The Machin Design

What is a Machin ?

Stamp collectors derived the name Machin ( pronounced “May-chin”) from the surname of the designer, the late Arnold Machin O.B.E - R.A. -  1911 to 1999.

Arnold Machin (picture below) was the Artist who designed and developed the actual plaster cast that was eventually used for the original printing of the portrait. Several trials and tests had to be conducted including photographing the cast in several positions and in different lighting conditions before the right effect could be obtained (right).

Individual negatives were then prepared and 2 basic head types were chosen for the first printings. This was carried out by Harrison & Son of  High Wycome. They were printed on unwatermarked coated paper. Uncoated errors do exist more about these elsewhere under the index types of papers.

It has been said that Machin chose the actual simplicity of Machins design and based it on the very first postage stamps introduced by Great Britain in 1840 (the penny black). It is this simplicity that has kept this unique design in production for over thirty five years.

07 Arnold Machin O.B.E - R.A. -  1911 to 1999.

Although new pictorial definitives have been released over the last few years for all the individual regions, including England, as far as we know the Royal Mail have no immediate plans to remove it for the national definitives the near future.

The first issues were released on 5th June 1967 consisting of three values. These were the pre decimal issues (see below)  4d value ; 1/- value ; 1/9d value.

For those who are not familiar with pre decimal currency there were 12 pennies = to 1 shilling and 20 shillings = to £1

One penny was written 1d ; two pence as 2d ; etc. One shilling was written 1/-