Showing posts from August, 2017

The Printings Of The 2.5d Ultramarine Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Four

Today, I carry on with the 2.5d ultramarine with the seventeenth printing, which should have been made sometime around July or August of 1894.

Seventeenth Printing

The head plate of this printing is an almost exact match to Gibbons's bright blue, while the duty plate colour is royal blue.

I have two mint type A's and two type B's, one of which is used, and has been cancelled with what appears to be an 8-bar oval obliterator.

Eighteenth Printing

On this printing the head plate and the duty plate are closest to what Gibbons's cobalt blue would be if it were deeper. A similar shade is found on the very late printings made after 1899, but the degree of plate wear showing on this example is too advanced for it to have been from the new plates that appear to have been used to print the last printings. I have only the one mint example shown in the scan above. 
Nineteenth Printing 

The head plate of this printing is closest to a very pale version of the dull ultramarine, while t…

The Printings Of The 2.5d Ultramarine Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Three

Today's post resumes where I left off with the tenth printing of the 2.5d ultramarine Queen Victoria keyplate issue, through the sixteenth printing.

A few more possibly constant plate flaws make their appearance on the printings detailed in this post:

A white dot inside the "Y" of "Penny". The letters "PE" of "Penny" deformed by having a slub on top of the "P" and a small divot taken out of the top of the "E". This would appear to be constant, as I have seen the same variety on several of the 2.5d stamps. "2" with an elongated top, and weak left outer frameline. Normally the top of the "2" ends well above the the bottom of the "1" of "1/2". But on this variety, the top of the 2 is almost level with the bottom of the "1". 

Tenth Printing

On this printing, the head plate and the duty plate are both the same colour, and it is closest to dull ultramarine, being an almost perfec…

The Printings Of The 2.5d Ultramarine Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Two

Today's post picks up where I left off last week. I had sorted all of my 2.5d stamps into 71 groups, which was way, way more than the number of printings that were likely made. Given that the stamps were sent to the colony on a quarterly basis and the first printing was issued in April 1891, with the last printing being in August, 1901, there should be approximately 41 printings, as long as each sending included a batch of 2.5d stamps. Because the 2.5d was used to pay the new UPU foreign letter rate per half ounce, it is quite likely that there would have been a separate printing each quarter, to make up the total number of 428,040. This would suggest an average printing of 10,701 stamps each. However, the distribution of examples in the sample that I have sorted, makes it clear that the printings were not done evenly, and that some of the printings are very scarce to rare. Gibbons prices of course are for the most common printings, except for the scarce blue shade, which is from…

The Printings Of The 2.5d Ultramarine Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part One


Today's post deals with what in my opinion is one of the most remarkable stamps from the 1887-1903 Crown CA Lagos issue: the 2.5d ultramarine. The introduction of a single UPU rate for mail to all foreign destinations other than the UK, of 2.5d per half ounce, created a need for this value, and it was first dispatched to the Colony on April 15, 1891. It is the only stamp from the series, for which there were no remainders whatsoever. In all, 428,040 stamps were printed, so there will have been a very large number of printings - likely well over 40. Given that stamps were supplied on a quarterly basis, and there would have been three quarters left in 1891, there could be up to 43 printings. I have identified more than this number in my sort of 183 mint and used examples, so it is likely that some of the varieties I have found are merely sub-types of some of the printings.

The stamp follows the usual progression of plate wear, though on this value it seems that it never get…

The Printings of the 3d Lilac and Orange Brown Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp From Lagos 1890-1901

Today's post continues my examination of the 1997-1903 issue of Lagos with the 3d lilac and orange brown, which was first dispatched to the colony on December 19, 1890. There were 143,820 stamps sent between that date and August 19, 1901, of which 85,800 remainders were sent back and destroyed. Like the other values that I have examined so far, I believe that there were probably lots of small printings of between 3,500 and 5,000 stamps, which would mean more than 20 printings. We'll see how many are revealed in this post. However, it must be borne in mind that I may not have an example of every printing that there was, and that there may have been more than just what I have here.

I have 121 mint and used stamps of this value, which I initially sorted into the same five groups that I had identified in the posts dealing with the 5d, 7.5d, and 10d stamps. Interestingly, I did not find any stamps that possessed the characteristics of plate 2, which suggests that all printings wer…