The Printings Of The 2.5d Ultramarine Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Two
The basic shade catalogued by Gibbons is ultramarine, for both the head plate and the duty plate. However, as we shall see, this is a gross over-simplification, and there are many shades that cover the whole gamut. In addition, there are some printings where the duty plate and head plate colours are completely different, the scarcest of which is the April 1894 printing, which only exists without gum when mint, due to the fact that the entire shipment was stuck together when it was received in Lagos, with the result that the stamps had to be soaked apart.
In addition to the two listed types of value tablet, I have discovered a few other prominent plate flaws, which I suspect are likely constant:
- A badly damaged "2" at the top of the "2".
- Frame break under the "E" of "Penny".
- Deformed inscription. Under magnification, you can see that the type A inscription has been retouched to change it to to a type B inscription, as the ink is contemporary.
- Damaged "2" and pitted left outer frameline, resulting in a frameline that is much thinner than normal.
- Oblong mark to the left of the queen, where two of the horizontal shading lines have been joined and unshaded earlobe.
The second of these occurs in the middle stamp at right. It shows a deformed type B inscription, but what is interesting, is that there is a clear deeper outline of a type A inscription underneath. So it appears that the type B inscriptions may be the result of retouching the duty plate where the inscriptions were weak or incomplete.