Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Story of the Machin 40th Anniversary Minisheet

In December, Gibbons Stamp Monthly began a six-part series on the work of Jeffery Matthews. One of the items featured in the December article is the miniature sheet issued for the 40th anniversary of the Machins.

Unfortunately, I can’t provide the illustrations, but I will describe the earlier versions here.

First version - two commemoratives with the £1 ruby Machin in the middle. The  commemorative on the left is the portrait of Machin as in the issued sheet, but this portrait fills the whole stamp. The denomination of £1.00 is in the upper left and the Queen’s cameo is white at upper right. The other commemorative is the ubiquitous portrait of Machin working on the portrait, as shown here, but in black and white. This stamp is also denominated £1.00. There is a date of May 23, 2006 shown in the margin around this essay, more than a year before the actual issue date of June 5, 2007.

Second version - two commemoratives with the £1 mauve and £1 ruby Machins in the middle. The two Machins are in a horizontal row with the two commemoratives and are separated from each other (not se-tenant). The two commemoratives are similar to the issued ones except they are in a vertical format. The central images are about the same size as on the issued stamps, but the frame is larger at the top, and the denomination and cameo are completely above the central image. The inscriptions are placed vertically to the right of the images. The two commemoratives are first-class NVIs, as on the issued sheet.

Third version - one commemorative in the middle with the £1.00 mauve on the left and £1.00 ruby on the right. Below each of the Machins is an inscription with the year of issue, 1995 and 2007 respectively. The commemorative is the same as the right-hand one on the issued sheet - the stamp-on-stamp design with the 4d sepia brown Machin. The commemorative is a first-class NVI.

Unfortunately, the article has little text about the development of the design and how the final design was chosen. The caption reads, “Three of the ideas examined for the miniature sheet to mark the 40th anniversary of the Machin definitives.”


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