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British Machin Stamp Anniversary of the Penny Black Machin 1st class large British Stamp GB Worldwide up to 40g Machin Stamp

Special offers on new & used copies of: Collecting British Squared Circle Postmarks

Collecting Stamps: The 1924/25 Empire Exhibition Stamps

GB Stamps for the 1924 and 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley The British Empire Exhibition, held at Wembley in Middlesex close to London during 1924 & 1925, was officially opened by King George V on 23rd April 1924. At the time the British Empire consisted of 58 countries and only Gibraltar and Gambia were not represented. At a cost at the time of £12 million this was the largest ever exhibition staged anywhere in the world and over 27 million visitors attended while it was open.

Stamps commemorating the exhibition were issued for both 1924 and 1925. The stamps all featured similar designs to that shown here. The penny value was red and penny halfpenny value brown. The first day of issue for the 1924 stamps was 23 April 1924 - the day King George V opened the exhibition - and the 1925 printing was issued on 9 May 1925. Apart from envelopes posted by visitors many different letter cards, postcards and souvenirs were produced commemorating the exhibition. Collectors today tend to refer to the stamp sets as being either the "1924 Wembley" or "1925 Wembley" commemorative issues.
Around 25 different special postmarks, many featuring the lion logo, were used during the exhibition in both years. The most commonly seen examples are those used on regular mail. The parcel handstamps, registered marks and specific exhibitor postal markings can be very scarce.

First Day Covers for the stamps are very collectable and, depending on condition and postmarks, prices can easily exceed a £1,000 for the most desirable. The 1925 stamps on FDC are very much more valuable than the 1924 issue as many collectors at the time did not recognise the new 1925 stamp as a proper new issue meaning far fewer were serviced with FDI postmarks.

Collectors should note that the stamps were only sold at the exhibition which means examples bearing first day of issue postmarks from other parts of the UK away from the exhibition (or London) are extremely rare. A number of forgeries bearing Rhyl postmarks on the 1924 issue turned up in the 1970s so excercise caution.

Several postal stationery items - including pre-paid postcards, envelopes and letter cards - were produced for both years of the exhibition. While First Day of use cards are very collectable, the 1925 stationery items are far more valuable than the 1924.

The stamps for both years were recess printed by Waterlow & Sons. In 1924 the stamps were normally line or comb perforated whereas only comb perforated examples are found for the 1925 stamps.

New GB postage stamps still influenced by Arnold Machin

Arnold Machin Centenary Stamps

Years after his passing in 1999, Arnold Machin is still making a huge impact on British stamp design. Perhaps the most interesting use of his iconic Queen's head design is on the latest Post and Go stamps which many collectors believe will prove to be the start of a new generation of postage stamps where services and values are overprinted at the point of sale on pre-printed stamp designs.

It therefore seems fitting that the centenary of Arnold Machin's birth was the subject of Britain's first ever commemorative Post & Go stamps.

Printing The London 2012 Olympics Definitive Stamps

Squared Circle Postmarks

Did You Know?

Did you know:  Thematic philately, also referred to as topical philately, is the study of the pictures and subjects depicted on postage stamps. There are numerous very popular subjects including birds, football, insects, flowers etc. As with other forms of philately stamps displaying design errors are much in demand. While thematic stamp collecting has been more popular in the US and Europe, it is now gathering pace in the UK and GB stamps already cover many of the most popular topics.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles

Social Philately Began Before Facebook
The origins of "social philately" are credited to Australia back in the 1980s but it has since been adopted and grown in popularity across the world. What distinguishes social philately from other types of competitive philately is that displays may include normal philatelic items like postage stamps, covers and postal stationery together with all kinds of non-philatelic material or ephemera such as letters, maps, art prints, photos, coins, medals, newspaper clippings, formal documents etc. [...]

Scarce Post & Go Stamp Set Being Auctioned for British Postal Museum and Archive
For just the four days of Autumn Stampex 2011 the Royal Mail paid tribute to Arnold Machin by marking the centenary of his birth with a special commemorative issue of Post & Go stamps. We are pleased to offer a set of these scarce stamps for sale in aid of the British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA). [...]

Concorde: A Special One Day Postmark Scheduled for December
Fans of aerophilately - and Concorde in particular - will be interested in a special Royal Mail postmark scheduled for use in December 2011. [...]

Spink Stamp Valuation Day Programme in the UK 2012
Spink hold a regular programme of valuation events around the UK and Worldwide and frequntly attend major fairs and exhibitions. Their programme of valuation days in the UK has been announced via their website. [...]

GB Stamp Errors - King George V PENCF Error
I guess one of the most common questions dealers and experienced stamp collectors get asked is to confirm whether a stamp displays the charecteristics of a rare variety or error. [...]

Why Not Display Your Stamps and Covers Online?
The web has undoubtedly given stamp dealers a global reach to help sell stamps, postal history and first day covers but, in my opinion, collectors have been slow to see the potential for exhibiting items - or even entire collections - online and thus do their bit to encourage interest in our great hobby. [...]

British Postal Museum and Archive Reviews Search Room Opening Hours
The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) are considering making changes to the opening hours of their Archive Search Room and want feedback from members of the public. [...]

World Famous Stanley Gibbons Stamp Shop Receives A Makeover
The 399 Strand address is known the world over as the home of Stanley Gibbons, the leading name in British and world philately. Work has now started to expand the retail space to offer better, more accessible displays with dedicated seating for stamp viewings and new interactive information points which they say will make for an exciting new shopping experience. [...]

David Feldman Announce Important Great Britain Philatelic Auction
Philatelic Auctioneers David Feldman say they are having more auctions on more different dates than usual during 2010 in order to to accommodate many wonderful properties that have been entrusted to them. The schedule starts with an April 13th-16th sale which will feature important GB Line Engraved lots, the Severn Collection of Victorian Imprimaturs, Houses of Parliament Envelopes and Victorian Registered covers etc. [...]

100 Years of the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain 1909-2009
A book by Colin Searle, Honorary Secretary of the Association of British Philatelic Societies Ltd. The book lists each of the Philatelic Congress events and gives examples of the souvenirs produced in addition to listing papers presented, and in many cases, photographs. [...]

Looking For Free Philatelic Website Content?
As I know all too well, running a blog or website can be a time consuming process so the chance to have regularly updated relevant content automatically appear can be a great help. [...]

How to Check for Reperforated British Wing Margin Stamps
Many of the GB surface printed stamps issued during the reign of Queen Victoria were printed on sheets containing panes of stamps meaning several of them were abnormal in size due to a so called "wing margin". Checking stamps for repoerforation can sometimes require a lot of experience and a well trained eye. So how can a less experienced collector check their own stamps? [...]

Delcampe Auctions Attending The Picture Postcard Show 2009
The specialist collectables auction website Delcampe will be attending The Picture Postcard Show 2009 in London between 3rd and 5th of September. [...]

GB Stamp Fairs Scheduled for October 2009
The schedule of stamp fairs we understand are due to take place during October 2009. Wherever possible we have provided organiser contact information for collectors who want to confirm any details before travelling. [...]

The 1840 Penny Black - The Worlds Oldest Postage Stamp

The Penny Black was produced in sheets of 240 employing the Line Engraved print process. The plates used for 1d blacks were numbered 1a, 1b and then plates 2 through to 11. Skilled collectors can benefit from a knowledge of the identification characteristics of scarcer plate printings before scanning the online auctions. Plate 11, for example, had a very short period of use meaning a 1d Black from that plate is many times more valuable than the equivalent stamps printed using the more common plates.

Take a look at the live online penny black auctions ending soon.

British Stamp & Philately Sites From Our Directory

Royal Mail Stamps Featuring Living People
Interesting article PDF file by Peter Jennings highlighting the current shambles of this once rigid Royal Mail policy.

GB Stamp Calendar 2013
Check the schedule of new GB special stamp and Post & Go faststamp issues during 2013.

British Post & Go Stamps
Trace where any GB Post and Go stamp was issued from.

UK Aerophilately website for airmails, first flights, Concorde covers and many other flown covers etc.

Positively Postal
I am so passionate about the postal system that I set up the website Positively Postal...

Collect Indian Stamps
Every Indian Stamp has a story to narrate.The rich cultural heritage of India is brought alive through stamps.Stamp collect is no more just a hobby it's an educational avocation.This dedicated site on indian philately will keep you up to date with latest

Machin Forum
The place to discuss the definitive stamp. Internet forum focused on the iconic QEII Definitive stamps featuring Arnold Machin's portrait of the Queen.

Bath Postal Museum Website
Bath Postal Museum is located at 27 Northgate Street (on the corner of Green Street) Bath, BA1 1AJ

Stampex Website
The Competitions at Stampex are held under the auspices of the Association of British Philatelic Societies.

AK Philately
Adrian runs this interesting blog on all things philatelic from around the world.

Centenary of the First UK Aerial Post

First UK Aerial Post Centenary

We wrote some time ago about the first UK Aerial Post in 1911 and how the centenary of the event was approaching. As expected the Royal Mail marked the centenary on 9th September 2011 with a special stamp issue featuring photos of the event and a miniature sheet shown above which is styled on the publicity posters which were used to advertise the original event.

Chester philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Saturday Nov 29 2014 is from Chester.

Collectors can get this special postmark applied by sending the stamped (minimum 1st Class rate) addressed envelope(s) to:

Wales & The West Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail
220-228 Penarth Road

You can ask for any date (including public holidays) to be applied to your covers provided you send them to arrive on or before that date. It is advised you send a suitable return envelope also if you want the covers sent back protected rather than individually through the regular mail service.
We feature a different UK philatelic postmark every day so check back again

Recent GB Commemorative Stamp Issue

Royal Navy Uniforms GB Stamp Set issued 17th September 2009

This set of stamps depicts the traditions and development of Royal Navy Uniforms over more than two centuries. Issue date: 17th September 2009. Find out more at the Royal Mail website.

January 2010: British Design Classics: Classic Album Covers....

GB Stamp Collecting & British Philatelic Publication News

The British Postmark Bulletin is published usually every two weeks or so by the Royal Mail. The Postmark Bulletin contains interesting articles related to postmarks together with details of current and future postmarks and how collectors can obtain them. Available by subscription from the Royal Mail Website at a current cost of £12.25 in the UK and Europe or £24.95 for subscribers outside Europe.

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Royal Mail Copyright & Intellectual Property: Please note that most Royal Mail stamp designs and postmarks are the intellectual property of the Royal Mail. has permission to display images of Royal Mail stamps and postmarks on this website. We cannot give permission to other parties to use Roayal Mail's IP and any such enquiries should be made via Royal Mail Intellectual Property.