Monday, 20 September 2021

A little unexpected bonus


I received this little bonus the other week. My modest bid on a few booklets produced this little gem catalogued at £75.00. It Just goes to show a unexpected bargain can be had. I had no idea it would be included in the lot.

If anyone needs this for their collection I have relisted it eBay at a sensible starting price. It is very clean and the perforations are quite good.


Sunday, 8 August 2021

Cylinder Singles and blocks of six


I was recently in a conversation with a collector who was interested obtaining cylinder singles. As it stood I only had a few which were unfortunatly not quite what he was looking for. I suggested that he might pick up a selection of cheap cylinder blocks 2 x 3 of  which there are plenty. He could take the single or pair for his collection and use the remainder for either trade or postage.

I was then asked if I would post a selection of cheaper blocks (£1. 00 - £2.99) on my eBay site. As it happens I recently acquired about 100 early Harrison blocks of which most I already have in my own collection.

These blocks are mostly from 1971 -1976 and have a good variety of papers, perforation types, gums and phosphors. They are also in very good condition, no teared margins or creases and all have full gum.

I have scanned a couple of pages (below) to give you an idea of the quality. This mini collection is now in the process of being broken up and listed as single blocks of 6. Many have already been listed. The whole collection and a few others that I have spare will eventually be listed for sale.

Take a look at my eBay sales GBMachins see if there is anything you like. As I have already said you will not get better quality than this. I combine postage for multiple wins.

This is just a small selection, Click on an image to enlarge. I hope you like them. Many more will be added on the site over the next few days. 

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Marginal Markings


When ever I buy a job lot of counter booklets is always nice to pick out panes with marginal markings to study. There are several that are obtainable which that can be found in most counter booklets. Panes for these books were made up from a original primary sheet of 200 which contained 20 rows x 10 columns. 

Each primary sheet can have left or right marginal panes catalogued either A or B. Some of the panes will therefor have marginal markings. These markings can show cut lines, top and bottom, or in the centre if they have been miscut. Other markings can be half arrows either top or bottom, Other markings can show the wording total sheet value in capitals and value of the total sheet amount in £s. We can also find cylinder numbers in row 1 or 2 of the individual left or right panes

Another collectable pane one of my favourites is that which show colour registration marks, these are in what collectors have called in the shape of triangles or chevrons. These are something just a bit different to the norm and make cheap attractive additions to a collection.

A couple of booklets showing the triangle /chevron markings are shown in the pics below. 

0.80p  No1 SG FE1B Aircraft series (DB2B 1914 and Vickers Gun Bus

£1.00 No1 SG FH1B Ironbridge from the Industrial Archaeology series 

I have these and a few others that are duplicates and are surplus to my requirements so they will eventually all go for auction on my eBay site. If you like what you see check them out.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Interesting Booklet


Yesterday I had a delivery of stamps from a recent eBay win. Several early booklets were included in the lot and a quick sort through and I came upon some nice cylinder booklets which will be welcome additions to my collection.  

I also came across this £1.55p SG FT2B (2 Letters Abroad) discount booklet with stars printed under the gum. What stood out like a sore thumb I noticed it has a pale patchy inking to the background colour. I  had seen something similar before so I ended up checking it in the MCC specialised catalogue only to find it unlisted. 

The first issue in the Social letter writing series £1.70p FT1A and FT1B ( Love Letters) was listed with a pale shade, so my mind was not playing tricks on me. The stamps do actually exist if they are in fact classed as "pale shade" but they have only been found to date without the star underprint and catalogued with a different booklet cover.  

I do not think it is worth a fortune but if you fancy a bid on it I have listed it on eBay starting at £6.45 which I think is a realistic price. Your comments are always welcome.

                                          Shown with normal for comparison

Saturday, 12 June 2021

1st Class Large Self Adhesive Forgery's


There are so many counterfeit stamps in circulation these days it is difficult to keep up. I have just received a small supply of these 1st class Large Machin counterfeit stamps which arrived in horizontal and vertical pairs. I presume they were originally on a sheet.

Although these are good enough to fool most of the general public they certainly do not fool the specialist Machin collector, or the post office for that matter.


1:  No year codes or source codes

2:  The ellipses appear to have straight sides

3:  There are nine straight lines of iridescent background text instead of thirteen wavy lines 

4: The Perforations appear to be sharp rather than the norm which are blunter

5: There are no phosphor bars or afterglow under UV light

6: They are on very thin backing paper, not card with no royal mail text.

Above is a scan of the item, and below is a scan of a genuine stamp, there may be more differences which I have not listed such as brightness of the paper.

If you would like a copy for your own collection I have listed a few of the extras on eBay, both singles starting at 95p and pairs buy it now at £2.25. I must stress these are sold as collectors items only and must on no account be used for postage.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Online Machin Course in June by APS

The American Philatelic Society is presenting an online course on Machins as part of the Summer Seminar series. The course is titled “The British Machins - Their Origins, Technical Aspects and Varieties.” The course is given by Steve McGill, an acknowledged Machin expert whose exhibits contain stunning material and innovative graphics. He has won several Large Gold medals, which is not easy to do with modern material.

The course will be given on Tuesdays, June 8, 15, and 22 starting at 4pm Eastern Daylight Time (21:00 BST). However, if you have registered for the course, the videos remain available to you indefinitely on the APS web site, so if you cannot attend live, you miss a session, or you want to review a session, you may do so at your convenience.

You must be an APS member to attend the class. You can join the APS on their web site. After that, you must register separately for the course, which requires a fee of US$35. 


You can join the APS on the main APS web site.

You can then get information about the Summer Seminar. Scroll down to see the courses, then follow the link to register. 


Friday, 21 May 2021

Coil Strips On Cover


As we all know the Machin field is a vast specialised subject. Over the years my tastes and collecting habits have changed many times. When I was a much younger man I collected most Machin material, but as more and more stamps were issued, money was tight so I had to curb my spending and started to specialise in the more interesting cheaper material.

Obtaining multi -value coils on cover was pretty easy and a cheap method of adding used coil stamps to my collection.  Sometimes If I had a duplicate would float them off the cover and display a mint strip, used strip and cover envolope on a page. Of course with my collecting habits changing over the years. I now no longer accumulate used stamps. All my covers were sold or swapped for something else. Hindsight is a funny thing, but I wished I had kept them now.  

These covers are still obtainable for a very modest price (between £1 -£2). Here are just a few I picked out from the many that are on the market  today.


Enjoy your stamps and have a nice day. 

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Uncut Pane Of Walsall 40 Millennium Machins

This has now been taken off the market. I guess it was a bit to steep for most collectors pockets. Anyway, many thanks go to the people who enquired.

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.

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.