Postal History of the 1904-1906 King Edward VII Keyplate Issue of Lagos

Postal History of the 1904-1906 King Edward VII Keyplate Issue of Lagos

This week's post will be my last for the stamps of Lagos, and will present an interesting range of postal history from the 1904-1906 King Edward VII issue of Lagos. Included is an intriguing series of overpaid postcards all sent to Germany aboard a ship from the recipient's wife. All of the stamps are arranged in a way on the cards that suggests that the cards are not philatelic, but are in fact, actual commercial overpaid usages.

Registered Envelopes

Here is a registered cover sent from Ibadan on August 14, 1906, after Amalgamation, to Holsheim, Germany. There is a U.K. transit backstamp dated September 3 1906, but no arrival backstamp in Germany. The postage paid is 2/3d over the 2d value of the envelope, for a total of 2/5d. This has been paid with chalky paper examples of the 1/2d, 1d, and 2.5d and ordinary paper examples of the 2d, 3d and 6d.

The next scan shows the back of the envelope:

Note how the indicta on the back of the envelope is Lagos. 
The next scans show a Southern Nigeria registered envelope used in Lagos after Amalgamation:
This envelope was sent from Forcados, which was part of the Niger Coast Protectorate, to London on October 4, 1907. What is very interesting is the low amount of postage affixed to the envelope, being only 1d over the registration fee. This would suggest that the printed matter rate was charged, rather than the letter rate. 
Note the Southern Nigeria blue 2d stamp indicta on the back of this envelope. So, a Southern Nigeria envelope has been uprated using a Lagos stamp rather than a Southern Nigeria stamp. 
The next two scans show a mint Lagos envelope from before Amalgamation:

This cover was sent to Grand Popo in Dahomey on April 30, 1907, and arrived there on May 4, 1907. The postage was 5d, paid by a pair of the 2.5d purple and ultramarine, type 2, which is tied by a Lagos, Southern Nigeria oval registered cancel.

This cover was sent from Forcados to the Colonial Postmaster General in Freetown, Sierra Leone on December 27, 1906. The postage was rated at 1d and was paid with a pair of 1/2d stamps on ordinary paper.

This 1907 postcard is by far one of my favourites. The depth of expression in the woman's face and the detail in her dress is very reminiscent of what you would see today if you were to attend a very formal party in Nigeria. This woman is probably at least 15 or 16 here, so she is long since deceased. She is holding a fan and what appears to be a lifeless chimpanzee. The message is written on the front of the card, as UPU regulations at this time prohibited the writing of messages on the back of foreign destination cards like this one. 

The back of this postcard indicates that it was a German made card, and was sent to Glasgow on June 5, 1907. The town name is not readable, but is likely Lagos. 

This 1905 postcard depicts the Government Vessels Department in Lagos, near the marina. The transformation of this part of Lagos to what it looks like today is staggering.

This card was sent from Lagos in July 1905. It arrived in Leighton-on-Sea on July 23, 1905, and was re-directed after it was unable to be delivered.

This one is particularly amusing for the message written on the card. Note the "Savage West Africa" written on the card in the lower right corner. This card depicts the colonial hospital in Lagos.

This card was sent from Lagos to the UK on September 2, 1905. 

This card depicts a native canoe. The card inscription says "Bonny S.N (Southern Nigeria). Bonny was part of the Niger Coast Protectorate prior to Amalgamation.

This card actually contains a dividing line and the UPU regulations which stated that the space to the left of the line could be used as a message portion, but only for local sendings. The card was sent from Lagos on May 26, 1906, and is franked with a chalky paper 1d. The cancellation is a "Post Office Lagos W.C.A" CDS cancellation. 

This is a Spanish postcard, depicting Pico de Teide. It has been used in Lagos and sent to Bristol from Warri on August 24, 1906.

This card is franked with a pair of the 1/2d on chalky paper.

This card depicts Susan's Bay in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The message states "From a hot country to a cold country. Greetings!!".

This card was sent from Calabar on September 15, 1906, to Vancouver BC. There is a receiving stamp from Duncan Station, BC, dated October 27, 1906. 
A mint postcard from Lagos.

An unused postcard depicting Great Bridge Street in Lagos. 

An anchor point for canoes near Warri Village. 
The reverse of this card is German, and was sent from Forcados, which was part of the Niger Coast Protectorate, prior to Amalgamation, on August 10, 1906. The postage is paid with a pair of 1/2d stamps on chalky paper. 

This is the first colour postcard I have seen from Lagos in this time period. Unfortunately there are no stamps, but the cancel left an imprint on the card that shows it was sent in 1911.

The message is intriguing: " The baskets on the ground are what they take chickens to market in. Everything, even an umbrella is carried on the head. The mats are to keep the sun from the front of the shop , which is open."

The bank of British West Africa in Lagos.

Unfortunately the stamps have been removed from the card, but the postmarks indicate that the card was sent from Lagos on March 11, 1907 to Labo Labo, Gold Coast. It arrived in Accra on March 13, and passed through Kpong on March 20, 1907. 
The next four postcards were all sent by a woman aboard a ship (likely the First Bismarck) to her husband in Munnerstadt on October 27, 1905. All were franked with different amounts of postage, ranging from 4d to 1s5d. Clearly, the amount of postage is far in excess of what was required, and one one card, the stamps were carelessly affixed, resulting in damage to the stamps. This suggests that the cards are not philatelic, or if they are, the sender was unaware of how to affix the stamps in a way that avoided damaging them. 

Hamburg Amerika Line postcard showing the Furst Bismarck.

This card is rated 4d and the postage is paid with a pair of 2d's on ordinary paper.

Another card showing the First Bismarck. 

This card is rated 1/5d, paid with a 1/- black and green on ordinary paper and a pair of 2.5d purple and ultramarine on blue paper

This card shows the Kiautschou, another ship of the Hamburg Amerika Line.

This card is rated 1/0.5d, and the postage is paid with a pair of the 6d on ordinary paper and a single 1/2d on ordinary paper.

This card depicts the Auguste Victoria, another ship from the Hamburg Amerika Line.

This card is rated 1s2d with the postage being paid with a single of 1s green and black on ordinary paper, and a pair of the 1d purple and black on red, chalk-surfaced paper. 
This concludes my coverage of the stamps of Lagos. Next week, I will begin my coverage of the stamps of Niger Coast Protectorate, with the overprinted issues of Great Britain. 
Previous article The Overprinted Great Britain Issues Of Niger Coast Protectorate 1892-1894 Part One
Next article The 1904-1906 King Edward VII Keyplate Issue of Lagos Part Two

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