5 June 2007 - Machin Definitive 40th Anniversary Prestige Book first day cover set
2007 marked the 40th anniversary of the issue of new Queen Elizabeth II definitives featuring Arnold Machin's iconic bas-relief sculpture that replaced the Wilding definitives. Arnold Machin's 1967 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (sometimes referred to as the Machin head) has been reproduced over 175 billion times.
Arnold Machin created one of the most instantly recognisable images in the world with his classic sculpture of the Queen - and like many examples of great design it was simplicity that was the key to its success. Machin admired the design of the world's first postage stamp, the Penny Black and its effective use of a light image against a dark background.
This is a set of 4 Royal Mail covers with one pane on each. The four panes are cancelled with:
Royal Mail issued a 4-stamp miniature sheet to mark the anniversary of the Machin definitive, but also issued a generic Smilers sheet and a prestige stamp book.
The prestige book (PSB) has 4 panes:
Pane 1: Top and bottom rows 2p-48p-2p definitives; middle row 46p-label-46p. The label shows the Machin head of the Queen;
Pane 2: Top and bottom, £1 ruby definitive; label in the centre showing the Machin head as seen through a camera lens;
Pane 3: Two of each of the Machin anniversary stamps arranged A B / B A;
Pane 4: Top and bottom rows, 1st & 2nd class Large Letter stamps, middle row 1st & 2nd class standard letter stamps with a label showing Sir Rowland Hill.
The definitive stamps in pane 4 are of the Pricing in Proportion type even though those had been replaced by the earlier design for all other purposes.
Pane 1 - Machin Road Birmingham postmark showing the Machin head.
Pane 2 - decorative Windsor 40th anniversary postmark
Pane 3 - Arnold Road, London E3 40th anniversary postmark
Pane 4 - London SW1 40th Anniversary postmark