|Born||30 September 1911|
Stoke-on-Trent, England, UK
|Died||9 March 1999 87) (aged|
Stafford Borough, Staffordshire, England, UK
|Alma mater||Royal College of Art, London|
|Known for||China painting, sculpture, coin design, postage stamp design|
|Notable work||Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on British decimal coinage and postage stamps|
Arnold Machin OBE, R.A., FRSS ( // ; 30 September 1911 – 9 March 1999) was a British artist, sculptor, and coin and postage stamp designer.
Machin was born Stoke-on-Trent in 1911. He started work at the age of 14 as an apprentice china painter at the Minton Pottery. During the Depression he learnt to sculpt at Stoke-on-Trent College of Art, which was opposite the Minton factory. In the 1930s he moved to Derby, where he worked at Royal Crown Derby and met his wife Patricia. He went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London.
After imprisonment in the Second World War as a conscientious objector, he returned to modelling and sculpture, and created many notable ceramics which are now prized collectors' items. In 1947 he was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy of Arts, [ citation needed ]was a Master of Sculpture from 1959 to 1966 and became the longest-serving member of the Academy. He was elected an Academician in 1956 and a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. From 1951, he was a tutor at the Royal College of Art.
After retirement, Machin lived in his home, Garmelow Manor, Eccleshall, Stafford Borough, Staffordshire, until his death in 1999, aged 87.
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In 1964 Machin was chosen to design a new image of Queen Elizabeth II for the decimal coinage, which was to be introduced from 1968. This was used for all British coins until 1984 and was also used on the coins of Rhodesia in 1964, coins of Canada from 1965 to 1989, Australia from 1966 to 1984 and New Zealand from 1967 to 1985.
In 1966 the Queen approved Machin's similar design for an effigy of her to be used on what came to be known as the "Machin series" of British definitive postage stamps. Machin produced a bas-relief in clay which, when combined with a different coloured background, is reminiscent of the overlaid decoration of potteries such as Wedgwood. The design was first used on the 4d stamp which was issued in June 1967, and was used on all British definitive stamps (except more recent regional issues) since. It is thought that this design is one of the most reproduced works of art in history with approximately 320 billion copies produced.
On several occasions the Queen was approached with suggestions for the replacement of the Machin stamp portrait. Although she considered alternatives, she never approved any new design, stipulating that any such replacement would have to be "a work of real quality".
In 2007 the Machin-designed stamp was still in use at its 40th anniversary and to mark the occasion, the Royal Mail issued a commemorative stamp featuring a photograph of Machin. It was also available for sale in a miniature sheet which incorporated another stamp with a reproduction of a Machin series stamp, as well as two £1 Machins in different colours.
In the year 1956, while resident at number 15 The Villas, Stokeville, an estate of 24 Victorian houses in Stoke-upon-Trent, he received publicity in the national press when he chained himself to an old metal lamp-post, in protest at its planned removal.Machin's protest, "against the destruction of all the beautiful things which is going on in this country" did not prevent the lamp-post from being replaced by a concrete one; however, it was given to him for his own garden and his wife Patricia unlocked him. The lamp has since been restored to its original position.
Machin and his wife had a son, Francis (1949–2007), who was also an artist, and an architect.
After Francis died, some of his father's possessions, from his house near Eccleshall in rural Staffordshire, were sold at auction.These included the fourth of the known final plasters made to create the Machin stamp series, the three others being kept in the Royal Mail archives.
Minor planet 3109 Machin is named in his honour.
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, the West Midlands County and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.
Stoke-on-Trent is a city and unitary authority area in Staffordshire, England, with an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). In 2019, the city had an estimated population of 256,375. It is the largest settlement in Staffordshire and is surrounded by the towns of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Alsager, Kidsgrove, Biddulph and Stone, which form a conurbation around the city.
Postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain surveys postal history from the United Kingdom and the postage stamps issued by that country and its various historical territories until the present day.
Staffordshire University is a public research university in Staffordshire, England. It has one main campus based in the city of Stoke-on-Trent and four other campuses; in Stafford, Lichfield, Shrewsbury and London.
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Wedgwood is an English fine china, porcelain and luxury accessories manufacturer that was founded on 1 May 1759 by the potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood and was first incorporated in 1895 as Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Ltd. It was rapidly successful and was soon one of the largest manufacturers of Staffordshire pottery, "a firm that has done more to spread the knowledge and enhance the reputation of British ceramic art than any other manufacturer", exporting across Europe as far as Russia, and to the Americas. It was especially successful at producing fine earthenware and stoneware that were accepted as equivalent in quality to porcelain but were considerably cheaper.
The Stoke-on-Trent Regional College of Art was one of three colleges that were merged in 1971 to form North Staffordshire Polytechnic. The College of Art had achieved Regional Art College status after the Second World War, but its roots lay in the nineteenth century as it was formed from three of the Potteries´ art schools. Although the six towns which make up Stoke-on-Trent were a relatively small conurbation, each had its own art school: those at Fenton, Hanley and Tunstall had closed by the time the Regional College of Art was created, leaving Burslem, Longton and Stoke.
Burslem School of Art was an art school in the centre of the town of Burslem in the Potteries district of England. Students from the school played an important role in the local pottery industry. Pottery was made on the site of the school from the early Middle Ages. The venue was refurbished and re-opened for the arts in 1999.
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Marc-Louis-Emmanuel Solon, pseudonym Miles, was a renowned French porcelain artist. After beginning his career at the Sèvres Pottery, he moved to Stoke-on-Trent in 1870 to work at Mintons Ltd, where he became the leading exponent of the technique of ceramic decoration called pâte-sur-pâte. His work commanded high prices in the late Victorian period.
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