Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Uncut Pane Of Walsall 40 Millennium Machin


Edited updated 07/06/21

My thanks go out to the people who responded to this post asking if it is still available. When or if it sells I will post an update or delete the post.. Until you see this notification it is still on the market. I have had it provisionally valued and have a price in mind but at the same time I can reduce the valuation as there will be no auction fees involved I am willing to negotiate to a degree.   

I am in the process of disposing of some of parts my private collection. The piece described below is just one of which I am willing to part with. If you are a genuine interested specialised collector then this is your chance to be the new owner of this very rare item. 

40 x Millennium Machins / pristine with full gum

This is a very interesting exhibition piece showing 40 Millennium Machins in the form of 4 x un-cut panes of 10. The number of the cylinder W2 W2 it is present twice in the left selvedge.  

All indications point to the fact that the source of this block is from un-cut part of an original primary sheet used in the make up of booklets printed and manufactured by Walsall Security Printers.

The facts

No post office counter sheet stamps were ever printed by Walsall or Questa. All Questa and Walsall booklet printings are indicated with the Letter Q or W in the margins.  De La Rue did print post office counter sheets and these sheets have the cylinder numbers (D1 or D2) and these appear once in the margins

The House of Questa and Walsall did however print Millennium stamps in sheet form, but these were only intended for the use in retail booklets in multiples of ten.

The stamps :

The left phosphor bars on stamps on this block are 9mm, of this 4.5mm is overlapping into the selvedge. The remainder of the stamps have 9mm bars stretching across the stamps forming  2 x 4.5 mm side bars on each of the stamps. 

This perforation type is AP4 (R) Rugby Ball type ellipse, (one ellipse at the left and one at the right) they are approx. 3 perforations in length, set two perforations up from the bottom of the stamps).These perforations are (the norm for Walsall booklet panes x 10 Millennium Machins) which are 14.75  x  14.  The cylinder numbers (W2 ) appear in row 2 and row 4 in this uncut block. There is no phosphor cylinder number shown.  Paper type is OFNP with PVA lay flat gum and the phosphor  is  DG A2B 2 which has an after glow when viewed under long wave ultra violet light.

I believe that there are other blocks of 20 and 30 stamps known of this type but this the only block x 40 that exists in private hands.

For clarity it is known that on the opposite side of the (on the original) primary sheets the marginal stamps had 6.5mm wide phosphor bars, 2mm of which overlapped in to the margins. It is to the best of my knowledge that no blocks with 6.5mm bars in the margins exist.

The direction of the print is inverted. The margin is perforated through the top and bottom edges of every 2nd row and there is a single extension hole in the selvedge in the alternative rows.

Where the complete extension of the perforations exist through the margin, this is usually the tear or cut line. Indicating that this is the format that the single panes of 10 must conform to before they are inserted into the booklet covers.

Booklets panes with W2 cylinders were printed in the latter period of the Millennium year 2000 . W1 cylinders were  used prior to W2  in January,  these were in use during the early months of the issue.


With the information above, every indication confirm that this is a genuine piece from a actual primary sheet printed with Cylinder W2 W2. The GB DSB SC ( now MBPC ) code number for each individual panes of ten is DP301.

Further Information which may prove helpful

Panes of a reduced size (8 x Millennium Machin stamps) ( also classed as DP 301 and printed by Walsall )  were used in mixed Millennium booklets of ten containing two different panes, the first pane being a separate pane of two 1st class Millennium special issue stamps. 

Although the definitive Machin panes in these booklets were the same pane as the one described above (DP301).  The two stamps at the right of the panes were removed by operatives at the printers during the make up of the booklets, reducing the Millennium Machin definitive panes to eight.  Some of these millennium Machin booklet panes of 8 had W2 cylinders as they were printed in the later months of the year 2000.

Email me: to get the ball rolling. 

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Extra Extension Holes

This week I have added to my eBay auctions half a dozen Machin cylinder blocks with extra extension Holes.  This is a nice example with two angled margins,  the extra hole is shown in row 18.

What are they and why do they exist? 

Originally these extra perforations were introduced by the the printers as a reference position to aid the location of bent or missing pins. If you would like to see more of these just  type Extra Extension Hole into your eBay search.

On certain values the EEH can be found in one of several positions. They are found in the left margin of the blocks.  Copies can be found either in row 18, 19, 20 or 21. I might add, they are all listed in specialised catalogues and are highly collectable.

The block above with one angled margin (also for sale) shows the extra hole in the position of row 19.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Early Miscut Errors

Who remembers the early 1970s?

I do with fondness as I was by this time an avid Machin collector, having been introduced to the complexities by my mothers younger brother, my late uncle Jack.

He taught me about the various things to look for, gums, phosphors, cylinder blocks and early varieties of booklet panes. I used to visit Jack most Sunday afternoons as he still lived with my grandmother. A chance to see her too and sample her specialties, which were also delights. Sponge cake still slightly warm with an aroma of jam & cream. A product which she was famous for, not to mention other items of her home baking sessions.

Jack started me off as a budding pre decimal Machin collector as a young man. At first I just used to admire his Machin collections. Then he passed on to me some of his duplicates, mostly early booklets or booklet panes and there was the odd block here and there.

One pane in particular that he gave me was my pride and joy, as it was miscut, sadly I no longer own it but the memory of writing it up and inserting it into my album still lives with me to this day. It also brings me to write this today

I spotted something similar on eBay the other day. The pane was one of 5 x 3 and half pence stamps with a blank label. I remember these were available with smooth or rough cut margins or perforated margins if my memory serves me right, paper and gum was FCP/DEX.

The miscut pane I owned is similar to the one below it shows the blank label at the top of the pane rather than the norm which should be at the bottom. A nice error of early Machin collecting and some great memories of Sunday afternoon teas. Those were the days.

R.I.P Jack and thank you for the introduction to my favorite stamp design. Little did he know that the design would still be in use today, 50 odd years later.