The Printings of the 6d Lilac and Mauve Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos - Part Three
Today however, I will examine the stamps printed from the third state of the plate. As I have explained in all of my earlier posts, stamps printed from the third state of the plate display two essential characteristics:
- Most of the detail of the hair at the back of the Queen's head, just above, and to the right of the neck is gone. Generally there will be a few shading lines visible in the hair above the diagonal ribbon, and very few if any lines visible below the ribbon.
- The first 3-5 lines of hair at the very top of the head are merged together into one solid mass of colour.
The shades for both the frame plate and the duty plate of this printing are identical to the last, with the frame plate being a dull reddish purple, and the duty plate being almost an exact match to Gibbons's purple, with the colour being just a touch brighter. The purple would appear to be an aniline ink, as the colour is quite suffused on the front, and shows very clearly through the back. I have just one mint example, as shown above, and one used example, as shown below:
The choice to classify this as one of the earliest printings in this group is based on a used example shown below, which is cancelled with a lovely strike of a Lagos CDS, dated October 7, 1892. The head plate colour for this printing is a close match to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is deeper. The duty plate colour is an exact match to Gibbons's plum. I have two mint examples, as shown above, and three used examples, as shown below.
This printing includes another potentially constant plate flaw involving the "S" of "Six". This time the S is broken in the middle, where a large part of it is missing. A close-up of this is shown below.
This is the first such example that I have seen on any six pence stamp. So it is quite possible that it is a one-off instance of bad ink transfer, rather than a constant flaw, but it is still interesting and worth pointing out.
The stamp on the left is cancelled with a lovely strike of the October 7, 1892 21 mm Lagos CDS cancel with the 4 mm space between the "W." and the "A" of "Africa". The middle stamp appears to be cancelled with a clear strike of a Lagos 8-bar oval obliterator. The stamp on the right is cancelled with a 9-bar Lagos obliterator.
Twenty Second Printing
The stamp on the left is cancelled with a 9-bar Ibadan barred oval, and the stamp on the right is canceled with a strike of an 8-bar Lagos oval obliterator.
Twenty Third Printing
On this printing, the head plate is a close match to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but much deeper. The duty plate colour is very similar to the last printing, but just a touch paler. It is still a fairly close match to Gibbons's deep purple.
Unfortunately I do not have any sound examples of this printing, either mint or used. The mint stamp above is severely damaged on the lower right, but I have kept it as a placeholder for this printing.
Twenty Fourth Printing
Twenty Fifth Printing
The head plate colour of this printing is similar to a deep reddish lilac, but there is a slight brownish undertone to this colour, which makes it appear duller. So I would call it deep dull reddish lilac. The duty plate colour is problematic. It has a definite claret or brownish undertone, but it is far too purple to be a match to any of the clarets, brown purples or reddish purples on the Gibbons colour key. The closest match is again to deep purple. So I would call this colour deep brownish purple.
I have three mint examples of this printing, and one faulty used example, as shown above. The used stamp is cancelled with some type of barred oval obliterator, though it is difficult to make out which type it is.
Twenty Sixth Printing
On this printing, the head plate colour is a deep reddish lilac, and the duty pate colour is almost an exact match to Gibbons's plum shade.
I have no mint examples of this printing, and only the two used examples shown above. Both are canceled with 9-bar oval obliterators, though the exact type is hard to determine. The stamp on the left is canceled with a lovely, clear strike of an Ibadan 9-bar oval obliterator, with the long bars, that are characteristic of this cancel.
Twenty Eighth Printing
The head plate colour of this printing is the pale dull plum of the twenty sixth printing above, but the duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's deep purple, but just a touch paler.
I have the beautiful mint NH example shown above, which is from the right side of the sheet. and the attractive used example on the right, which has been canceled with a 24 mm Lagos CDS cancel dated October 4, 1900, which suggests that it is a late usage. This stamp shows another possible constant plate flaw involving the "S" of "Six". In this instance, the "S" is broken along the bottom stroke in the middle. A close-up scan showing the damage is shown below:
Like the other flaw involving the "S" from this group of printings, this is the only example that I have. So it might not be constant. But regardless of whether or not it is constant, it is interesting and worthy of mention.
Twenty Ninth Printing
The frame plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is quite a bit duller. The duty plate colour is similar to the last printing, being closest to deep purple, but just a touch paler.
I do not have any used examples of this printing, only the single mint example shown above.
Both stamps are cancelled with barred oval obliterators, though it is difficult to determine anything beyond that with any degree of certainty.
Thirty Third Printing
This is one of the last printings of the third state, as we see the beginnings of plate corrosion and damage that begin to make the overall printing appear a little coarse. In this printing, the head plate colour is closest to slate lilac, but paler, so a pale slate lilac. The duty plate colour is, like the last printing, closest to Gibbons's deep mauve.
I have two mint examples, both shown above, and a single used example, cancelled with a 24 mm Lagos CDS dated June 19, 1901, which suggests a late usage of this later printing, which should have been issued sometime in early 1896 or 1897.
Thirty Fourth Printing