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5 June 2007 - Machin Definitive 40th Anniversary Generic Smilers Sheet 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.
The sheet on a set of Norvic first day covers as used for some miniature sheets, produced in a limited edition of only 15 sets, reproduces - with the permission of Royal Mail a copy of the Machin portrait composed by a montage of definitive stamps.
In addition to the Miniature Sheet, Royal Mail also issued a generic sheet consisting of 20 x 1st class Machin commemorative stamps is designed to look like a page from a collector's album. The stamps depicted on the labels are the complete range of pre-decimal definitives, ½d, 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d sepia, 4d red, 5d, 6d, 7d, 8d red, 8d blue, 9d, 10d, 1/-, 1/6, 1/9, 2/6, 5/-, 10/-, £1. The labels also show the issue date and official colour descriptions.
Cover 1 - three Arnold Machin stamps with labels showing the ½d, 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d sepia and 4d red
Cover 2 - three Arnold Machin stamps with labels showing the 5d, 6d, 7d, 8d red, 8d blue, and 9d
Cover 3 - two Arnold Machin stamps with labels showing the 10d, 1/-, 1/6 and 1/9 stamps
Cover 4 - two Arnold Machin stamps with labels showing the 2/6, 5/- and 10/- stamps and an unvalued black stamp substituting for the £1. (The £1 black stamp remains valid for postage and this label may have been used in place of a stamp.)
Sets of 4 (only 1 of each shown in images) postmarked with either
40th Anniversary of the Machin Definitive Stamps London SW1 5.6.07 or
40th Anniversary of Machins 1967-2007 Machin Road Birmingham, illustrated with the Machin Head.