, the definitive stamps carrying The Queen’s head designed by Arnold Machin. Soon after Britain adopted decimal currency in February 1971, DGAM (with three other eminent philatelists) founded two Study Circles, the aims of which were to promote the collection and study of modern philately.

The two bodies were the Great Britain Decimal Stamp Book Study Circle (GB DSB SC) and the British Decimal Stamps Study Circle (BDSSC). These two later combined to become the Modern British Philatelic Circle which continues to flourish today with a membership of over 550 people world-wide.

The founding Editor of GB DSB SC. He devised many of the nomenclatures to describe the books’ characteristics and these nomenclatures are today’s accepted international standards.

He was a prolific writer for the British Philatelic Bulletin and was been voted ‘Favourite Bulletin author’ in a poll of the readers in most of the years that the polls were held. He managed to translate his deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject into articles which have a wide topical interest.

To many, his greatest achievement has been the writing and publishing of The Complete Deegam Machin Handbook, which details all aspects and features of the Machin issues and is universally accepted as the ‘bible’ on the subject. First published in 1993, a second and a third edition followed. The latter, in July 2003, contained 1,272 pages.

This renowned work received accolades from far and wide. Amongst the awards given for this work have been the National Postal Museum medal for research (1997); Gold Medal at ChicagoPex (1997); Silver Gilt medal, Stampex (1997); Vermeil, Palmerston, New Zealand (1997); Gold medal, Korpex 2000.

The present electronic edition, available on CD-ROM, first arrived on the scene in April 2010. As Douglas wished, the Deegam project will continue long after his departure. It is in safe hands and his project will survive long into the future.

I called him Doug one time,
He called me a Midland Git.
I called him a Southern Jessie,
He liked that not one bit.
From that day on I called him Douglas,
Our friendship an instant hit.


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Leonardo da Vinci Prestige Pane

Having Heard the news that the Machins from the Leonardo da Vinci prestige booklet which will be issued in February this year would be coded M18L I was a little disappointed. I recalled that the 5p value had already been issued on the prestige RAF pane in February of last year, so it would not be a new stamp.

I then remembered something That Ian Billings wrote on the Norvic Blog. Below I have coppied the text from his blog and re produced his image of the RAF 5p.

The missing or hidden P can be seen in the image above

Oddly the 'P' in the MPIL is very difficult to see, under the phosphor, leading some to suggest that it is not there. He later  updated his post and informed readers that something was amiss".

Ian updated his post with this report.     

 " Stanley Gibbons catalogue editors have decided that the P is actually missing, so have given these a separate sub-number not because of the year, but because of the missing P. 

He informs us that "the 2p is U3071d, the 5p is U3072f, and the £1.17 is U3084a.  This means that even collectors who don't distinguish by year code, will want these stamps because they have a separate catalogue listing"

We keep saying it collecting Machins can be complex, but if you are a Machin buff like most who read these pages,  never boring.  Ian has uploaded the image of the da Vinci Machin pane. You can view  it here

Many thanks  Ian, this means that the 5p value together with the 10p and £1.55p values will after all be new a value although the 5p value was already issued with the 2018 coding. the missing P, or hidden P makes this so.

A big thank you to the viewers who have bid on my eBay items,.  Re the pre decimal 5d stamps with missing phosphors they all got sold, no one requested them via email, so they all went to auction.

Several bids have now been received on the punch booklet mentioned in my last post, which is still listed together with another and they both finish today.

If you missed the miscut 10p booklet with the neck flaw that I wrote about and listed some time ago, I can now inform you I have found another. This is now on offer on my eBay site as a buy it now item. This may be your last chance to get a copy of this miscut flaw, so if it takes your fancey...!