Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Machins at STAMPEX

This year's February Spring STAMPEX celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Great Britain Philatelic Society. Most of the exhibits were provided by GBPS members and were on GB-related subjects; even the non-GBPS exhibits had GB topics.

Three of the exhibits featured Machins, and I'm pleased to say that two of those came from the United States. 

Lawrence Haber won a large vermeil for "The Half-Penny (Decimal) Machin." Above I show an item from his collection, a commercial use of the 1/2p left-band Machin from the 1972 Wedgwood prestige booklet. (The image is cropped from the complete cover.)

His exhibit covers the halfpenny from its introduction with the first batch of decimal Machins in 1971 to its withdrawal in 1985. The exhibit shows the changes to the Machin series that occurred over that period and illustrates its use as a make-up value during a period of rapidly changing postal rates. 

Haber's exhibit was highlighted by the editor of Stamp Magazine in the April issue.  He noted several STAMPEX exhibits that he enjoyed, including "Lawrence Haber's very thorough examination of the 1/2p Machin as a make-up value on modern covers."

Steve McGill won a large gold for "The British Denominated Machin Series 1967-2013." The exhibit describes and shows all the changes in the Machin series, but more importantly it tells the story of the evolution, both the artistic and technical aspects. He includes many scarce and rare items, and he uses diagrams, charts and tables very effectively. 

Above is an item from Steve's exhibit, an unusual intaglio setoff on the 50p Machin. Steve's opinion is that the intaglio press was actuated with a sheet of paper mis-positioned, leaving an unprinted image on the impression plate. This would then have been transferred to the gum side of the next sheet.

If you would like to see Steve McGill's presentation to the Royal Philatelic Society London in 2012, it is available on Vimeo.

From the UK, Tony Walker won a vermeil for "The £sd Machin 2/6, 5/-, 10/- and £1 Values." Tony has won a number of gold medals, including at London 2010 and London 2015 Europhilex for his previous exhibit that includes all pre-decimal Machins. This new exhibit concentrates on the high values, which were issued on March 5, 1969, replaced by the decimal denominations 15 months later on June 17, 1970, and became invalid for postal use on March 1, 1972. Because of this short lifetime, interesting items are scarce. The exhibit concentrates on pre-issue material such as artwork and publicity handouts, though it also includes the actual stamps. He notes that some of this material has not been exhibited previously.

Congratulations to all of you on your awards and a thank you from me and all Machin collectors for representing us so well in the Stampex exhibits.


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