Lagos Colony was located on the West African coast adjacent to Southern Nigeria. The port was seized in 1861 by the British for trade (Palm oil) and security reasons, and became a British possession. The Port and Lagoon territory was first administered by the Governor of Sierra Leone. Then, in 1874, it was administered from the Gold Coast colony. Administrative control was assumed by the Protectorate of Lagos in 1886, and a charter was given to the Royal Niger Company.
1898 Map of Lagos and Nigeria
Lagos had a population in 1900 of 1,500,000.
Lagos Funeral procession in 1912
Stamps were initiated for Lagos in 1874, and continued through 1905. In 1906, Lagos was united with Southern Nigeria, and stamp production ceased.
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, from 1874-1905, 59 major stamp descriptions. Of those, 19 are CV <$1-$4, or 32%. The stamps of Lagos are a bit expensive as one would expect for an early British colony, but a small representative collection can be formed.
A closer look at the stamps and issues
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
The initial 1874-75 issue had the design as illustrated (In fact, all of the Victorian issues have this design), and consisted of six stamps, Colonial watermark 1 "Crown and C C", and perforation 12 1/2. CV is $14-$70.
The 1876 issue of six stamps changed the perforation to 14 (CV $7-$90+). A 4p rose from the 1876 issue is shown above.
1887 Scott 18 2p lilac & blue "Victoria", Wmk 2The large (25 stamps) 1882-1902 Victoria issue changed the watermark to wmk 2 "Crown and C A". The illustrated 2p lilac & blue is part of this issue. CV for seven stamps is <$1-$3+.
Be aware there are forgeries of the Lagos "Victoria" stamps- some with a grease "Crown and C A" watermark. I don't have any, but Varro Tyler ("Focus on Forgeries") illustrates the forgeries with a much thicker straight and flat (no serifs) letter "S" in "Postage".
The King Edward VII design was introduced in 1904 with a 10 stamp issue. This issue is distinguished by the watermark 2 "Crown and C A". CV for four stamps is $1+-$2+.
1904-05 Scott 53a 2 1/2p violet & ultramarine/blue, chalky paper
In 1904-05, the "Multiple Crown and C A" watermark was used for the 10 stamp issue. The stamps can be found either on ordinary paper (major number), or chalky paper (minor number). Six stamps are CV <$1-$3.
1892-1902 Queen Victoria issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has three pages for the stamps of Lagos, and includes spaces for all the Scott major numbers. The Steiner does not, though, provide spaces for the 10 minor number chalky varieties of the Edward VII 1904-05 issue. Some of them have a cheaper CV than the ordinary paper varieties. I created a separate page for these stamps.
1886 Scott 13 1/2p green "Victoria"
Big Blue '69, on two lines of one page (after Labuan), has 14 stamp spaces. Coverage is 24%.
• BB provides a nice representation for Lagos.
• Despite some close calls, and the judicious selection of blank spaces, no stamps need to cross the CV $10 threshold.
• BB has the usual dilemma of one space for multiple choices. I elaborate under the "comments" section.
13,1 or 7 or 14 or 15*, 2 or 8 or 16, 19, 21,(24),(27),
40 or 50, 41 or 51, 42 or 52, 43 or 53, 44 or 54, (45 or 55), (46 or 56 or 56a)
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None
B) ( ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *1874-94 - Combines three issues, two perforations and two watermarks.
D) *15 is 1p carmine rose, while 1,7,14 are 1p lilac.
E) *1903-05 - Combines two watermarked issues. Also, be aware of the the minor number chalky paper Scott 50a-59a varieties, which in some cases are the least expensive choice.
1882-1902 Scott 15 1p carmine rose "Victoria"
Out of the Blue
After Labuan, the stamps of Lagos are very ordinary. It does not mean Lagos itself is ordinary. In fact, to me, the cancelled stamps are tangible representations of a historical colonial world.
Note: Map and pic appear to be in the common domain
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Lagos Colony Flag