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Queen's Head Stamp

Queen's Head Stamp
A £5 Machin stamp design ©Copyright Royal Mail Group 2006. Image reproduced by kind permission of The British Postal Museum & Archive

You may have never heard of Arnold Machin, but you’ve certainly seen one of his designs. For Machin was the man who designed the portrait of the Queen we see on the classic Queen’s Head stamp that we use every day.

Machin is responsible for Her Majesty looking so youthful throughout the years – he began with a sculpture and wanted his design to be a symbolic representation, not an absolutely realistic image to be updated every few years.

And it has certainly lasted – almost 40 years! It is thought that this design is the most reproduced work of art in history, with some 180 billion examples produced so far.