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Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins
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Author:  bremhillbob [ Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

Hi all,
My first post here so let me first explain that I'm a bit of a newbie with philately. The usual story - picked it up again when I retired a couple of years ago. I'm beginning to learn that I know nothing!

I'm just starting my exploration of Machins. I have a reasonable collection of 'stock' that I'm now going to sort through and try to write up. I thought that the Pre-Decimals would be a good place to start - A closed group, reasonably well documented and understood ... and affordable!

So ... starting at the beginning .. the ½d.

Deegam says that there are 3 varieties - one without phosphor and the 2 others from Cylinder 2 and 3 with the stamps from 3 being noticeably lighter to those from 2. In my stock I have a reasonable collection that have been identified (by someone) using Deegam criteria and they all seem to be fairly accurate including direction of print etc ... so I'm thinking that the originator knew their stuff BUT the two ½d stamps seem to be miss identified to me (the wrong war around).

The stamp on the left in the picture below is identified as Cylinder 2 with the right hand stamp cylinder 3 but, to me, the right hand stamp is noticeably crisper, deeper, richer. I do have 3 or 4 stamps that are similar to both so I don't think that the left hand is just faded or washed.
I wonder if anyone has a view?


Author:  bremhillbob [ Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

I'm guessing that either there are not many Pre-Decimal Machin collectors out there or that the question has everyone stumped or .... (my preferred option) ... the question is just a bit too obvious or basic and I really ought to know.

As a follow up then .... I wonder if anyone knows of someone who I could turn to for 'consultancy'. I'd be happy to pay for help and I have approached several dealers but everyone says 'Ask the forums' or 'Join a club' or 'Read the catalogue' ..... I've done all of these thongs but still need help!


Author:  Tony [ Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

Hi, Bob,

I cannot be of help myself, as I'm afraid I have no interest in Machins (maybe because I used to sell them !). However, Tony Hender, of Arun Stamps may be able to help - he has a vast knowledge of UK stamps, and a vast stock, some of which I purchase when I can ! My own major interests being Wilding and Downey Heads 'varieties', this is not frequent. I know not where you are based, but he is in Norfolk.



Author:  bremhillbob [ Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

Hi Tony,
Thanks for getting back. This is a good shout.

I did come across Arun Stamps acouple of years ago at my first stampex in London - it was probably Tony H that I met. On that occasion I spoke with a lot of dealers but came away thinking that Arun Stamps was by far the most aproachable of them all.

So far I've only really spoken to either dealers at fairs or specialist Machin dealers but, based on your recommendation I will definitely drop Tony H a line.

Thank you.

Author:  bremhillbob [ Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

Quick update ...

I've contacted Tony Hinder at Arun Stamps and he was extremely helpful. Whilst I've not exactly found my 'consultant' yet I'm sure that we'll have a dialogue and see where things go.


Author:  sad-bloke [ Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

Hi Bob

Herewith scans of the 1/2d cylinder blocks hopefully the colour difference will be a bit more obvious. Cylinder 3 being a paler version of Cylinder 2

Your examples do seem to have the cylinder numbers the wrong way round


colour difference.jpg
(498.56 KiB)

Author:  bremhillbob [ Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

Hi David

thanks for the scans - they tie in exactly with what I was thinking as well - nice to have it confirmed though.

I'd never really been 'into' cylinder blocks but I can see now that it's a very handy way of having a 'standard' by which to judge colour. Thanks again

Another thing to collect then ..... :roll:

I had a lovely chat with Tony of Arun stamps today - a knowledgeable, charming and 'well stocked' dealer for sure. Overall I think that he concurred.

As a follow up - I bought the new Stonham Catalogue today - much easier to follow and more helpful as a guide to identification.


Author:  sad-bloke [ Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting started with Pre-Decimal Machins

Hi Bob

I collect pre-decimal machins, whilst not an expert, I would be happy to act as a sounding board should you need help.


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