Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spotlight - Great Britain Machins

Great Britain Machins

Robin Harris has created a veritable treasure trove of information on Great Britain's Machin stamps. Virtually every Machin, including many variations, are detailed on his comprehensive website. This week, I've chosen his site for Stamp of Distinction's Website Spotlight.

As a brief refresher, a Machin stamp (pronounced 'May-chin) is a definitive stamp issued by Great Britain. It features a depiction of a plaster sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II in profile view. The cast was created by Arnold Machin, hence their name.

When the first Machin stamp was issued in June 1967, I'm sure few thought that this would be the largest definitive stamp issue ever. Over 40 years later, Royal Mail has continued to issue new denominations and colorations of this workhorse stamp.

Robin's site is extremely detailed and shows expert craftsmanship. Even though the author states "I do not pretend to be an expert on Machins - quite the opposite, I am still very much a novice," I think you will find that the self-described "Machin Nut" has become very knowledgeable on the subject matter.

Great Britain Machin

The site is organized with a navigation menu on the left side of the page. From here, one can visit links to find out the history of the Machin design, variations, denominations, perforation changes, etc. It is easy to move from one area to another.

There are three main "lists" that are available from the sidebar ... one for pre-decimal issues, one for decimal issues, and one for the anniversary Machins which portray the busts of both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Every denomination and color shade is represented in these lists.

Choosing one of the entries on the stamp lists takes you to an expanded page showing the stamp and major variations. A representative copy of the stamp is displayed in full color (as accurately as a computer will allow). The comprehensive page also lists perforation variations, printer changes (where known), regional issues (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Isle of Man) if they exist for the denomination and color.

Additional lists are available on the sidebar include lists of stamps by perforations, high-values, self-adhesive stamps, etc. The lists are an exhaustive source of information that will help you quickly zero in on specific stamps.

The site also guides you through helpful steps to determine which stamp you might have. Based upon the perfs, denomination, tagging, and other characteristics, it gives several "markers" to help you sort your Machin collection.

If you collect Machin stamps, you will definitely want to visit this site. Even if you don't collect them, visit this site anyway ... it's attention to detail make it an excellent representation of all that is good with a comprehensive philatelic site. It is a tremendous collection and will be a great site to bookmark.

Would you like to nominate a website for a Stamps of Distinction Website Spotlight? If so, read and follow the instructions on this link.

No comments: