Arnold Machin

From humble beginnings as a potteries apprentice Arnold Machin rose to become an acclaimed sculptor creating the iconic bas-relief portrait of Her Majesty the Queen used on all Royal Mail definitive issue stamps.

Patricia Machin

Patricia Machin was born in 1921 and studied painting at Goldsmith's where her tutor was Leonard Applebee. Finding inspiration from the Old Masters and still-life, she was an established painter, illustrator, designer and author.

Francis Machin

Architect, sculptor, businessman and painter, Francis Machin was a talented designer responsible for a range of conservatories and garden buildings still seen throughout the United Kingdom, United States and Europe.

From humble beginnings as a potteries apprentice Arnold Machin rose to become an acclaimed sculptor creating the bas-relief portrait of Her Majesty the Queen used on Royal Mail stamps.

Arnold Machin was born on 30th September 1911 at Oak Hill in Stoke on Trent into a family of 12. Soon after his birth, the family moved to a terrace house in the village of Trent Vale on the edge of the Potteries, the collective name given to the six pottery manufacturing towns situated in North Staffordshire.

After leaving school he became an apprentice at Mintons and while working there studied at the local school of art. His talent was soon recognised and he eventually managed to find a place on a Ministry of Education course at Derby School of Art. His studies occurred during the Great Depression and unemployment was a regular feature of his life. Despite great hardships through the support of friends he managed to complete his studies in two years. A scholarship to the Royal College of Art followed culminating on the award of the Silver Medal.


Arnold Machin was conscientious objector and decided to refuse to be called up, despite his poor health. He was convicted and sent to Wormwood Scrubs where he served 9 months of a 12 month sentence. Following release he went to work at Wedgewood as a modeller creating a number of well known designs.

Post-war he continued to work with Wedgewood while developing a teaching career in London, eventually being elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1956, and then taking up the post of Master of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools in 1959.

Throughout the 60's and 70's he was active in designing both coinage and stamps, primarily creating a series of iconic bas-relief sculptures of Her Majesty the Queen. His effigy for Royal Mail Definitive stamps is still used to this day and is the most reproduced work of art of all time.