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The 31p Machin welcomes you to Machins at The Stamp Show 2000

Machins at The Stamp Show 2000

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Machins in Royal Mail’s “Eyes Right” exhibit

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Machins in “Eyes Right”

The early Machins (continued)

Predecimal 9d Machin A new set of colors was needed for the low value stamps that would be needed in decimal currency. Three sets of essays of approved colors were shown. One had the final colors of the 1/2p (turquoise), 2p (green) and 6p (light emerald), but using the cylinders of the predecimal values 1/- (one shilling), 9d and 1/- respectively. The issued 9d is shown at left.

Orange and black 9p Machin A page dated December 17, 1969 showed the approved colors and values for the set of 12 stamps ranging in denomination from 1/2p to 9p. It is interesting to note that this was over a year before the actual issue date, though the Post Office may have expected decimalization to take place sooner than it actually did. On this page, turquoise was used for the 7 1/2p, bistre for the 2 1/2p, pink for the 7 1/2p and brown for the 4p. At the bottom was a note indicating the switches that would be made before the set was actually issued: turquoise would be used for the 1/2p, pink for the 2 1/2p, bistre for the 4p and brown for the 7 1/2p. The other denominations on this page were shown in their final colors, including the two-color orange and black 9p, shown at right.

The first Machin regionals

Scotland regionals 24p and 18p Stamps issued for use in the various regions, or countries, of the United Kingdom were introduced in 1958 using the Wilding portrait of the Queen. These designs continued to be used after the predecimal Machins were introduced in 1967. Regionals using the Machin design were planned for the decimal issue in 1971. Essays from three designers were shown. Andrew Restall had designs with the Queen on the right half of the stamp with the denomination underneath the portrait. Regional emblems were on the left side, though the Welsh dragon extended under the portrait. Jock Kinnear’s designs had a small portrait of the Queen, like the one used on today’s commemoratives, at the upper right, the denomination in the lower right and the regional emblem at the lower left or on the whole left side. Jeffery Matthews, who was eventually chosen to design the issued stamps, submitted designs not much different from the final ones. He had some alternative symbols such as the Legs of Man without the chain, two versions of the Red Hand of Ireland without the crown and star, and a pale red Hand of Ireland in the same color as the portrait. Two Scotland regionals with Matthews’ design are shown at left.

Photogravure high values

Five pound Machin gutter pair In 1977, the recess-printed high values were replaced with large size two-color photogravure ones. A “traffic light” gutter pair of the £5 value is shown to the left. (The so-called traffic lights are guides used by the printers to make sure that the two colors are aligned correctly.) In the exhibit were a large number of color trials using the £2 die; these were dated 1976. The colors included blues, light blues, dark blues, orange, reds, browns, yellows, purples and lilacs. Most of the finally used color combinations were in this trial. The purple one was especially striking, and the yellow ones were too light to be effective.

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