Sunday, 4 June 2017

My additional 50th Anniversary columns for Linn's Stamp News

A few weeks ago I mentioned the first of my three columns published by Linn's Stamp News on the occasion of the Machin anniversary. The final two parts have been published, but the full text is restricted to subscribers only. The web site contains on the first section of each column - the second one is here and the third is here.

Linn's is still offering a free subscription to their digital edition, and I think that should get you access to the full text of my columns. You can sign up for the free access here. If anyone tries it, please let us know the results in the comments.

One of the illustrations I included with the column is this side-by-side comparison of the original 1977 £5 Machin (on the left in the image above) and the recent one issued for the 65th anniversary of the Queen's accession. The purpose was to show the difference between the portrait derived from one of the original photographs of Machin's cast and the portrait derived from the 1997 digital image. Of course, the production methods of the two stamps are different - the 1977 issue was produced by photogravure using acid etching, and the 2017 issue was produced by electromechanical engraving (EME), often referred to as simply 'gravure' - but most of the difference results from the new image.


Update on Courvoisier Machin Trials

Last January I reported on the Machin trials produced by Hélio Courvoisier SA of Switzerland in cooperation with the House of Questa. Ian Billings also mentioned it here.

In the June 19 issue, Linn's reports that the three sheets of 100 subjects sold for $15,000, including the buyer's premium. The article also notes that another set of three sheets will be auctioned by the same firm, Daniel F. Kelleher,  in late June.

The article also mentions that a total of ten sets of three sheets were produced by Courvoisier in 1997. With the two sets being sold by Kelleher and one set donated to The Postal Museum, there are seven sets left unaccounted for.

Linn's original article on the trial panes is here. The realization article does not seem to have been posted on their site yet. I will update this post if the article appears on their web site.


Friday, 2 June 2017

The Machin Definitive 50TH Anniversary Prestige Stamp Book

I was so impressed with the way Ian Billings dealt with his portrayal of the 50th Anniversary Prestige booklet mainly by his showing the interleaves in all there glory.

Rather than just link to his page I have decided to copy some of the work. I do not normally do this but as this is a Machin Blog and it is a prestige occasion of 50 years I feel I must add it here for prosperity. My images are of a reduced size so if you wish to read the information on the actual pages you can do so by visiting Ians blog on the link above where they are of a larger size and more ledgable.

Firstly I must thank Ian for the use of his images (I hope you do not mind) and also thanks to Richard West for his brilliant  work in describing the essays and stamps portrayed in the booklet. A true masterpiece that I am sure Arnold Machin would be very proud of.

The booklet retails at £15.59. Worth every penny in my opinion. Starting with the cover above (It is a shame that the design was flawed by the binding) but saying this it is a little gem in its own right.

I am showing you the actual stamp panes first, I will continue to show the interleaves and the back cover after.

Pane 1

Pane 2

Pane 3

Pane 4

Pane 5

The interleaves

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Page 11

Page 12

Page 13 (inside back cover)

The rear cover continues with more images of values that have been issued over the years

The Miniature sheets are little gems in their own right. 50 years of a Design Icon Below and the Machin Definitive Golden anniversary Celebration below that. Credit deserves praise.Well done Royal Mail. 

Not all praise though, my only real criticism is there was no need for a limited edition medal prestige booklet, pure greed on your part!!

I am not a fan of post & go stamps / labels but they are a part of the celebration so they will get a mention. A nice touch adding different colours and the coinage head. A lot of philatelists collect these so there must be an attraction, and they do represent the time line of Machin design. 

I am not so sure about the booklet of six self adhesives with the added  label. I guess the none collecting community will actually see and use them. Some may even be tempted to buy other products. All in all a 50 year celebration only comes around once in a lifetime.

A nice job, now the question is WHAT DO YOU THINK?