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.

Patricia Machin loved flowers, and wherever she and Arnold lived, she grew them for her illustrations – lilies, oriental poppies, hyacinths, tulips and morning glories, and in particular roses, her favourite being centifolias like Juno and Fantin Latour. Other roses she frequently portrayed in her paintings were the gallicas Rosa Mundi and Jenny Duval, and the damask Madame Hardy.


She continued with her own artistic career, conserving the beauty of the flowers she grew, particularly her roses, in still-life paintings. She grew all of the flowers she painted believing that if she were to resort to bought flowers, she would never find ones good-enough for her work. She and Arnold often visited the V&A Museum, and in the 1970s, Patricia became intrigued by the beautiful floral designs painted on papier mache trays they had on display there. They gave her the idea of producing tin trays decorated in a similar way with her own paintings. She approached the Metal Box Company and a range of products were developed, including trays, tea caddies, bins and containers, all displaying her work. One of the trays depicted Chatsworth House framed by roses, requested by the Duchess of Devonshire.

During the 1970s, the BBC made a programme about Arnold and Patricia's garden at Offley Rock which was also featured in a gardening magazine. Norman Painting said of her work:

“Flower paintings often fail to stand up to close scrutiny. Patricia Machin's glorious paintings of flowers are an exception – in urns, or still lifes with grapes, lemons and onions they reveal a close study and intimate knowledge of the subject. Her roses have the feel of roses, the bloom on her grapes is almost tangible. She knows, and shows, how an oriental poppy - say Perry's White – differs in colour, structure and texture from, say, a Blanc Double de Coubert rose, or a floret of a white hyacinth. Flowers are presented in her paintings, not merely as beautiful things, but as individuals which have been tended, weeded round, fed and cherished by a gardener who understands them.”

In 1981, Lady Collins, a friend of Pat's, asked her to illustrate a book of hymns to be produced by Collins the publishers. She later also illustrated the 'Pocket Poets' books published by Webb and Bower.

Her paintings are in collections throughout the world.