World Stamps

Inside Linn’s: The joys of collecting British revenue stamps

Sep 4, 2020, 8 AM
In Great Britain Philately in the Sept. 21 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Matthew Healey dives into the fascinating world of British revenue stamps. This 220-year-old document from the reign of King George III bears an embossed 10-shilling stamp on blue paper at top left. The king’s cipher, which is affixed to the back of the document, is shown at right.

By Charles Snee

The Sept. 21 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Sept. 7. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Sept. 5. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three brief reviews of exclusive content available only to subscribers.

British revenues can offer beauty, collecting challenge and affordability

Revenues hold tantalizing opportunities for doing original research that postage stamps haven’t offered since the pioneer days of our hobby. As Matthew Healey demonstrates in Great Britain Philately, such opportunities abound for British revenue stamps. Healey begins his informative review with an indenture (a type of labor contract) that was issued in 1800 during the reign of King George. In this case the stamp was embossed on dark blue paper that was then affixed to the document with a strip of tin. Numerous illustrations, coupled with Healey’s lively commentary, trace the history of these intriguing stamps that were used to document payment of taxes on a plethora of goods and services. Yes, Great Britain once issued a tax stamp for hair powder. Healey’s column is one you won’t want to miss.

Cleage correspondence shows provisional, Confederate uses of 3¢ Nesbitt envelopes

In 1861 the Confederate States of America faced a serious postal problem because U.S. stamps were no longer valid for use in the Confederacy. Some Confederate postmasters got around this difficulty by issuing their own provisional stamps. Another solution involved using invalid 3¢ stamped envelopes produced by George Nesbitt as regular envelopes and franking them with postmaster’s provisional stamps. As Labron Harris explains in Classic U.S. Postal History, one of the more unusual correspondences to emerge during this time involved the Planters Bank in Nashville, Tenn., which sent numerous preaddressed 3¢ Nesbitt envelopes to David Cleage, the cashier of the bank in Athens, Tenn. Collectors refer to these postal stationery items as Cleage envelopes. Read the whole column to discover more about this notable chapter in Civil War postal history.

An introduction to the Escuditos: the first stamps of Argentina

The escuditos take their name from the little shield that appears in the center of the design. The issue offers rich variation and ample opportunities for research and study. In Unveiling Classic Stamps, Sergio Sismondo reviews the pivotal legislative acts of the Argentine National Congress that eventually lead to the creation of the Escuditos, including the 1862 law that set postal rates throughout the country. Sismondo then provides some historical context concerning the complexities surrounding the various currencies in use in the different provinces. He then reviews the elements of the design (which are part of Argentina’s national shield today) and explains how the stamps were printed in 70-subject sheets using lithography. Subsections keyed to the Scott catalog numbers of the stamps provide essential identification details based on color, printing states and the lack or presence of an accent above the “U” in “REPUBLICA.” Perhaps you have some of these stamps in your collection. This column provides the perfect opportunity to learn more.

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