Printings of the 1/2d Green and 1d Carmine Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamps of Lagos 1887-1904 Part Eight

This week, I complete my examination of the printings of the 1/2d green Queen Victoria Keyplate stamp. Up to this point, I have identified 37 out of 43 printings of these stamps. According to my notes in the very first post about these values there should be 4 printings of these stamps from the fourth state of the plate, one printing from the fifth state, and two printings from the new plate 2. This post will examine each of these printings.

According to my earlier notes, the fourth state of the plate should cover the period from about August 1897 to August 1900, and is characterized by a further loss of fine detail in the hair above the crown, so that all that is visible is a narrow band of individual hairs in the central area of the Queen's head above the crown. The medallion shading lines and overall quality of the print impression is still reasonably good. The fifth state covers the very last year of plate 1's use, from August 1900 to August 1901, when plate 2 was introduced. In the fifth state the overall print quality has become very coarse, and most of the fine detail in the Queen's hair, diadem and portrait are gone. Plate 2, of course, being a new plate shows very little if any plate wear, with all of the finer details being visible.

In terms of cancellations, this group shows that the Lagos barred oval obliterators did continue to be used well into 1900, even though Ince asserts that its use had been phased out by 1898 or so. There are no 21 mm Lagos CDS's at all, as expected, but there are 24 mm CDS cancelations from Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan and Ebute Metta, as well as some Gold Coast and Sierra Leone cancellations.

There are several constant and possibly constant plate flaws in this group including:


  1. The damaged second "N" in "Penny".
  2. The deformed "Y" in Penny.
  3. Dot before the "A" of Lagos.
  4. Damaged "O" of Lagos.
  5. Blob below "O" of "Lagos. 
  6. Damage after "A" of "Lagos"
  7. Frame break above "N" of "Penny"
  8. Cut "E" in "Penny"
  9. Extra partial frameline in top margin
The damaged "N" is constant for sure, as its multiple appearances and on position blocks will demonstrate, while further study will be required to settle the question as to whether or not the other ones are constant. All will be illustrated and described throughout this post. 

One other aspect of these printings that stands out are the number of shade varieties. Previously, most printings were small enough that a change in head plate or duty plate shade, with a few exceptions generally indicated a new printing. However, these last printing were much larger than the earlier ones, and those made from plate 2 were massive by comparison. Therefore, we would expect to see many shade variations, which are not new printings, but mere variations of the same printing. In classifying the printings the dated cancellations are a big help, as there should be relatively few late usages of these, given how many were printed and supplied to the colony. 



Group 4 - Printings 38-41 From the Fourth State of the Plate: August 1897 to About August 1900

Thirty Eighth Printing



This printing is very distinct due to the dullness of the green ink, and the fact that the head plate and duty plate colours are the exact same. The colour is closest to Gibbons' deep dull green, but the colour is much duller. 


Thirty Ninth Printing

There are three closely related shades on this printing. Generally speaking the head and duty plate colours are the same, but the exact shade of green used varies very slightly. 

The mint stamps of the first shade are shown below:


The colour is closest to Gibbons' grey green, but a little bit lighter, and slightly more bluish. The stamp at the bottom left shows the first of the plate flaws in this group, which consists of a small white dot after the "L" of "Lagos". A close up scan of this is shown below:



The used stamps from this shade group are shown in the next scan:



As you can see, there is a good mix of CDS and barred oval cancels here. The third stamp on the top row appears to be a strike of an 8-bar oval, while the other ovals appear to be 9-bars. There are two lovely 24 mm CDS postmarks, one the post office at Ibadan, dated April 30, 1898 and the other a July 4, 1899 Abeokuta cancellation.

The mint stamps of the second shade group are shown below:



The shade used for the stamps of this printing is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's dull blue green. The second stamp from the left in the top row shows a large white dot to the left of the "A" of "Lagos". A close up scan of this variety is shown below:




The bottom left stamp above shows damage to the right of the "A" in "Lagos". An enlarged scan of this damage is shown below:



I do not have any other examples of these flaws currently, so I do not know whether or not these are constant flaws or not.

The used stamps from this shade group are shown in the next three scans below:




This first group consisting of 8 stamps again shows a mix of 8-bar ovals, 9-bar ovals and 24 mm Lagos CDS cancels that are dated between December 31, 1897 and November 6, 1900. The upper right stamp shows a clear break of the value tablet frameline above the first "N" of "Penny". The close up scan below shows the break clearly:




The second group of used stamps in this shade, consisting of four stamps is shown below:



These stamps are all cancelled with 24 mm CDS's. One is from Ibadan and the others are all Lagos. Dates range from March 24, 1900 to September 16, 1901.

The last group of mint stamps in the third shade combination is shown next:




The shade used to print these stamps is a very close match to Gibbons's grey green. The second stamp from the right on the bottom row shows clear damage to the "O" of "Lagos". A close up scan of this flaw is shown below:




A second group of mint stamps in this shade is shown next:



The second stamp from the upper left shows a very distinct flaw that I call the "blob under "O". It consists of a green blob under the "O" of "Lagos, and is distinct in that most flaws on these involve a lack of ink where there should be ink. This flaw is ink where there shouldn't be any ink. A close up of this flaw is shown below:



My used examples of this shade are presented in two groups, in the next three scans below:


The first group of used examples above shows a variety of 8-bar oval obliterators and 24 mm CDS cancels. Three of these are Lagos and one is Abeokuta. The dates that can be read range from November 23, 1901 to February 14, 1902, which is a little late for plate 1 printings. So they must have been "at the bottom of the pile" so to speak at the post office they were sold from.

The upper left stamp shows the first flaw that I know for a fact to be constant in this group. I call it the "Damaged N". It consists of prominent damage to the last "N" in "Penny". The appearance of the damage does vary slightly, as the flaw occurs in more than 1 position of the sheet. A close up of the flaw on this stamp is shown below:



The second group of three used stamps in this shade is shown below:



Two of these are cancelled with 8-bar oval grid cancels, while the other one is cancelled with a 1901 CDS.


Fortieth Printing

This is the first printing in this group where the duty plate colour is darker than the head plate colour. There are two closely related shade combinations in this printing. The first of these is shown below:



The head plate colour is closest to Gibbons' grey green, but is paler. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons' bottle green. This stamp shows another possibly constant flaw involving the duty plate. I call it the "deformed Y". Normally the two arms of the "Y" should be of the same length, and should project at the same angle. On this stamp, the right arm projects at a steeper angle and is longer than the left arm. 

A close up scan showing this clearly is shown below:


I have three used examples of this printing in this shade:


The first stamp is an example of a Lagos stamp used in the Gold Coast, on May 6, 1900. The middle stamp is cancelled in Lagos on April 7, 1902. Finally, the right stamp is cancelled with a 9-bar oval. The first two stamps are both further examples of the "damaged N" though the damage in both cases is a little less prominent:




The mint stamps of this printing, in the second shade group are shown below:


The head plate colour is pale grey green, while the duty plate colour is a perfect match to Gibbons' deep grey green.

The used stamps in this shade combination are shown below:



Here we have three strikes of a 9-bar oval obliterator, one manuscript cancellation and five 24 mm CDS cancels, one of which is from Ibadan, and the other is from Abeokuta. The dates range from August 30, 1898 to March 5, 1902. 

The stamp with the manuscript cancel shows another example of the "damaged N":



Forty First Printing



The head and duty plate colours found on this printing are the same tone, but the duty plate colour is deeper than the head plate shade. The head plate shade is a bluish grey-green, while the duty plate shade is deep grey-green. I have five mint examples and one used example cancelled with an 8-bar oval obliterator.

The first stamp on the left shows another constant plate flaw, which I call the "nearly severed E". A large diagonal gash in the "E" of "Penny" nearly severs it on the middle of the vertical stroke. An enlarged scan shows this clearly:



In addition to the mint stamps shown above, I have a fantastic lower sheet margin block of 18, which shows the by now defunct current number and plate number, as well as two examples of the "damaged N":


The third stamps from the left in the top row and the second row, both show damage to the second "N" of "Penny"

The first of these is shown below:


The second of these flaws, on the third stamp from the left on the second row is shown below:



So the damage to the "N" is slightly different on each of the stamps I have illustrated. But it is always to the second "N" in "penny", which suggests strongly that it is plateable and may occur on 2 or 3 rows in the sheet


Group 5 - Printing 42 From the Fifth State of the Plate: August 1900 to August 1901

Forty Second Printing


The head plate and duty plate colours of this last printing from plate 1, are the same general tone, but the duty plate colour is, once again, slightly darker than the head plate colour. The head plate colour is a perfect match to Gibbons dull blue green. The duty plate colour is a deeper dull blue green.

The middle stamp in the bottom row shows the "nearly severed E" variety, which proves that it is constant:




I have nine used examples of this printing as shown below:


Even in this very late period, after 1900, there are still strikes of the Lagos barred oval cancellation used. The strikes here, appear to be 9-bar ovals. The upper left stamp is cancelled with the straight line Lagos Telegraph cancellation. Three of the CDS cancellations are Abeokuta, while the others are Lagos. The dates range from January 30, 1900 to April 18, 1901. The January 30, 1900 stamp, may actually be misclassified, and should really be part of the 39th printing. The others are all canceled within the period covered by this printing.

Group 6 - Printings 43-44 from Plate 2: August 1901 to August 1902

The printings from plate 2 were massive compared to the earlier printings. According to Ince, only 2 printings were made from this plate, one being on August 19, 1901 and the other on August 29, 1902. Based on the cancellation dates, I have identified three shades of the first printing and four shades of the second printing. At this point, the barred oval cancellation has disappeared.

Forty Third Printing

The mint examples of the first shade combination found on this printing are shown below:


The head plate and duty plate colour of this printing are the same and are a very close match to Gibbons' myrtle green.

I have 18 used examples, broken into 2 groups, as shown in the scans below:




Two of the stamps are canceled with the straight line "Lagos Government Telegraphs". There is one Ebute Metta CDS dated October 22, 1903, and the remainder are all cancelled at Lagos between June 30, 1902 and January 6, 1904.

The second stamp from the left o the top row shows a clear partial extra frameline in the top margin. I do not recall ever seeing this type of flaw on a De La Rue keyplate stamp. An enlarged scan shows the variety very clearly:



The second group of used stamps in this shade combination are shown below:



Most of these cancels are Lagos, and are dated between July and August 1902. The second stamp from the left is a Plymouth UK double CDS, dated March 24, 1904. The first stamp on the second row is a circular "registered" cancel, likely from Lagos. The lower left stamp is an unclear strike of a German mailboat cancel, and the last stamp is a nice strike of a Freetown Sierra Leone CDS, dated January 24, 1904.

The mint stamps from the second shade group are shown below:




The head plate and duty plate shade on these stamps is a blend of Gibbons deep dull green and the myrtle green. I would therefore call it the deep dull myrtle green.

In addition to the above single stamps, I also have a block of 4, a lower right plate block, and finally a block of 16 as shown below:


The plate block is shown next:


Note the continuous green line around the block. This is called a jubilee line. There were no jubilee lines on the plate 1 printings, so any marginal block or single with a jubilee line must be from plate 2. 

Finally, the block of 16 is shown below:



The used stamps in this shade are shown below:



These cancellations all appear to be Lagos CDS's dared between April 21, 1902 and October 26, 1903.

I only have used examples of the third shade combination of this printing. These are all dated between October 21, 1901 and November 5, 1902:


The head plate and duty plate colour are a very close match to Gibbons' grey green.

Forty Fourth Printing

I have assigned the following stamps to the second printing, mainly based on the fact that all of the cancellations are dated in 1903, and none from 1901 or 1902.

There are four shade combinations found in this printing. The first of these is shown below:


The head plate and duty plate colour of this shade group is a perfect match to Gibbons's deep dull green.

The second shade combination is shown below:



The head plate shade of this stamp is myrtle green, while the duty plate shade is grey-green. I have four used examples of this shade combination, as shown below"


One of these is cancelled in Abeokuta on October 19, 1903. Another is cancelled at Ibadan on September 28, 1903, while the others appear to have been used in Lagos.

The next of the four shade combinations is very pale, and is shown below"



The head and duty plate colour of this stamp are closest to dull blue green on the Gibbons colour key, but this shade is paler and milkier. 

The last shade combination found in this printing is shown below:


The head plate colour of this stamp is dull blue green, while the duty plate colour is deep blue green. The used examples I have of this shade are shown below:


All of these are cancelled in Lagos, and all the dates are in 1903. 

This concludes my examination of the halfpenny Queen Victoria keyplate stamp of Lagos. Next week I will finish examining the printings of the 1d carmine stamp from states 4 and 5 of plate 1, and the two printings from plate 2.










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