Sunday, 24 June 2007

Machin Quiz (Answers )

Well I did warn you that these questions would not be easy, actually some were easier than others, and I added a few teasers to get the grey matter working in overdrive. Well whats a quiz for? :-)

Well done to ALL that entered, everyone did very well. The winners and results will be announced here tomorrow. I just love keeping people waiting :-)

I hope that you have enjoyed surfing the net looking for answers, to those that you were uncertain of or found things difficult, at the same time, I hope that you have learned something (even if only a little) about the Machin Definitive.


1/What is the size (in inches) of the famous Arnold Machin Plaster cast effigy of HM ?

1A/Where is the original plaster cast of the Machin effigy kept?

1B/ (Bonus question 2 points) How much in (£s) pounds sterling was Machin paid for his commission for designing and creating the effigy? (To the nearest £50)

For security and conservation reasons, the bust, measuring 18in by 16in, is normally kept in the vaults of the British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) in London.
Machin, was paid a flat fee of £4,500 for his work., he surrendered all his rights to the design.

2/Which Denomination was changed from red to the colour of eggshell blue?

2A/Why was the above colour change needed?

2B/ (bonus question 2 points) Other than the colour change there was another major difference to the design of this stamp , what was this?

2C/How many colours were used (Pre decimal & decimal) before Jeffery Mathews designed his new palatte in 1988?

The pre decimal 8d Machin had its colour changed from ( vermillion) red, the same time as the 4d sepia was changed to vermillion.
The change was needed as 4d sepia was to dark and did not show the postal cancellations. The head on the 8d vermilion stamp was that of head A ( A flat base) : The Eggshell blue stamp has a rounder base (Head B:)

The initial palette of 14 colours was chosen after extensive testing. While most were solid colours, the 1/6d and 1/9d used different colours for effigy and denomination, while the 10d and 1/- had backgrounds that varied from darker on the left side to lighter on the right.

3/ What does PPP stand for in Machin terminology?

Pre Printed Phosphor. PPP: This was a short lived experiment with a pre printed phosphor coating applied to the paper. The phosphor was printed directly, then the ink was additionally applied during the printing process. The stamps having a matt looking appearance. Only three values were issued, the 1p, 2p, and 10p

3A What does the terminology EEH stand for?

On certain cylinder blocks an Extra Extension Hole (EEH) can be found in the margins, these were introduced as a reference position by printers to locate broken or bent pins

4/In what year were Machin stamps first issued with a discount star overprint on the gum?

4A/What were the values of the (first two) starred gum Machin stamps?

In 1982 Christmas booklets were sold at a discount, these had a star overprinted on the gum. The values were 12½p and 15½p

5/What was the value of the first Machin stamp with A (or C phosphor) with an phosphor afterglow?

5A/Which company printed the this first Machin stamp(above) with a phosphor afterglow?

Sorry if these questions confused you, they were not put very well, however, Enschede printed a 38p 2B (Roseine) Machin with C phosphor compound with an afterglow. The terminology was changed to that of (A2) phosphor at a later date, this after glow, was originally known as novaglow phosphor (date of issue 29/10/94)

6/Most Machins are perforated 13½ x 14, 15 x 14 or 14 x 14. Which issue was perforated 12 x 12?

Recess High values (pre decimal and decimal)

6A/Which printing company perforated certain stamps 13 x 13 in error?

During November of 1990 a perforation error occurred on certain 1st class booklet Panes containing None Value Indicated stamps ( NVI ) printed by Walsall Security Printers the panes of 4 were ACP/ PVA gum. The perforation on these booklet panes was found to be 13 x 13 ( in error ) instead of 14 x 14 .

7/Who designed the Millennium Machin stamps?

7A/Name 3 different printers of the above Millennium Machin stamps?

The design of the Millennium Machin was adapted by the Chase design Group, notably the designer was Richard Scholey. De La Rue, Walsall & Questa All Printined The Millennum Machin. These can be distinguished by minor differences in the design

8/ Which company printed the first commemorative label panes of 4 x 1st class?

8A What did the Commemoration of the above first pane represent?

8B/ Several Commemorative panes followed in the footsteps of the above, other than the themes of the commemoration labels what was the main difference to the make up of the second issue compared to the first pane?

Questa Printed the first Commemorative label in 1994 depicting The 300 Anniversary of the Bank of England. The label was on the left of the stamps.The format changed on subsequent commemorative booklets after this. The make up of the pane reversed as to print the label to right of the stamps.

9/ With the issue of the new Ruby £1 how many basic (different) Machins are there to collect. (to the nearest 5)

With the issue of the £1 Ruby, according to the publication "A Time Line" there are now approx 401 basic Machins to collect

10/Four new Machin sheet stamps were printed in 1993 on Optical Free Phosphor Paper name three of the 4 values, what were the denominations of these ?

10 A Bonus Question (2 points) Other than the denominations above and EXCLUDING the Readers Digest strip and Mathews Stampshow 2000 Miniature sheet, name one other Machin printed with OFPP

26/10/93 25p salmon pink , ex cylinder 5: 01/11/93 35p deep yellow ex vert coil: 01/11/93 41p stone ex vertical coil. The 25p was also issued in a vertical coil on the same dates.

1st class Orange red 6/04/93 (Harrison) will also be accepted for question 10. This
fourth value was issued in booklets of 4 and 10, date 6/04/93.

The Millennium Machin 1st class was ALSO printed on this type of paper 23/5/2000. This can be found on HM stamps miniature sheet issued to mark the Stampshow 2000, it is said that this sheet miniature sheet (OFPP) is the residue left over from the printing of Mathews Miniature sheet.

NB: 25p, 35p or 41p or 1st class orange were accepted for question 10A . Where one of these answers were not given to question 10 provided 3 of the 4 stamps were named correctly in Q 10 .

11/In what year was the £1 value on high values changed from the script type to that of a more modern block type?

It was 6th Dec 1972, when the value was changed from a script fount to that of Eric Gills Perpetua typeface, this brought the fount into line with all other current Machins

11A Who was employed by Royal Mail (name of printers) to who printed the above Machin £1 stamps?

Large Recess high value printings by Bradbury & Wilkinson were perforated 12 x 12. These were the first Machin high values in 1969, these were also the recess printed pre decimal Machin stamps. The set consisted of 4 values , 2/6d , 5/- , 10/- , and £1. None of the stamps had phosphor bands. The decimal series followed in 1970.

11B/ Two basic types of paper are known for the printings of the £1 stamps above with Block script, what are they?

The two types of paper are known as Post Office Paper (POP ) and Contractors Paper. (CP) Contractor paper was bought in as a stop gap due to shortages of the the original.

12/How many single stamps did the second box dispenser of self adhesive coil stamps contain?

12A What was the difference between the Format of stamps from the first dispenser Box and the second?.

12B Which company printed the stamps in questions 12 and 12B?
The boxes: (2ND B OX) contained 200 individual stamps. The first dispenser 18/03/97 contained 100 hori
zontal self adhesives horizontal format , this changed to that of second 200 stamps in vertical format on 06/04/98. Enschede Printed both formats , These were 1st calss & second class NVI,s and were computer engraved

13/ Deegam is the acronym of D.G.A M. What do these initials stand for?
The full name is that of Douglas George Albert Myall, I will accept Douglas G A Myall as an answer. Well done to those who gave all Chritian names, (really I should award a bonus point for all Chritian names , but its a bit late to change the rules for this now)

14/4 New PiP Machin stamps were introduced this year 2007, what does PiP stand for?

Pricing in Proportion

15/ (just for fun this one) The bonus point (2 points) was given Andrew Allison for the best answer to the question. How much longer will the Machin design rein?

Andrews answer will be will reproduced at the end of this posting, first the correct answer is:

In the mid-Eighties, the Queen came under pressure to replace the Machin head with a modern design. After seeing five new designs, she relayed the message to the Royal Mail that she did not favour change just for the sake of it. Indeed, the Queen let it be known through her private office that she was "very content with the Machin effigy".

The real answer is "no one knows". It is understood that officially she has decided to keep the same Machin design on Royal Mail stamps for the rest of her reign.


"Till the old duck says nighty night, In her stately bed, on this day oh what a fright a stamp with a new head. But truth be told This beloved design will never fold. All machins both yours and mine."

No comments: