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
Forty Second Printing
Forty Third Printing
Forty Fourth Printing
Forty Fifth 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:
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
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.