Issue Date: 22/03/2016
Issue Name: New Tarrif and Regional Definitives
Producer: Buckingham Covers
On the 22nd 2016 March Royal Mail will be releasing a new tariff and regional definitives for Europe letter up to 20g and the rest of the world letter up to 10g. We are producing these covers to mark this occasion.
This cover was automatically reserved for anyone in our Definitive club (unsigned only) at the lowest possible price. Click here to find out more about our clubs
Arnold Machin RA, the sculptor, designed the portrait of the Queen which has appeared on potage stamps since 1967 and has become probably the most reproduced portrait of all time: he also designed the image of the Queen's head for the first decimal coins. The Royal Mail has lost count of the number of "Machins" circulated since they first appeared in pre-decimal Britain. A conservative estimate would be 60 billion.
Both stamps and coinage bear the hallmark of Machin's best work, depicting a young but regal Queen, with clear lines and great subtlety of shading. In each case Machin began with a sculpture; with the stamps though, the shading proved harder to achieve 'When we came to photograph the relief' Machin recalled, 'the lights in the studio were too bright, so we shot it outside on a misty da using an old fashioned camera'. The photographer was Professor Hedgecoe. The resulting stamp had all extraneous decoration and words removed - including the traditional 'Postage and Revenue' - to leave simply the portrait of the Sovereigh and the potal value. Edward Short, Postmaster General at the time of its issue, predicted that it would become a classic, and his judgement has been wholly vindicated.