Box Illusion, Geometric Wall Art - Upcycled British Machin Postage Stamps


Multicolour Boxes : upcycled used postage stamp collage
A2 size (42 x 59.4cm = 16.5" x 23.4" approx.)
Collage design area: 28 x 43cm = 11 x 17" approx.
Blank border is left around design area for matting/framing

A playful geometric, multi-coloured pattern to add a splash of retro British colour to your home or office. The stamps have been arranged to recreate the classic cube/boxes optical illusion: an original collage artwork that will be a fascinating talking point for years to come!

Your unframed collage will be made to order, just for you so will vary slightly from the one shown (eg in postmark placement, exact shade/denomination of stamps) but will follow the same colour pattern. Please see below for colour options.

The design uses a combination of upcycled classic British Machin-design postage stamps in 15 different colours/denominations, dating from the 1960s through to the 1990s. The stamps still bear fragments of postmarks and other cancellation marks as a testament to their former active service for the Royal Mail, ensuring that each artwork is entirely unique.

The postage stamps are first individually soaked from their original envelopes, dried, then glued into place by hand onto a sturdy A2 mountboard (using an acid-free, xylene-free adhesive). The diagonals are carefully, individually cut by hand, then realigned/recombined to create the striking bi-colour illusion. A painstaking process!

The reverse of the piece will be hand-stamped, numbered and signed by the artist, Su Mwamba.

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a) Pic 5 shows an alternative, rainbow colour option (a smaller design variation, shown for colour reference only).

b) For an extra fee, I can also create a new colour combination according to your preference (this may extend despatch time depending on availability of alternative colours). The additional fee covers definition of colours required (I will send sample 'swatch' images by convo, for approval), plus sourcing & sorting of stamps in your custom colour combination.

As standard, this piece is not framed, in order to reduce shipping costs. However, a simple white frame can be provided. Please contact me before purchase if you would like me to add a frame to your order. A custom listing will be created including the frame in total price & additional shipping. (If you are in the UK, the additional cost will be for frame only; postage will remain the same.)

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Please note, average despatch time for this made-to-order artwork is approx. 1 month from date of order. This includes sourcing & sorting of stamps (including for non-custom colour combinations), as well as collage time.

Due to size, orders will be despatched by courier with tracking, and require signature on delivery. There will be no additional charge for any further items ordered simultaneously, to be enclosed in the same package.

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...are welcome! Would you like a similar framed collage of postage stamps, but in an alternative colour combination? Please contact me with your requirements, and I will be happy to create a custom collage, just for you:

Please view my shop for additional postage stamp wall art:

Notebooks collaged with Machin stamps are also available:

Shipping from United Kingdom

Processing time

3-4 weeks

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns, exchanges, and cancellations

Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery

Request a cancellation within: 0 hours of purchase

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

The following items can't be returned or exchanged

Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

  • Custom or personalized orders

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Questions about your order?

Please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

Privacy policy

I will only use your shipping and billing address, and contact information

  • To communicate with you about your order
  • To fulfill your order
  • For legal reasons (like paying taxes)

Frequently Asked Questions

Custom and personalised orders

Custom orders & commissions are very welcome! Simply click on the 'Request Custom Order' button or 'Contact Shop Owner' on the shop homepage, to discuss your requirements.

Choose your favourite colours, a different size, and/or stamps from a particular region. I can also add a custom date 'postmark' and/or a hand-stamped, personalised message (additional fees may apply to some customisation options).

Notebooks are available in sizes from A6 to B5, and framed artwork (with or without matting) from A6 to A1. Prices & shipping vary according to dimensions and weight.

PLEASE NOTE items customised with specific personalisation (therefore not re-saleable) do not qualify for return unless damaged.

Wholesale availability

Wholesale prices are available for volume orders. 
Discounts vary by item & minimum order quantities apply.
One-off print-runs of printed designs can be arranged upon request.
For a quote, please contact me with your requirements. 

What are your despatch times?

Please see individual listings for stated despatch times, or contact me for a quote if requesting a larger custom order. You will always be contacted in the case of any unforeseen delay in despatch of your order. 

As a general guide to processing times:
- ready-to-ship items will be despatched within 3 days
- smaller custom orders within 5-7 working days
- larger custom orders will be proportionally longer 

I aim to despatch all orders promptly, but please order in plenty of time if you require something for a specific date. If you are outside of the UK, please err on the side of caution and allow at least a month in addition to processing times listed per item.

How long will my order take to arrive?

Unless an upgrade is purchased at checkout, your order will be delivered by:

- 1st class post within the UK (usually 1-2 working days)
- Standard Airmail to any overseas destination (usually 7-14 working days)

Please note, delivery times can be longer at certain times of year (eg Christmas) when general volumes of post are higher.

Unfortunately there can occasionally be unforeseen delays within the various postal services, at any time of year. This is the exception rather than the rule, but please do allow up to a month for overseas delivery, before assuming lost.

Please contact me if you are worried about your delivery.

Can I track my order?

Please note, tracking is NOT included as standard with any order, due to the services offered by the Royal Mail. Proof of Posting is obtained for all items shipped.

For extra peace of mind, a shipping upgrade is available at checkout on most items, for an additional fee.

- Within UK, upgrade option is 1st class Signed-For delivery, which requires signature on delivery, but does not include tracking. Special Delivery (including tracking) can be arranged upon request, but will be subject to an additional £5 charge.

- Outside UK, upgrade option is Tracked & Signed delivery, which includes both tracking and signature on delivery. Tracked-only (signature not required) can be arranged upon request, for the same delivery upgrade cost.

My order hasn't arrived or was damaged in transit - what should I do?

Please contact me if you have not received your order within the expected timeframe (see above). I will be happy to either send a replacement or refund item costs, as necessary.

If your order has arrived but has been damaged in transit, please contact me as soon as you can to explain what has happened. I will request a photo of the damaged item, then each case will be assessed individually. Either a replacement item or partial refund or full refund will be issued, depending upon circumstances and extent of damage.

The item I received is not as described in listing - what should I do?

Please accept my apologies for any errors in item listing! Please contact me with the details as soon as possible following receipt. I may request a photo to confirm where the issue lies.

If an item has been incorrectly described, I will reimburse return postage and issue a full refund of original purchase price upon receipt of the returned item.

If an incorrect item has been sent in error, I will reimburse return postage and send replacement item upon receipt of the returned item.

Items must be returned within 30 days, in original, re-saleable condition, to qualify for refund or exchange.

Other refund/exchange/return queries

If you are simply not happy with your order, for any reason, please contact me before taking any further action. Items may be returned within 30 days, as long as you have first contacted me.

Return postage cost is responsibility of buyer. I will issue a full refund of original purchase cost, upon receipt of the returned item. Items must be returned in original, re-saleable condition to qualify for refund.

PLEASE NOTE made-to-order items may still be returned, but items customised with specific personalisation (therefore not re-saleable) do not qualify for return unless damaged.

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