Wednesday 30 September 2020

Virtual Stampex: Post and Go and the (closed) Postal Museum

Virtual Autumn Stampex 2020 (detailed here) opens tomorrow.  To mark the event, the Postal Museum is selling stamps from the museum's Post & Go machine with a special inscription.

A mock-up of the Postal Museum* Virtual Stampex 2020 Post & Go stamp.
(Thanks to Commonwealth Stamps Opinion blog.)

We are used to surprise and unnecessary Post & Go stamps from the offshore islands, but this is something new for The Postal Museum.  I can do no better than quote from the Commonwealth Stamps Opinion blog:

It seems rather surreal to me - stamps costing a lot of money produced by an inaccessible machine to commemorate a philatelic exhibition that has no physical reality. 

The Museum is, of course, closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Their Post & Go machine A001 is inaccessible. Nobody can physically buy these stamps which are only available from 1-3 October.  

This item made up of Machin Head stamps with the MA13 code apparently with the additional inscription ’The Postal Museum/Virtual Stampex 2020’ is therefore only obtainable by mail order from the Postal Museum at a price of £10.11p plus an additional £3.50p post and packing.

Of course the Museum is missing its visitors and therefore income is well down.  Of course collectors have always supported the Museum through funding efforts (but remember the discarded 'Friends of the BPMA'?).  

But I can't help thinking they could have provided some online subscription services and made more available for a fee for the wider range of collectors instead of producing something that the 'must have one of everything' brigade of collectors will feel that they ought to have to avoid gaps in their collection.

Incidentally at the time of writing, I can't find this on the Museum website.

UPDATE 1 October

The stamps are now on the Postal Museum website where it states that they are on MA14 stock.  

*The first (MA13) image is from the IAR website (IAR produce the machines and control the software - in the past changes to inscriptions or 'overprints' have been under the company's control).  I suspect that the MA13 images are either mock-ups or trials done in IAR's development machine in September (B9) - as you can see from the main illustration here the machine code is B003, whereas the Postal Museum machine is A001.

So it probably safe to say that the stamps actually sold by the Postal Museum will be MA14, unless they exhaust supplies of that stock and use something else, unlikely in three days even with bulk orders from the continental dealers.

UPDATE 10 October

As mentioned above, the mock-up or test printing, illustrated is from IAR.  Pictured below, courtesy of JG is the real deal, on the yellow version of MA14, with the correct data string, B0 (for RM Series II, October), GB20 for 2020, and machine number A001.  Incidentally the receipts are dated 05/10/2020!


  1. Well at least there shouldn't be any 'variations' or 'errors' on ebay this time round then?

  2. The illustration I first saw of this issue shows the MA13 code (as illustrated here) but an e mail sent out today by the Postal Museum says that the stamps used for this issue have the code MA14.Perhaps both have been produced. Double the sales, double the profit?

  3. Be interesting to see what appears on ebay over the next week or so. Cant help but think that the P&P is a little excessive at nearly 35% for collectors buying a single set. (Its free above £50)

  4. This 'tat' has appeared


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