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Friday, October 13, 2017

The Printings Of The 2d Lilac and Blue Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Four

Today's post completes my examination of the printings of the 2d lilac and blue Queen Victoria. My last post about this stamp went as far as the fortieth printing, which as best I can determine, came from the third state of the plate. Today's post deals with the last printings, which would have been made between about August of 1897 to August 1901. Interestingly, and unlike some other values in the series, I have not seen any evidence that the new plate 2 was ever used to produce this value. Consequently, all of the printings in this group are from what I call the fourth state of the plate. In this state, most all of the detail in the Queen's hair at the top of the crown and at the base of the jewels is gone, as is all the detail at the back of the head. There is some thickening of the horizontal shading lines of the background, leading to unevenness in the thickness of these lines, and finally, some merging of the horizontal shading lines in the bands of the crown.

In the last group of printings, there was a shift from mostly used stamps to mostly mint. However, in this group there is a much more even balance of mint and used examples. We start to really see the use of the barred oval hammers fall away, and the larger 23.5 mm CDS cancels become predominant. Most of these are from Lagos, of course, but we do occasionally see other towns, such as Abeokuta and Ibadan.

Another aspect to this group of printings is that there are several examples of the constant plate flaw, the "damaged T" of "Two". As I have stated in past posts, this plate flaw dates all the way back to the very first printings made of the 2d, back to 1874, and examples of it can be found on every colour and watermark of the 2d, right up to the last printings in 1901, as it was never corrected.

Before I get into describing the printings of this last group, there are 10 groups of stamps, which I did not include in the previous ones, that really should have been included. The shades are all different from the earlier printings in some way, but it is doubtful whether all of these are truly separate printings, because there should only be about 56 printings of this stamp if one was made every three months during the life of the issue, and there appear to be approximately 14 printings in this last group, when added to the 40 that have already been identified, would give 54 printings. If these 10 are also considered to be separate printings, then that would give us 64 printings, which is too many. So some of these are likely just variations that occurred in the same run, or a few are changelings of the lilac colour due to moisture, but it is difficult to be sure, without further research, which is which. So for the purposes of this post, I will continue to call them printings, and will thus identify and describe all 64 "printings", but would again emphasize that at least 8 of these are likely just variations of the same printing.

Forty First Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is deeper - almost like a dull version of the maroon swatch. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's steel blue - a very distinct shade. 

I have only the two mint examples shown above. This is very likely to be one of the earlier printings from the first or second state of the plate, which happen to show a bit more wear than normal. The colour is quite distinct, and is definitely scarce compared to the other printings. 

Forty Second Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is a perfect match to Gibbons's dull purple. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's blue. 

I only have this single used example, cancelled with what appears to be an 8-bar oval obliterator. 


Forty Third Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons' dull purple, but the colour is just a bit paler. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's deep dull blue. 

I only have the two used examples shown above, and no mint stamps. These both appear to have been cancelled with an 8-bar oval obliterator, though it is difficult to be completely sure. 

Forty Fourth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's dull purple. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's Royal blue, but the colour is just a touch duller. 

I have one mint, and one used example of this printing, as shown above. The used stamp appears to have been cancelled with an indistinct CDS. 

Forty Fifth Printing


The head plate colour on this printing is still closest to Gibbons's dull purple, though this colour is quite pale by comparison. It is too dull to be the reddish lilac, however. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's deep dull blue, but just a bit brighter, and closer to pure deep blue. 

I only have the one used stamp shown above, which is cancelled with what appears to be an 8-bar oval obliterator. 

Forty Sixth Printing


The head plate colour on this printing is closest to dull mauve on the Gibbons colour key, but the colour is a bit deeper. The duty plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's ultramarine. 

The left stamp has no gum and is hence unused. So it is possible, given how pale the head plate colour is, and the fact that the head plate was printed from singly fugitive ink, that this is a changeling caused by excessive exposure to moisture. Finding an additional mint copy with original gum would settle the question of whether or not this is truly a different printing. 

Forty Seventh Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is very close to dull mauve. Again, the stamp on the right is a close to perfect match to Gibbons's dull mauve, but the one on the left is slightly deeper. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's ultramarine. 

I have only the two used stamps shown above, and no mint examples. The stamp on the left appears to be cancelled with an 8-bar oval obliterator, while the one on the right is clearly cancelled with a 9-bar obliterator. 

Forty Eighth Printing



The head plate colour on this printing is closest to Gibbon's dull purple but is a bit paler. The head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull blue. 

I have only the above used example, which is quite severely toned and discoloured. It is cancelled with a 9-bar oval obliterator. 


Forty Ninth Printing


The head plate colour on this printing is closest to Gibbons's deep dull purple. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's deep ultramarine. 

I have only the above used stamp, and no mint. It is a very distinct shade combination, and is cancelled with what appears to be a light strike of an 8-bar oval obliterator. 

Fiftieth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is quite a bit duller. The duty plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's blue. 

I have only the above used example. It is cancelled with two overlapping strikes of an 8-bar oval obliterator. 

Group IV - Printings Made From The Fourth State of The Plate - August 1897 to August 1901

Fifty first Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is paler. The duty plate colour is a perfect match to Gibbons's Royal blue. I have one mint example as shown above, and three used examples as shown below:



This is the first printing in which we see the wide CDS cancel begin to replace the oval obliterator. There are two different Lagos CDS cancels here, with the October 16, 1898 one on the left being wider than the one dated October 20, 1903. The stamp on the right is cancelled with what appears to be a 9-bar oval obliterator. 

Fifty Second Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's dull purple. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's Royal blue, but is just a bit duller. 

I have four mint examples of this printing, and one used one. The used stamp has a strike of a Hamburg German Steamship cancel. Unfortunately I cannot see the date, but it is probably sometime in 1898 or 1899. 

Fifty Third Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is paler. The duty plate colour is closest to Royal blue, but is a bit paler and duller. It is close to ultramarine, but is too saturated to be ultramarine. 

I have only the single used example shown above, cancelled with an 8-bar oval obliterator strike. 

This example shows a clear example of the constant plate flaw, Damaged T in "Two". In this flaw, as discussed in other posts, there is a small chunk taken out of the vertical leg of the "T" on the right side. Here is a close up scan of the flaw:



Fifty Fourth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is both greyish and quite a bit paler than the pure reddish lilac colour. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's bright blue, but slightly duller. 

I only have the above used example, which unfortunately is scuffed on the surface at the right, but is cancelled with a beautiful socked on the nose strike of an Abeokuta CDS dated August 21, 1899. 

Fifty Fifth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's dull purple. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull ultramarine. All the examples that I have are mint, as shown above. 

Fifty Sixth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is an almost perfect match to Gibbons dull purple. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's deep ultramarine.

I have eight mint, and nine used examples, most of which are canceled with Lagos CDS cancels, one of which has had the date partially completed by hand, which is quite scarce. One example bears an October 6, 1902 Abeokuta CDS.

In this group, I also have two nice examples of the "damaged T". One is the mint stamp at the top right, and the other is the first used stamp in the second row:

Here is the mint stamp:



And here is the same plate flaw on the used stamp:


Fifty Seventh Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons dull purple also, but on this printing, the colour is just so slightly paler. The duty plate is close to ultramarine, but it is both slightly deeper and duller. 

I have three mint, and eight used examples of this printing. All of the used examples appear to be cancelled by either Abeokuta or Lagos CDS's. The dated cancels both appear to be after 1900. 

Fifty Eighth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is a bit more brownish than the other printings. The duty plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's dull ultramarine. 

I have one mint example and three used examples, all of which are cancelled with either Lagos or Ibadan CDS cancels dated between 1901 and 1902. 

Fifty Ninth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is a bit more brownish than the other printings. The duty plate colour is closest to dull ultramarine. I only have the one mint example shown above. 

Sixtieth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is a paler. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's deep ultramarine. 

I have one mint example, and two used examples. The used stamp on the left was cancelled in the UK, so it was likely mailed on a ship. 

Sixty First Printing


Here, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but the colour is much paler, and also has a brownish grey undertone. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull ultramarine, but is a bit paler.

Sixty Second Printing


Here, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but the colour is much paler, and also has a brownish grey undertone. The duty plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's ultramarine. 

Sixty Third Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons reddish lilac, but a little duller. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's royal blue. 

I only have the used example shown above. Because of the reddish appearance of the colour, it is entirely possible that this has been affected by moisture. Only another mint example with gum that matches this will settle this for certain. 

Sixty Fourth Printing


On this printing, the colour is more purple than the reddish lilac. It is actually closest to the deep reddish purple, but much duller. The duty plate colour is closest to deep ultramarine.

Again, this might be a stamp from one of the earlier printings that has been affected by moisture, but I would have to find another mint example to prove that it is truly a different printing.

This concludes my chronology of the printings of the 2d lilac and blue. The next stamp of interest in the series is the 4d lilac and black, which I will start to examine next week. The 1893 halfpenny surcharge will be examined alongside this, as these can be used to date the printings.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

This Week's Post Delayed to Friday, October 13.

I must apologize to all of you once again. It is the last day of my family's visit to Saint John, so I have not had time to complete this week's post. However, tomorrow I will devote the day to completing my last post about the 2d lilac and blue Queen Victoria stamp of Lagos.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blog Posts Delayed to Tomorrow

I wanted to let my readers know that I will be posting this week, but as I still have family visiting from out of town, my schedule is a bit erratic. So I will be posting either tomorrow (October 11th) or the next day (October 12th).

I am pleased to see in checking the blog statistics that some of you have been using the past week to go back and look at earlier posts. However, I will have a fresh run of new material coming up shortly.

Thanks for your patience and support. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

No Blog Posts This Week

Just a quick note to my readers to let everyone know that I will not be writing any new posts this week, and possibly next week as well. I have family visiting from out of town for the next two weeks, and I only have time to fill my sales orders. However, I promise to have my next posts published as soon as I can.

I would encourage you to go back over the last several weeks worth of posts and review the information published so far, or re-visit your favourite series of posts.

Thanks for your continued support and readership!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Printings Of The 2d Lilac and Blue Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Three

Today's post continues my examination of the 2d lilac and ultramarine stamp of Lagos, and picks up where last week's post left off, at the twenty-eighth printing. This printing is the start of a group of printings from what I call the third state of the plate. In this state of the plate, there is a loss of overall sharpness, a loss of detail in the hair at the back of the head, and especially that below the diagonal ribbon, and merging of at least the top 5 hairlines on the head.

One of the shifts that we see in this group is the shift from mostly used examples to mostly mint, which makes sense given the very large number of remainders that were sent back to London in 1903. Also, this is the first group in which shades of ultramarine predominate for the duty plate colour, as opposed to shades of blue, grey blue and dull blue. The head plate colours are more dull purples and reddish lilacs, or very pale versions of these colours.

On the used stamps, barred ovals continue to dominate, though most of them are the thinner 9-bar types, which have begun to supplant the thicker 8-bar types.

Group 3: Printings from the Third State of the Plate - Printings 28 to 40 - About April 1894 to About April 1897.

Twenty Eighth Printing


On this printing the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's plum shade, but is just a touch duller. The duty plate colour is a perfect match to Gibbons's blue shade. 

I have only the above single mint example, and no used examples of this printing. 

Twenty Ninth Printing


On this printing, the head plate shade is similar to the twenty eighth printing above, but is much paler. So I would call this the pale dull plum shade. The duty plate colour is almost identical to the twenty eighth printing, being closest to Gibbons's blue shade.

Again, I have no used examples of this printing, but I do have four mint examples, all of which are shown above.

Thirtieth Printing



The head plate shade of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is maybe just slightly redder. The duty plate colour is similar to Gibbons's blue, but is paler.

This is the only printing in this group for which I have no mint examples. The used example shown above appears to be canceled with a 9-bar oval cancel, judging from the width of the bars, but it is difficult to be certain.

Thirty First Printing



On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons' reddish lilac, but with just a slight hint of grey to the colour. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's ultramarine, but is just a touch deeper.

I have a single mint example and one used example of this printing. The used example on the right is cancelled with a clear strike of a 9-bar oval.


Thirty Second Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons' dull purple, but a bit reddish. Again, the duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's ultramarine, but maybe just a touch deeper.

I have no used examples of this printing, and only the sole mint example shown above.

Thirty Third Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's dull purple. The duty plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's royal blue.

I have one mint example, and one used example of this printing. It is hard to be certain, but the used example appears to be cancelled with an 8-bar oval.

Thirty Fourth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac. The duty plate colour is again closest to ultramarine. 

I have only this single used example, which appears to have been cancelled with a 9-bar oval. This example shows the constant frame break under the "N" of "Pence". 

Thirty Fifth Printing



The head plate colour of this printing, once again, is closest to Gibbons's dull purple. The duty plate colour is a perfect match to Gibbons's ultramarine.

I have three mint and four used examples of this printing. All of the used examples appear to have been cancelled with strikes of a 9-bar oval obliterator.

Thirty Sixth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's lilac, but duller. There is no dull lilac swatch on the Gibbons colour key, but I think this is how it would look if there was one. The duty plate colour is a very close match to Gibbons's deep ultramarine.

Here I have four mint examples and one used example, which has been cancelled with an 8-bar oval.

Thirty Seventh Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is much paler. So I would call the head plate shade of this printing, the pale dull purple. The duty plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's royal blue.

Again, I have one mint, and one used example of this printing. The used stamp is cancelled with a Lagos CDS dated after 1899, through I can't make the date out clearly. But it would appear to be either a late usage of an intermediate printing, or it is the last printing actually made from this group, or one of the last ones.

Thirty Eighth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is much, much paler. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull ultramarine. 

This is another printing for which I do not have any used examples. 

Thirty Ninth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is reddish compared to the swatch on the Gibbons colour key. The duty plate colour is close to ultramarine, but it lacks the milkiness of ultramarine. Instead, it is closer to the royal blue shade, but is a bit paler. 

I have only the above mint example of this printing, and no used examples. 

Fortieth Printing


The head plate colour on this printing is closest to Gibbons 's reddish lilac, but is just a bit paler. The duty plate colour is identical to the thirty-ninth printing above, i.e. it is a slightly paler version of Gibbons's royal blue.

For this printing, I have one mint and one used example. Like the thirty seventh printing, the used stamp is also cancelled with a Lagos CDS dated sometime after 1900, which would seem to confirm its status as one of the last printings from this group. 

This brings me to the end of my examination of this group of printings. My next post will cover the last printings made from the plate in its late states. I am having family from out of town next week, so I may or may not publish the next post before October 15, 2017. If I don't get to it until then, I would encourage my readers to review my last several posts in order to assimilate the information and become more comfortable with it in general. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Printings Of The 2d Lilac and Blue Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Two

Today's post continues our examination of the printings of the 2d lilac and blue, or in the later printings, the 2d lilac and ultramarine. Last week, I looked at the very earliest printings, made, when the plate had sustained very little to no wear. This week, I start with those printings from the next state of the plate, in which the very first signs of wear begin to appear in the form of the merging of the first few hairlines at the top of the head, and a loss of detail in the hair at the back of the head. Most of these printings had duty plate shades, which are still in the blue and cobalt range, rather than the ultramarine range.

Group 2: Printings from the Second State of the Plate - Printings 11 to 27 - About December 1889 or January 1890 to About January 1894.

Eleventh Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons' dull purple, but is just a touch brighter. The stamp on the right is both brighter and paler, but this may be affected by soaking. I've grouped it here because the duty plate colour matched the other two stamps. The duty plate colour is an almost exact match to Gibbons's cobalt. 

I do not possess any mint examples of this printing, and only three used examples, which suggests that it is a very scarce printing and shade combination. It is so distinct, that I have to wonder why Gibbons does not list it. The duty plate inks were singly fugitive, so it is not simply a case of the colour running or fading from exposure to water, and the existence of three used examples, from three different sources does suggest that this is indeed the original colour of the ink used for this printing. All three examples are cancelled with strikes of a 9-bar oval obliterator. 


Twelfth Printing 


On this printing, the head plate colour is an almost exact match to Gibbons' dull purple. I almost grouped this with the eleventh printing above, as the duty plate colour is very similar to the eleventh printing above, but it is slightly greyish.

Regrettably, I have only the above used example, with a slightly rounded corner. This too is cancelled with a clear strike of a 9-bar oval obliterator. 

Thirteenth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons' slate lilac, but this colour is both slightly paler, as well as duller. The duty plate colour is tricky, as it has a slightly greyish cast, but it is too deeply blue to be any of the grey blues. It looks closest to Gibbons's royal blue, but is duller. 

I have only the one mint example, with a specimen overprint. It is a fairly well established fact that the specimens were not always issued when the stamps first appeared. Sometimes, additional copies were made for distribution to various officials during the life of the issue. 

This printing shows a good example of a constant variety that occurs on all sheets of all 2d stamps, starting with those issued in 1874. It consists of a small mark, resembling either a comma, or accent that is opposite the middle bar of the "E" of Pence. It is not rare, as it occurs on several stamps in a sheet. I'm not sure of exactly how many, but it was not every stamp on the sheet, but perhaps 5% or so, would be a good estimate. Here is a close-up scan of what it looks like on this stamp:


Here is another, very large example, which was found on the twenty sixth printing:



Fourteenth Printing



The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's maroon, but is slightly lighter. The duty plate colour is an almost exact match to Gibbons's dull blue. 

I have the above two used examples only, both of which are cancelled with what appears to be the same Proud type D3 May 1898 Badagry CDS. This is a reasonably scarce cancel, which is rated by Proud, to be 30x scarcer and more valuable than the more common Badagry cancels. 

Fifteenth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is just a touch paler. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's blue. Maybe a bit duller, but certainly, very, very close. 

Again, I have no mint examples of this printing. The used stamp on the left above is cancelled with a strike of a 9-bar oval obliterator, while cancel of the stamp on the right has the thicker bars, which are characteristic of the 8-bar oval obliterator. 

This brings me to another interesting variety involving the letters of the duty plate. There are a lot of very minor and small variations in the thickness of the letters, which are not that significant. However, this one was very striking:


What struck me about it was the very narrow left leg to the "N" and the narrow bottom to the "C", and then the narrow bottom to the "E". The combined effect of these anomalies is that the letters appear deformed, and abnormally thin.

Another variety, which may well be constant is the frame break under the "N" of Pence. In fact, I'm fairly certain that I came across an inner frameline break at approximately the same place on the 2.5d value, which would suggest that it is indeed constant. Here is a close-up scan:



Sixteenth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is a very close match to Gibbons's maroon. However, it is just a little bit duller by comparison. The duty plate colour is very, very close to Gibbons's deep dull blue, but just a touch duller. But is is not deep enough to be the steel blue, nor dull enough to match any of the grey-blues. 

I have only the sole used example shown above, with a barred oval cancel. I can't tell from what little of the cancellation that is visible, whether or not it is an 8-bar, or a 9-bar oval, however. 

Seventeenth Printing


The head plate colour for this printing is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac. The duty plate colour is also closest to the Gibbons deep dull blue. 

Once again, I have no mint examples of this printing, and only the above used example, which appears to be cancelled with a strike of a 9-bar oval obliterator. 

Eighteenth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is hard to place, as it does not match any of the Gibbons swatches closely. It has the same tone as the reddish purple, but is way duller. I would say that it is what a dull reddish purple would look like if there was a swatch for it. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons' bright blue, but with a very slight hint of grey. 

Again, I have no mint examples of this printing, and only the above used example, which, once again, appears to be cancelled with a strike of a 9-bar oval obliterator. 

Nineteenth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull mauve, but is much darker. The duty plate colour is a perfect match to Gibbons's dull blue. 

Again, I do not have any mint examples of this printing, but only the three used examples above. This time, they appear to be cancelled with strikes of an 8-bar obliterator. 

Twentieth Printing


The head plate of this printing is a very close match to Gibbons dull purple, but this shade is slightly lighter than the Gibbons' swatch. The duty plate colour has the depth of Gibbons's royal blue, and is what many would think of when they hear the name "cobalt". It is lighter though than the Gibbons swatch. 

This is the last, or a long run of printings, for which I have no mint examples, and only used, which is to be expected of the early printings of what was, a very heavily used stamp. The above two used examples are both cancelled, with what appear to be strikes of a 9-bar oval obliterator. 


Twenty First Printing



The head plate shade of this printing is closest to Gibbons' reddish lilac, but is just a touch duller. The duty plate is closest to Gibbons's blue, with the shade being just a bit deeper.

This is the first printing, after a long range of printings, where I have several mint examples, as shown above, and several used examples, as shown below:



It would appear that all but two of these examples, being the third stamp from the left in the top row, and the right stamp on the bottom row, are cancelled with strikes of an 8-bar oval obliterator. The other two stamps are cancelled with stikes of a 9-bar oval obliterator. 

Included in this group is another constant plate flaw that goes back to the very beginnings of the 2d duty plate in 1874. I call it the "gouged T". There is a large void of the colour toward the bottom of the "T" of "two", which resembles a gouge. It would seem to be a very scarce variety, as only a handful of the many hundreds of 2d stamps in my stock since 1874 show this variety. However, of all the examples that I do have, there is at least one from each of the Crown CC issues, as well as the 2d slate crown CA. So I do know for certain that it is a constant variety that was never caught, nor corrected. Below is a close up scan of the flaw on the second mint stamp from the right, above:




Twenty Second Printing


The head plate shade of this printing is closest to Gibbons' reddish lilac, but is just a touch duller, as with the twenty first printing. The duty plate colour is similar to the blue of the twenty first printing, but it has a distinctly greenish tinge, which makes it closer to Gibbons's Prussian blue. However, it is a little deeper than the Gibbons Prussian blue swatch. 

I have three mint examples of this printing, and two used examples. The used stamp on the left is definitely cancelled with a 9-bar oval obliterator, but with the stamp on the right, it is difficult to tell, because there are two overlapping strikes. But from the thickness of the bars in the cancel, it looks to me like a 9-bar oval as well. 

Twenty Third Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, but is slightly paler. The duty plate colour is a deeper version of Gibbons's blue. However, it is not deep enough to match the deep blue swatch in the Gibbons colour key. 

I have a single mint example of this printing, and two used examples, both of which are cancelled with strikes of a Lagos CDS, dated September 24, 1895. This would appear to be one of the last printings made among this group. 

Twenty Fourth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour appears to be closest to a deeper version of Gibbons's dull mauve. However, this stamp looks like it may be affected by some fading of the colour, so it is difficult to say with certainty. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's royal blue. 

I do not have any mint examples of this printing, and just this sole used example, which is cancelled with a strike of a 9-bar oval obliterator.

Twenty Fifth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is just a touch duller. The duty plate colour is an exact match to Gibbons's ultramarine - the very first printing to live up to the description of this stamp in Gibbons, which only lists it as lilac and ultramarine. 

I have just the one mint example of this printing, shown above.

On this printing is an example of another constant variety which affects the lettering. This time it is in the form of a truncated upper left corner of the "N" of "Pence". 


Twenty Sixth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to grey-lilac, but is paler. The duty plate colour is an exact match to Gibbons's dull ultramarine. 

I have no used examples, but I do have two mint examples as shown above. 

Twenty Seventh Printing


The head plate colour on this printing is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is just a touch deeper. The duty plate colour is also a near perfect match to Gibbons's dull ultramarine. 

Again, I have no used examples of this printing, and only one mint example as shown above.

This brings me to the end of this series of printings. The next series, which I will cover next week show the next stage of plate wear, in which there is a loss of overall sharpness, a loss of detail in the hair at the back of the head, and especially that below the diagonal ribbon, and merging of at least the top 5 hairlines on the head.