De La Rue submitted designs for the No. 1 key-plate of 240 to the Crown Agents
on 19 July 1888 together with duty-plates of 60 for 4d. 6d
60,000 stamps of the 4d arrived in the Colony together with the 1d, 2d and 1/-
about 1 December 1889, but the actual issue must have been
held up for some months. The new stamp was first mentioned in September 1890.
There was no urgent need for a new 4d stamp as there were still c. 45,000 of the
1889 4d in stock, or sufficient to last' through 1890 and 1891. Some, but far
from all, were used during those years. Despite this, the yearly consignments
for 1891 and 1892 contained 60,960 and 61,440 stamps, and for 1895 and 1696
followed 122,400 and 121,200 stamps.
Two more deliveries followed in rapid succession after the duty plate had been
doubled; 360,000 stamps on 15 April and 566,400 on 10 June 1896, bringing the
grand total to 1,352,400 stamps. It took 8-9 years to dispose of these
The brown colour varies from dark brown through brown to light brown. The
earliest deliveries seem to be in a rather dark shade, which
however, is also seen many years later.