This post will attempt to explain how to distinguish the four printings of these stamps using the following characteristics:
2. Colour shades.
3. Paper differences.
The discussion in my first post about the 1d, where I talk about the significance of the various cancellations used on this issue applies equally to this value as well. I am not going to repeat the details of that discussion here, but will instead provide a link to that discussion:
However, the dates found on the Lagos CDS cancellations can be utilized to distinguish the various printings as follows:
- First printings should be cancelled between late December 1874 to April 1875.
- Second printings should be cancelled between February 1875 and June 1875.
- Third printings will be cancelled between early July 1875 and 1876, with many being cancelled with the Lagos diamond barred grid.
- Fourth printings should be cancelled from July 1875 and 1876 when they were replaced.
Hopefully you can see the differences in the duty plate colour more clearly now.
The scan below shows the back of this stamp:
- The first two printings are on smooth wove paper that shows no distinct mesh.
- The last two printings can be either on paper showing no mesh, or paper showing clear vertical mesh.
- I have 10 used examples of the third printing and no mint, while I have three mint and four used of the fourth printing.
- Of the 10 used examples of the third printing, four are cancelled with the diamond grid, while the others are all cancelled with CDS's bearing the following dates: July 31, 1875, July 3, 1875, September 9, 1875, February 17, 1875, September 17, 1875 and November 24, 1875. Given that the last printing was not dispatched until May 13, 1875, the presence of February date here greatly supports the idea that these stamps were from the third printing.
- Of the 4 used examples of the fourth printing, one is cancelled with the diamond grid, while the other three are CDS's dated July 3, 1875, October 8, 1875 and sometime between December 20th and December 29th, 1875. Although there are only three examples here, on the whole, these dates are later than in the first group above, which supports the idea that they are from a later printing than the first group above. Another factor that supports this is the relatively large number of mint examples in relation to used. This is to be expected, as soon after this last printing was sent to Lagos, the perf. 14 crown CC issue was already being prepared for shipment. Thus we would expect to see many more mint examples from the last printing of any issue in relation to used, and a much higher proportion of used stamps from the early printings.