Thursday, 20 April 2017

Big Batch of New Machin Printings Brings Surprises

We mentioned last week a number of new printings of Machin definitive counter sheets - but there are actually more new stamps than we realised from the first report.  And there are some values printed on old paper stocks, and others on the second type of Security Backing Paper, which we refer to as SBP2.

But first a recap.   As we reported on 6 February the March issue of Stamp Magazine reported that a 9 December 2016 printing of the 1st class counter sheet stamp is not only on backing paper with a security print (the first time for a counter sheet), but that it is the new type.

This isn't a very good picture because it is a scan of a magazine print: you can't see the security code but the article by Don Staddon stated that it was M16L, which is logical for a December 2016 printing. 

And this is where things start to get interesting.  The first counter sheet stamp to appear with M17L code was the 2nd class, printed on 04/01/17, and this was on plain paper.  The M16L SBP2 1st class stamp had still not been on sale when the new tariff stamps were issued on 21 March: these were also on plain paper printed in the period 19-24/01/17 (other dates in January may exist, but it now seems unlikely).  Around the same time new M17L printings of the 10p, 1st Large Signed For, and Special Delivery 100g were printed (27/01, 26/01 and 01/02/17 respectively).  All these were also on plain backing paper.

The first deep scarlet* M17L 1st class and 1st Large were printed on 27/02 and 01/03/17 respectively, followed by the 2nd Large, and a reprint of the M17L 2nd class on 13/03 and 22/03/17 respectively.  All are on SBP2, the 2nd class for the first time.  Between the two 1st class values, and the two 2nd class values, the new tariff stamps were reprinted on SBP2 in the period 03/03-10/03/17. 
* see note at foot of blog about why these are not considered 'new'.


Obviously the original printing of the new tariff stamps was for initial distribution to Post Offices, collectors, and businesses and these, along with the 10p, Signed For, and Special Delivery stamps were printed on the last of the plain paper - of course there may also be other values also printed in this period which are yet to appear, so we may not have seen the last of the plain paper printings.  But the 2nd class M17L on plain paper is likely to be scarcer than the new tariff stamps which were obviously treated as new issues for collectors by Royal Mail.

The stamps with new year codes will be mentioned in the Stanley Gibbons Concise Catalogue.  What we don't know at this stage, of course, is how Gibbons will treat stamps printed on SBP2 when the same stamp has already been listed on plain paper.  In our own Checklist these will be given 'a' numbers.  In numbering the new stamps we realised that we made some errors in allocating numbers last year when the deep scarlet stamps were issued, and so some 8 numbers have been changed for the next edition (Version 1.5.6)

This year's new stamps listing in full: 29 so far (includes some with M16L codes)
These should all now be visible on our webshop(please let me know if anything is missing!)

2911.7        2nd class counter sheet plain paper printed 04/01/17
2911.7a      2nd class counter sheet on SBP2 printed 22/03/17

2911B.6a   2nd class business sheet M16L on SBP2 printed 15/12/16

2913.7       2nd Large counter sheet M17L on SBP2 printed 13/03/17

(2914a.6     1st class deep scarlet M16L on SBP2 printed 09/12/06 - not yet seen)
2914a.7      1st class deep scarlet M17L on SBP2 printed 27/02/17
2914aB.6a  1st class deep scarlet business sheet M16L on SBP2 printed 14/12/16

2916a.7      1st Large deep scarlet M17L on SBP2 printed 01/03/17

2931.6a      2nd class retail booklet M16L on SBP2 packing date 13/12/16

2936a.6a     1st class retail booklet of 12 M16L on SBP2 packing date 12/12/16
2936aS.6a   1st class retail booklet of 6 M16L on SBP2 packing dates 4,5, 13/01/17
2936aC.7    1st class mixed retail booklet M17L on SBP1 packing date 30/11/16

2985.7         1st Large Signed For M17L plain paper printed 26/01/17
2992.7         Special Delivery 100g M17L plain paper printed 01/02/1

3010.7         10p dull orange M17L on plain paper printed 27/01/17

3117            £1.17 vermillion plain paper printed 20/01/17
3117a          £1.17 vermillion SBP2 printed 03/03/17
3140            £1.40 grey-green plain paper printed 19/01/17
3140a          £1.40 grey-green  SBP2 printed 07/03/17
3157            £1.57 olive-green plain paper printed 20/01/17
3157a          £1.57 olive-green SBP2 printed 07/03/17
3227            £2.27 ochre plain paper printed 23/01/17
3227a          £2.27 ochre SBP2 printed 10/03/17
3255            £2.55 deep red-brown plain paper printed 24/01/17
3255a          £2.55 deep red-brown SBP2 printed 08/03/17

3702aP.6     1st class deep scarlet MPIL M16L issued 15/02/17 Windsor Castle PSB
4002P.6       2p deep green MPIL M16L issued 15/02/17 Windsor Castle PSB

4010P.6       10p dull orange MPIL M16L MPIL M16L issued 15/02/17 Windsor Castle PSB ±
4105P.6       £1.05 sage-green MPIL M16L issued 15/02/17 Windsor Castle PSB ±

4500            £5 deep blue Accession Anniversary

± These two values were previously issued in the Beatrix Potter PSB; some slight shade difference can be seen on some stamps.

The new stamps
M17L printings
2nd class Machin sheet stamp M17L with security printed backing paper.2nd Large Machin sheet stamp M17L with security printed backing paper.


100g Special Delivery Machin sheet stamp M17L with plain backing paper.


 


  


 


1st class M16L Business Sheet with SBP2:

1st class MSIL M16L Booklet with SBP2

All these will be added to our webshop to be available from the middle of next week.  Due to the number of stamps to be added it will take a while to prepare all the pictures and write-ups for the shop.

I have confirmed* that even though the 1st and 1st large stamps in counter sheets are obviously new and obviously different to the lighter colour issued earlier, Royal Mail do not intend to make them available as a new stamp or distribute them to standing order customers, something which I find quite incredible.  I think it demonstrates that what used to be a good Philatelic Bureau has lost the plot, taken its eye off the ball, and any number of other cliches that you might use - but this, the erratic information on Post and Go and in the Philatelic Bulletin, the very variable service reported by collectors about its new England-based call-centre, and the hiatus in production of the Postmark Bulletin means it no longer provides an adequate service to collectors.  

Time for another kick in the pants: Tallents House is not just there to sell collectables to music fans! 

UPDATE 26 APRIL 
Official response from Royal Mail both to me, and on Facebook (see comments):
We have reviewed the events regarding the new darker red and new security arrangements and clearly there is no prospect of any retroactive day of availability and therefore no regular order distribution either. Off the record, in terms of why it didn’t happen this was really a scheduling and shading matter in that the colour remained Royal Mail Red but with changes led by branding e.g. extending use of a padlock to books and adding 5% (CMYK) black to stamps to match the red tone of vans and pillar boxes, it was felt the stamp remained essentially the same with the change only noticeable with a direct comparison to an older stamp. In future, we will consider a bulk issue of such changes rather than the sequenced roll out of standard and large stamps through Retail Books, Business Sheets and Stamp sheets on a product by product basis.
Additionally, and not on Facebook:
In terms of the backing paper this is a moot point. The stamp image file was essentially unchanged but applied to a different backing paper, the security feature is in the paper process not the stamp printing process so didn’t come through our policy change process, which is historically design led. Perhaps it should have done and we’ve taken steps to ensure it does in future. 

3 comments:

  1. Re. your comment "..Royal Mail do not intend to make them available as a new stamp or distribute them to standing order customers, something which I find quite incredible. I think it demonstrates that what used to be a good Philatelic Bureau has lost the plot, taken its eye off the ball, and any number of other cliches that you might use .." If RM read this then perhaps they may wish to make a call to Guernsey Post to see how to treat their paying philatelic customers properly.

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  2. On this topic I messaged RM on FB this is their reply :-Hi Peter, I have had a response from our stamps expert, who had this to say: We have reviewed the events regarding the new darker red and new security arrangements and clearly there is no prospect of any retroactive day of availability and therefore no regular order distribution either. Off the record, in terms of why it didn’t happen this was really a scheduling and shading matter in that the colour remained Royal Mail Red but with changes led by branding e.g. extending use of a padlock to books and adding 5% (CMYK) black to stamps to match the red tone of vans and pillar boxes, it was felt the stamp remained essentially the same with the change only noticeable with a direct comparison to an older stamp. In future, we will consider a bulk issue of such changes rather than the sequenced roll out of standard and large stamps through Retail Books, Business Sheets and Stamp sheets on a product by product basis.

    I hope this answers you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Peter. They are at least all telling the same story as that is the same wording that I got from the dealer-manager.

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