The 1904-1906 King Edward VII Keyplate Issue of Lagos Part One

This week, I will begin looking at the last regular stamp issue of the crown colony of Lagos: the Edward VII issue on the multiple crown CA watermarked paper.

This issue used the exact same colour scheme and designs as the previous one. The reason for its issue was that the Crown Agents adopted the use of a new type of watermarked paper containing a repeating pattern of crowns over the initials CA. The use of a repeating pattern meant that the paper could be used for any size of commonwealth stamp, and would result in less paper wastage. The previous paper required the plate to be properly aligned with the paper so that each stamp would get one watermark, and often for larger stamps, this meant a smaller sheet size and more paper wastage.

Initially, the first printings, which were made in July 1904, and which replaced the existing issue in October that year, were printed on unsurfaced medium wove paper. all values were issued except for the 2.5d. The quantities printed were thus:


Cancellations and Postal History of the 1904 King Edward VII Issue of Lagos

Last week I wrote a broad overview of the first King Edward VII Issue of Lagos, which was issued in 1904. I left off with an examination of some of the potentially constant plate flaws that occur on the issue, that are not listed in Gibbons. This week, I will show you some of the cancellations and postal history that can be found on these stamps.

Before I get into the specific cancellations, a word on the rarity of the high values in postally used condition. This issue had a useful life of no more than 9 or ten months. Last week we saw that there were no more than between 720 and 1,680 stamps issued in total - mint and used. The high values would have seen very little usage, as they would really only have been required on very valuable registered items. So it is highly doubtful that more than 5% or 10% of these stamps would have been used during the life of this issue, so the number of total extant used stamps is probably not more than 150 or so of each of the 5/- and 2/6d and maybe …