Revenue stamps predate 1840 by a considerable number of decades (or more?); but I have not been able to identify or find an image of the world's first revenue stamp. Can anyone shed any light on what the world's first revenue stamp might have been? Don
my understanding is that these were put mostly on newspapers. Afterall, the darn colonies couldn't get a free ride...taxes here, taxes there! some things never change. This might be a good reference - https://www.amazon.com/Red-Black-Im...p/B00JQDM7LC
it depends on how you define "revenue stamp" - Venice required the use of "AQ" letter sheets for communication with certain government offices starting in 1608. The lettersheets are considered by some to be revenues, others consider them to be postal stationery, some consider them to semi-postal or charity labels. GB was using embossed revenues by the late 1600s, and the colonies of Massachusetts and New York issued embossed revenues in the 1750s (years before the tax act of 1765). The US issued its first embossed revenues in the 1790s.
Extending the question, when was the first printed adhesive revenue stamp, i.e., not embossed or preprinted? The adhesive cyphers associated with British embossed adhesive revenues were basically labels and did not indicate the tax or denomination.
These blue revenue stamps date back to 1694 and are certainly among the forerunners of early revenue stamps. However, if one is talking about earliest postal service, it dates back to 4000 BC in China.