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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. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Printings Of The 2.5d Ultramarine Queen Victoria Keyplate Stamp of Lagos 1891-1904 Part Six and The 2d Lilac and Blue

Today's post will conclude my coverage of the printings of the 2.5d ultramarine, and will start looking at the 2d lilac and blue. The last post left off at the 37th printing of the 2.5d. The stamp was first issued in April 1891 and was printed for the last time in August 1901. This is just over 10 years. At one printing per quarter, this translates into approximately 41 printings that we would expect to see, if one printing was made each time that stamps were sent to the colony.

The last printings examined showed plate wear that is consistent with the 4th state of plate 1, which is so say that all of the detail in the hair behind the head is gone, as is most of the hair detail above the crown. The crown itself shows merging of the finer shading lines into solid masses of colour, and finally the horizontal shading lines in the portrait are of uneven thickness. There should normally have been a very worn 5th state for printings made between 1899 and 1900. However, I have not seen any such examples on this value. Instead, the next printings display all the characteristics that are consistent with the earliest states of the plate. This suggests that plate 2 was indeed used for this value, even though no record of plate 2 for this value exists. All the cancellations that are dated, show dates that are after 1900, which supports this notion as well.

In total I have identified five possible printings from this group, bringing the total number of possible identified printings for this value to 42. In this group, I have found one possible plate variety involving very slight doubling of the letters in "Penny", which I will illustrate here.

Thirty Eighth Printing


This is one of the two printings of this group in which the head plate colour and the duty plate colour are the same: deep cobalt. I have only one mint example, as shown above, and it is Type A.


Thirty Ninth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is pale dull ultramarine, while the duty plate colour is almost an exact match to the dull ultramarine. I have one mint example, and four used examples, three of which are type A, and one of which is the scarcer type B. All of the cancellations are either Abeokuta, Lagos, or Ibadan, and all are dated between June 4, 1901 and April 4, 1904.

It is on this printing that the first of two possible constant varieties involving doubling of the duty plate numbers and letters appears. The third stamp from the left shows the start of a second impression of the top of the "2" and the bottom of the "1" of "1/2", right above the top of these numerals. This is not a common variety and was not seen at all on any of the earlier printings. You can see the variety in the following scan:


You can just make out the dot above the "1" and the shadow of a curved line above the top of the larger "2".

Fortieth Printing



Although the middle stamp is slightly affected by clear fading, the other two stamps do appear to be the true original colour, which is much paler than most other shades seen on this value. The head plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's cobalt shade, while the duty plate colour is royal blue. 

This would appear to be a very distinct and scarce shade, which is quite distinct. I do not have any mint examples, but I do have three used examples, all canceled with either Lagos, or Ibadan CDS cancels dated between January 19, 1903 and August 25, 1904. This is the latest group of dates that I have seen for this value, which suggests to me that these are from the very last printing. 

Forty First Printing


This is the second of this group of printings to have the same head plate and duty plate colours and is also the second to show traces of doubling in the letters of the duty plate.  The colour is again very distinct and somewhat troublesome: it is too bright and light to be the bright blue, but it is too deep to be cobalt, or even deep cobalt. I would say however, that if one took the cobalt swatch on the colour key and made it both deeper, and slightly brighter, then this is the shade, that I would imagine that would result. Thus I am naming this as the deep, bright cobalt shade. I have no mint examples, and only the used example shown above, canceled with a June 2, 1902 Lagos CDS cancel. 

The used example I have here also shows a partial doubling of the "PEN" of "Penny"



If you look at the above scan, you can just make out some extra colour at the very top of the "P" at the left, along the top bar of the "E" and right at the top left of the "N". These are partial extra impressions of these letters. 

Forty Second Printing



On this printing, the head plate is dull ultramarine, while the duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's ultramarine. I do not have any mint examples, but I do have six used examples, four of which are type A, and two of which are type B. All of the cancellations are either Lagos or Ibadan, and all are dated between September 16, 1901 and December 9, 1903.

This concludes my examination of the printings of this value. Next up is the 2d lilac and blue.

The 2d Lilac and Blue

This stamp exhibits many shades of both the head and duty plate. The lilac of the more common later printings tends to be either reddish, greyish or pale, while on the early printings, which are also much scarcer, it tends to be quite deep and brownish. The duty plate exhibits the most variation, with the early printings being in either deep blues, cobalt blues or grey-blues, which progresses to royal blues and deep ultramarines, until the more common late printings are usually shades of ultramarine. 

In total. 448.800 were sent out to the colony, with the number of remainders destroyed being a staggering 244,260, more than any other value. This tends to suggest that either this was not a very popular value, or that the majority of the remainders come from the last one or two printings. Given how very prevalent the more common ultramarine shades are, I would venture to suggest that like the 1d and 1/2d stamps, the bulk of the total printing comes from the last one or two printings, with the remainder being spread among the earlier to mid-period printings. The first printings were sent in March 1887 and the last printings were made and sent out in August 1901. This represents 58 calendar quarters in which it is possible that separate printings could have been made, through it seems highly unlikely to me that this many printings were actually made. My initial sort of the mint and used examples that I have suggested to me that there were a maximum of 45 printings.

There are a number of constant plate flaws on this value that first surface on the earlier printings of the 2d value, some of which originated with the very first printings back in 1874. Many of those occur on printings in this colour and will be shown in the subsequent posts detailing the printings of this value.

Most of the early printings of this value prior to 1895 in used condition are cancelled with either the 8-bar or 9-bar oval killer. However, after 1895, more and more of the used stamps are cancelled with Lagos CDS cancels, until nearly all of the used examples after 1897 are cancelled in this manner.

This stamp seems to follow the usual progression of plate wear from the early state of the plate, in which nearly all the detail of the hair and crown is clear and visible, to the last state (the 5th state) in which almost no detail is visible in the hair. Most of the stamps that I looked at dated between 1900 and 1903, appeared to be from this late state. So it does not appear that plate 2 was used for this value, which is consistent with the fact that all recorded printings are from plate 1.

Group 1 - Early Printings From the First State of the Plate - Printings 1-10 - March 1887 to About September 1889.

Generally, all of these printings will show full detail in all the Queen's hair, including the back of the head, both above and below the diagonal ribbon, as well as at the top of the head above the crown. The jewels of the crown itself will all be clear and distinct, with no merging at all of the horizontal shading lines in the bands of the crown. Due to uneven wear of the plate, a few examples in the sheet, may show very slight merging at the top of the hair, or at the back of the head, however, all the other detail will be clear, and the horizontal shading lines of the medallion will, in all cases, be of uniform thickness and evenly spaced apart.

I have identified a total of ten printings that generally meet these characteristics, all of which show an array of different head plate and duty plate shades. The remainder of this post will examine these in detail.

First Printing


On this printing the head plate colour is very close to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but is just a touch duller. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's grey-blue, but is much paler. So I would classify the colour as pale grey-blue.

I have four mint examples as shown above, including one specimen overprint without gum.

Second Printing


The head plate colour on this printing is almost an exact match to Gibbons's reddish lilac. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's deep dull blue, but without the greenish tinge that the Gibbons swatch shows. 

I only have one mint example, but I do have three used examples, one of which is cancelled with a lovely strike of a September 9, 1889 Lagos CDS, which the earliest CDS date that I have seen on this value, bu a margin of nearly six years. The other two used examples appear to be cancelled with 8-bar oval obliterators. 

Third Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's deep dull purple, but is just a little bit brighter. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull blue, but perhaps just a bit lighter. I only have the used example shown above, with an interesting cross-hatched manuscript cancellation. This is one of the only stamps that I have of Lagos that was cancelled in pen, as this was not a very common means of cancelling stamps in Lagos.


Fourth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is similar to the third printing, but brighter. It is actually close to what plum would be if it were lighter, so I think pale, or light plum is the colour. The duty plate colour is very similar to the third printing, but just a touch deeper and less greyish. I'd still say that it is a variant of dull blue though.

I have one mint example as shown in the scan above.


Fifth Printing


Like the first printing above, this printing also has a head plate colour that is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, with the colour, once again, being duller. The duty plate colour is an almost exact match to Gibbons's grey blue.

For this printing, I have one mint example, and two used examples, both of which are canceled with a strike of an 8-bar oval obliterator.


Sixth Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's reddish lilac, but dull. So I have named the frame colour of this printing dull reddish lilac. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's slate blue, but like the first printing, the colour is paler than the Gibbons swatch. So I would call the duty plate colour in this case pale slate blue. 

I have only the used example shown above, which is cancelled with a strike of an 8-bar oval obliterator. 


Seventh Printing


The head plate colour of this printing is also dull reddish lilac. The duty plate colour of this printing is very close to Gibbons's cobalt shade, but is just a touch duller. I have no mint examples and only three used examples as shown above. The cancellation on the first stamp appears to be a 9-bar oval, based on the narrow, widely spaced bars. The other two stamps appear to be canceled with 8-bar ovals.


Eighth Printing


The head plate colour on this printing is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's reddish lilac. The duty plate colour is closest to Gibbons's basic blue shade, but is just a touch paler, and duller.  I have only this single, scuffed used example, which appears to be cancelled with an 8-bar oval obliterator.


Ninth Printing


On this printing, the head plate colour is closest to Gibbons's dull purple, being an almost exact match. The duty plate colour once again closest to Gibbons's deep dull blue, but without the greenish tinge that the Gibbons swatch has. I have no mint examples of this printing, and only the above two used examples, both of which are cancelled with 8-bar oval obliterators. 

Tenth Printing



The head plate colour of this printing is again, an almost exact match to Gibbons's reddish lilac. The duty plate colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's blue shade. I have six mint examples of this printing, five of which are shown here. I also have four used examples, all of which appear to be cancelled with 8-bar ovals, through the cancellation on the left stamp might be a 9-bar oval. 

This takes us to the end of my examination of the first 10 printings of this value, which as I said should have been issued prior to 1890. Interestingly, there has been no appearance of ultramarine for a duty plate colour as yet. All of these early printings used shades of blue, dull blue, grey blue or slate blue for the printing of the duty plate. All of these are much, much scarcer than the later printings, and as such are worth much more than the basic Gibbons price, which is for the most common printings. 

Next week I will look at the printings made from the first state of the plate in which wear first appears.