Group 3: Printings 16-22 From the Third State of Plate 1 - Feb/March 1894 to The End of 1899
As stated in all the previous posts which discuss the printings of the other denominations, the third state of the plate is characterized by two things:
- Merging together of the top 3-5 hairlines at the top of the Queen's head.
- A loss of most or all of the fine detail located in the bun of hair at the back of the head immediately to the right of the ear, both above and below the diagonal ribbon.
The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's deep green, but this colour is a bit paler than the Gibbons swatch. It does however lack the dullness that the deep dull green possesses. I have one single mint example as shown above, and four used examples as shown below:
The stamps on the top row all have colour that is more or less true to the original, which indicates that these examples have not been seriously affected by water. The bottom stamps have all been slightly faded by water exposure, but not to the point that they cannot be classified as part of this printing. I have attributed these to this printing, largely on the basis of the barred oval and Lagos Government Telegraphs Cancellations. The stamps on the top row are all cancelled with strikes of the 21 mm Lagos CDS cancellation dated between May 16, 1894 and September 24, 1895. Only the first stamp shows the "W. Af" portion of the cancel, and the distance between the letters of this cancellation is 3 mm.
The head plate colour of this printing a almost an exact match to Gibbons's deep green, except that there is just the slightest hint of yellow to this colour. I have seven mint singles of this printing, as shown above and a block of three as shown below:
The head plate colour of this printing is very similar to the last printing, being an exact match to Gibbons's deep green. The colour is just a touch deeper than the colour of the seventeenth printing. I have two mint singles as shown above and a right sheet margin block of 4 showing a partial "Crown Agents" watermark in the margins.
The head plate colour of this printing is almost identical to the seventeenth printing, but this colour is just a touch duller. Like the previous two printings, I have no used examples, and only the three mint examples as shown above.
The head plate colour of this printing has lost the yellowish undertone that was present in all the other printings just discussed. Indeed, this colour is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's deep dull green. Again, I have no used examples of this printing, and just the two mint examples shown above.
Twenty First Printing
On this printing, the colour is similar to the twenty first printing, but the colour here contains more blue than the last printing, so that it is no longer a close match to Gibbons's deep dull green. Instead, it is closest in tone to Gibbons's dull blue green, but deeper. So I would call this the deep dull blue-green. This is the first printing since the 16th printing where I have both mint and used examples. In terms of mint, I have five singles, including a specimen overprint, and a left mint sheet margin block as shown below:
The head plate colour of this printing is closest to Gibbons's dull green, but deeper. However, it is not as deep as the deep dull green as shown on the colour key. It is actually about mid-way between these two shades in terms of intensity.
I have one mint and one used example as shown above. The used example shown here is curious. Although the cancellation appears to be a lovely strike of the scarce 24 mm Abeokuta CDS dated August 21, 1899, closer examination of the cancel reveals that it appears to have been drawn in with a wax pencil. Underneath there is evidence of a CDS cancel, that was most likely Lagos. But it does appear to have been altered to create a more appealing cancel.
Faded Used Examples
The head plate colour of this printing is identical to that of the seventeenth printing: a deep green that contains just the slightest hint of yellow.
I have two mint examples as shown above, and one used example, which is cancelled with a 21 mm Lagos CDS. The date is not readable, but the "W. A" is visible and shows a clear space of 4 mm between the letters.
Twenty Fourth Printing
Twenty Fifth Printing
Twenty Ninth Printing
Thirty First Printing
- Gibbons's nomenclature of the colours on this stamp is not quite correct. What they call yellow green is really the deep dull green.
- Gibbons's pricing of the blue green stamps is completely out to lunch and does not reflect actual scarcity at all. The mint prices for both shades are equivalent, even though the blue green stamps are ten times scarcer at least than the dull green. In used condition, the difference in scarcity is even more acute. I would go so far as to suggest that mint examples of the blue green should be worth as much as fine used examples of the dull green and the used examples of the blue green should be worth 2-3 times as much as the dull green.
The head plate colour of this final printing is an almost perfect match to Gibbons's deep green. I have one single mint example and one used example as shown above. The used example appears to be cancelled with a very light strike of a 21 mm Lagos, CDS which had more or less fallen out of use by 1902, so its use here is curious. It is a very light strike, so it is hard to be sure that it is not a 24 mm cancel. There is a possibility that this used example is actually an example from the first state of the plate, made before 1890. This would certainly fit if the cancel is indeed a 21 mm CDS. For now though, I am content to include it here as a plate 2 printing.
I also have three more stamps that are mildly to moderately affected by fading: