Royal Mail Marks 50th Anniversary of the Machin Definitive With New Stamps

Great Britain today, June 5, marked the 50th anniversary of one of its most iconic stamps — the Machin Definitive (often called Machin Head by collectors) — with a series of new stamps.

The stamps show a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and were created in 1967 by artist Arnold Machin (1911–1999), who first sculpted a bust of the queen that was adapted to the stamp design. Born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1911, Machin was a renowned sculptor and had a long association with Wedgewood potteries.

The new stamps present a snapshot into the history of the design that has been reprinted an estimated 220 billion times and is considered one of the most reproduced images in the world, according to Royal Mail.

The Machin Head has been reproduced in more than 130 colors and more than 800 major varieties.

Royal Mail lists 20 different products in connection with the new stamps, including a Prestige Booklet, Presentation Pack, postcards, first-day covers, and a set of six Post & Go (vending machine) labels.

A new miniature sheet of the new stamps show various steps in the Machin’s design process in 1966, including an image of the Queen Victoria Penny Black stamp, a model for the 1967 Queen Elizabeth II definitives; a photograph of the sculptor’s coin mold; essays; and a photograph of the queen by John Hedgecoe.

A new Golden Anniversary Celebration miniature sheet features eight stamps in various denominations, colors and shapes, including a £1 stamp, based on the high-denomination range of 1969 and is printed using gold foil.

USSS/Mueller Award for Best Article in ‘The American Philatelist’ for 2016

The winner of the United States Stamp Society/Barbara R. Mueller Award, for the best article published in a single year of The American Philatelist, has been announced by the American Philatelic Society.

Henry B. Scheuer’s article titled “Kansas-Nebraska Overprint Stamps: Why, Where, and When They Were Initially Sold” was selected as the 2016 winner. The award will be presented at the APS StampShow Celebration Banquet 2017 on August 5 in Richmond, Virginia.

The winner’s name will be added to a permanent plaque in the editorial offices of The American Philatelist. Additionally, the award includes a check for $1,000.

The award is named for the United States Stamp Society (USSS) and for one of its most prominent members, authors, and editors, Barbara R. Mueller. Among her many other honors in six decades of devotion to philately, Mueller is a member of the Hall of Fame of both the USSS and APS Writers Unit 30. She was the recipient of the APS John N. Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research in 1956.

Additional information on the award can be found on the APS website.