The values in these Essays were expressed in sterling and in the issued “CYPRUS Key Plate” design as this was used for the Leeward Islands and the Seychelles. Eventually the stamps which evolved, in the two coloured issue, used the local currency of Piastres and not the silver coinage denominations that were in use in the United Kingdom at the same time. Although the exact date of issue has not been recorded, it is probably safe to assume that these were produced about 1894, right before the two coloured issue of 1894/96 as these were also in two colours.
Octagonal Cyprus Key plate essay
The three Sterling Essays of Key Plate I with the octagonal portrait “Cyprus Type” Key-plate
“POSTAGE-PSTAGE” Key-plate perforated essay in carmine with “CYPRUS” and 5s denomination.
“5 shilling artist’s sketch 29x34mm in claret with ornaments around the portrait in Chinese white on transparent paper 55x43mm endorsed for colour and affixed to a card of the same size. The predecessor of the adjacent essay.
The three Sterling Essays of Key Plate II