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The Machin Thread

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Adrian07/03/2012 09:22:08
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

I think it's about time we had a permanent Machin thread here, where we can all share our latest finds, questions, news, etcetera.

I've just gone back into the Machins after resorting my decimal GB collection. so when I happened to pass our local post office yesterday, I went in and bought some bookelts, just to get going again. It made me realise I have some catching up to do! The last time I was serious into Machins was probably almost a decade ago. Frightening how time flies!

But anyway, I got this 12 x 1st booklet:

First thing I noticed that you can no longer easily determine the printer! That information used to be printed on the booklet in the good old days, but not anymore. Not even on the back:

Just as well, then that I have a Deegam CD! The stamps have security code MA10, and if I'm not mistaken they are printed by Walsall.

I had more luck with the 2nd booklet, for that one had the cylinder number W4 in the margin.

The stamps in this booklet have an M12L code, so this is a much more recent booklet. I suppose these get sold much more often, though it has to be said of course that there are usually more types of 1st class booklets (remember the olympics and the diamond jubilee?) so the ordinary ones are put aside every now and then.

I quite like the security codes (finally, three years or so after introduction), they bring a nice new addition to a Machins collection. And seeing that collecting machins is not really about completism, I just collect what I find in post offices, rather than ordering from the philatelic bureau. My way of keeping it slightly within a realistic scope!


Jack09/03/2012 21:33:49
124 forum posts

Frankly I can not find anything interesting (ok, the security codes are interesting) in Machins; how many billions of this image are there? How out of date is the image?

Okay, some interest in rates and usage of the stamp on cover, but otherwise it is the most boring stamp in existence as it has lasted well byond its use by date.

It puts more people of philtaley than anything else.; they need commemorative stamps on cover to get them interested...

Adrian12/03/2012 10:17:48
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

face 23

No, no no, Ozzie, this is a Machin Appreciation thread! And with several dedicated societies in existence who devour anything to do with Machins I think it's fairer to say that Machins DO attract a lot of people to philately. It sure brought me back and even at the tender age of 9 or 10 I was more interested in those long running series with kings and queens on rather than any of those commemorative singles or short sets. You can't do anything with those other than have them and move on to the next. Whereas with definitives and the Machin in particular, you keep on researching and exploring and finding out and enjoying.

As happened to me with the Millennium Machins, when I sorted them the other night. Remember them?

I knew there were three printers involved and that it should be possible to tell single copies apart, but was amazed to find it was quite easy to do so! De La Rue printed the sheet stamps and these only come in 15 x 14 (or 14.75 x 14 to be precise). It's the one shown above. So any stamps with perf 14 all round must be either Questa or Walsall. But both Questa and Walsall also made stamps with perf 15 x 14. So how to distinguish those? Well, the Walsall stamps may be distinguished by the strong line at the back of the front cross of the diadem. Both Questa and De La Rue have a number of lighter lines, but Walsall's stamps show one thick dark line.

So that's Walsall. Questa's stamps also have a special characteristic, although I must admit this is a little less obvious. If you look closely at the Queen's forehead you see it is reinforced with a small darkish line between head and white background.

Walsall has this too but they have the added characteristic mentioned above which is very obvious. There are a few more ways to distinguish them but I find these the easiest, especially after a bit of practice. Ideally, you should try distinguishing those copies of which you are sure who printed them (by being able to distinguish their source through marginal information).

Just give it a try and see how far you get!

David into machins12/03/2012 19:09:34
16 forum posts
this is great, just the detail I was looking for, thanks
Adrian13/03/2012 13:56:26
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

Hi David!

First of all welcome to the Stamp Magazine forum! Great to have you on board and we hope you'll come back and particpate often!

Glad you like the info so far. If there's anything you'd like to ask with regard to the Machins feel free to do so and we'll see if we can help you out!

Also feel free to start any new threads on the forum on anything else you like, don 't like (within reason!) or would want to know.


Adrian21/03/2012 11:10:12
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

My latest addition to my Machin collection is from the Hong Kong set. I’m particularly fond of this set for it retains all the beauty of the Machin design and yet manages to be so distinctly different. My latest addition is a set of three booklet panes:

These are one of the very few items printed by Leigh-Marsden in Australia. Most items are printed by Enschedé in the Netherlands, but in 1994 Leigh-Marsden printed the Machins in a prestige booklet. These three panes are also the only source for the watermarked paper. The so-called Watermark 14 (actually the bottom one shown on this pane) was used for these panes.

Leigh-Marsden had already printed different booklet panes in 1993. These, like the 1994 version were also printed in lithography but the 1993 version was on paper without watermark. The three different panes consisted each of 10 stamps of a single value. I haven’t got any of these yet, so I can’t show them to you now.

The other items I received recently were three miniature sheets. These were printed by Enschedé. The stamps are different from the counter sheets versions in that they are printed in lithography, whereas the counter sheet stamps are printed in gravure.

The Hong Kong miniature sheets proved to be a fascinating addition to the Machin set for most of them contained stamps that were not available in counter sheets. Most of these concerned the $10 stamp. The normal sheet version looked like this:

In the miniature sheets, the colours of the stamp were usually adapted to the colour scheme of the miniature sheet, resulting in a completely different stamp.

Great stuff this!

face 23

Stewart Ogilvie-Goddard23/03/2012 22:12:37
18 forum posts
7 photos

I decided to get some stamps framed and decided that the Hong Kong "Machins" were just the ticket. Nice design, nice colours, nicely sized stamps.

Adrian24/03/2012 09:40:40
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

Framed? As in: hanging on a wall? Would love to see a pic of that! But I agree, there's something special about those Hong Kong Machins.

Stewart Ogilvie-Goddard24/03/2012 12:04:40
18 forum posts
7 photos

There is an image here: image

It is very much a work in progress - alignment, background colour etc. It is not a complete series of the stamps, just the ones I have obtained.

Edited By Katy Purvis on 30/11/2012 11:59:35

David into machins24/03/2012 14:44:42
16 forum posts
hi Stewart,
There are 28 basic stamps in the set, but it is the miniature sheets that will be the pride of place .I know of 4 different ones, so get hunting and make sure you post the end result for all to enjoy,

regards David

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