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God Save the Queen!

3. March 2010
tags: ,

Courtesy of the First Thoughts blog over at First Things

What would you guess is the most reproduced work of art in the world? A work of Islamic art? The Mona Lisa? Monet’s Water Lillies (which can be found in the dorm room of every college-aged female in America)?

The answer is likely to surprise you—unless you’re British

It’s an effigy of Queen Elizabeth created by sculptor Arnold Machin, who was hired by the Royal Mail to come up with the design for postage stamps.

The 1966 design is said to be so well-liked by the Queen that she has declined to have it updated and changed over the years, unlike her effigy on coinage.
It is still seen on almost every British stamp today and some 320 billion copies have been made over the last 40 years, making it the most reproduced work of art in history.

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