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BREAKING NEWS Royal stamp photographer dies today

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200 billion copies so far and counting!

Unbelievable to many but this is the approximate figure of copies sold to date of the Queen’s Machin head stamp. The photographer who took the photo of the Queen’s head was none other than John Hedgecoe, a world renowned photographer

John Hedgecoe (born 1937 – died 7th June 2010) was an award-winning photographer and best-selling author of over 30 books on photography. He established the photography department in 1965 at the Royal Art College where he was Professor from 1975–1994 and is currently Professor Emeritus. His photographs appear in permanent collections at the New York Museum of Modern Art and London’s National Portrait Gallery

Hedgecoe’s profile shot of the Queen was made by him in June 1967, well over forty years ago and was then used by the most famous stamp sculpturer ever Arnold Machin to make a plaster version. Once the plaster version was produced, Mr Hedgecoe then rephotographed for the stamp image which we are all more than familiar with and will surely remember forever.

A spokesman said: ‘Professor Hedgecoe’s most familiar image is also the world’s most reproduced photograph – the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that appears on UK and Commonwealth postage stamps – 200 billion copies so far and counting’.

Ten years ago the photographer was involved in a heated dispute with the Royal Mail after Lord Snowdon claimed that he took the famous image that appears on stamps worldwide.

Hedgecoe won damages from the Royal Mail which conceded that Hedgecoe’s images were a ’significant’ aid in the final design.

In 2008, a Hasselblad camera said to have been used by Hedgecoe to take a picture of the Queen used on postage stamps appeared at auction, but it failed to sell.

Apart from his stamps, Mr Hedgecoes work in photography is widely respected by photographers worldwide and he will be sadly missed by friends and families.

The team at World Stamp News thanks Mr Hedgecoes for his fantastic works of art and sends his family our most sincere condolences  

Brief History of the Machin series.

The Machin series of postage stamps is the main definitive stamp series in the United Kingdom, used since 5 June 1967. It is the second series to figure the image of Elizabeth II, replacing the Wilding series.

Designed by Arnold Machin, they consist simply of the sculpted profile of the Queen and a value and are almost always in a single colour.

After four decades of service, the series has encompassed almost all changes and innovations in British stamp printing. This has been encouraging an abundant specialised philatelic collectors’ market and associated literature.

While Arnold Machin’s effigy of the Queen, created in 1964 for British coins was replaced in 1984 by an older-looking effigy by Raphael Maklouf, the design of the Machin stamps was never updated and the last proposals to these ends were rejected by the Queen herself.

Source. wikiepdia and www.amateurphotographer.co.uk

BREAKING NEWS Royal stamp photographer dies today, 5.0 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

published June 7th, 2010