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Photographs & Revenue Stamps Usage

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Posted 10/17/2021   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add patg23 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Maybe some of our revenue collectors could give a little history on the use of revenue stamps on photographs.

First two are from New York. The three Sailors are from New Orleans area. I don't have any other information. As usual for me, these found in the bottom of a box lot. I guess not too bad condition for about 150 years old.

Thanks,
pat



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Posted 10/19/2021   08:45 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They're fun. Fairly common, typically retailing for $2-10 each unless there is something unusual about the stamps, cancels, or imagery depicted on the front. Military subjects, American Indians, landscapes, "circus freaks", political cartoons, are examples of subjects that can command premiums.

They were taxed for a 2-year period from August 1, 1864 through July 31, 1866 and are avidly collected.
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Edited by revenuecollector - 10/19/2021 08:46 am
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Posted 10/19/2021   09:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Known as The Sun Picture Tax, the government charged a tax on photographs from 1 August 1864 to 1 August 1866. The amount of tax per photograph varied based on cost of the photograph. Tax stamps were most commonly for 1, 2, or 3 cents. Understanding the history of the sun picture tax is a boon to the researcher trying to date antique photographs.

The popular cartes des visites (CDV) were among those photographs required to have tax stamps during this time period. One cent stamps began being charged for less expensive photos from March 1865 to 1 August 1866. After 1 August 1866, this tax law was repealed.

https://lisalisson.com/how-to-date-...-tax-stamps/


Note Added: I have a lot of old family photos from the mid-1800's on. I just check the scans (front and back) I did of them in the 90's but I guess none were during the 1864-1866 period as none have a stamp on the back.
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Edited by jconey - 10/19/2021 09:50 am
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Posted 10/19/2021   09:54 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not to be pedantic, but well... that's what we do. August 1, 1866 was not part of the taxation period. It ended July 31, 1866. August 1 was the first day the tax was not in effect.
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Posted 10/19/2021   10:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rustyc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I love 'em. Here are a few of mine.











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Posted 10/19/2021   1:07 pm  Show Profile Check 1typesetter's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1typesetter to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Outstanding pair of R1a's -- not an inexpensive stamp! Value on a CDV?????????
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Posted 10/19/2021   2:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rustyc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Value on a CDV?????????


I'm no expert, but it seems definitely odd to find imperfs on a CDV. Someone must have had some sitting around. I kind of doubt that the value of the pair is enhanced much, if at all, for being on a CDV.
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Posted 10/19/2021   3:39 pm  Show Profile Check 1typesetter's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1typesetter to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rusty,

Your theory may be correct. Must have found some stuck in a drawer somewhere. June 1865 I would surmise is kind of late for an imperf.
Could be a west coast photographer but looks like there's no way to tell.
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Posted 10/19/2021   4:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting S R Miller, signs his "S" backwards.
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Posted 10/19/2021   4:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revenuermd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Several decades ago I was working for Eric Jackson at a New York show and he purchased a shoe box full of photos with stamps on them. However, fully a third of the photos had stamps with cancellations outside the period when the tax was in effect. Someone was obviously trying to enhance the value of his CDVs. Yet another fraud being perpetrated on stamp collectors!
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Ron Lesher
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Posted 10/19/2021   6:29 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I remember seeing a large lot of CDVs at a major auction house at some point in the last 4 years (I think it may have been Kelleher or Aldrich) where 90% of the stamps/cancels were completely bogus. Not only outside the 2-year period, but bank handstamps, merchant cancels, etc. The auction house was either clueless or deceptive.
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Posted 10/19/2021   8:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There was no one cent tax on photographs, the lowest was two cents. However photos with one cent solo usages are not all that scarce. Possibly the photographer spread the tax between several photos (he was not supposed to, but....), or possibly they just put a one cent on and hoped no one would notice (if it never was used in some legal situation, no one would).
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Posted 10/19/2021   8:51 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Might as well share a few of mine...

1. Nice R1a along with an R5c. The R1a is the scott listed short transfer. Ex-Baryla.




2. Illegal/improper use of postage stamp as revenue.




3. To go along with Rusty's example, here is a pair of the part perf 1c Express.




4. Unusual large format shield cancel.




5. The only reported example of R6e green paper on CDV. Ex-Baryla.




6. The only reported example of R15e green paper on CDV.




7. Scarce "Mark C. Terry" stencil cancel. Ex-Baryla.




8. Scarce R11b part perf on CDV.




9. Scarce T13 major double transfer.




10. Very unusual curved stencil. Ex-Baryla.




11. Absolutely ginrmous jumbo of R13c




12. Civil War patriotic cartoon lampooning Jefferson Davis in a dress.




13. Very rare R14c horizontal pair on a California CDV.




14. Incredibly unusual item; never seen another like it. CDV that served as a raffle ticket. It's not the lottery ticket tax, which expired in 1864. It falls within the taxable period of CDVs, but the initials in the cancel are not that of the photographer. Instead, it appears to match the name written on the ticket, which means it is presumably the person running the lottery or the purchaser of the ticket, paying the tax on the $1 purchase price of the ticket.




15. Two very scarce Marysville, California stencil cancels. Both Ex-Baryla.






16. Very scarce Matthew Brady diminuitive "Brady" script cancel...




17. ... and its much scarcer sibling, the script "Washington" cancel.




18. Scarce but known bisect. The photographer Elias A Bonine was known for canceling his stamps "Bo9", the second half which is visible.




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Posted 10/20/2021   08:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
revenuecollector: "6. The only reported example of R15e green paper on CDV." Apparently this cancellation was made to the sheet before the stamp was torn off and added to the CDV. I notice that the cancel goes right to the edge without any on the CDV. In your estimation, was this a common practice at the time?
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Posted 10/20/2021   09:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
jcothe pre cancelling of stamps in sheet form was a common practice for many users. press printed or hand stamped, ruled lines, inked rollers and I suspect some form of stencils were used. the more stamps used the larger the time savings.
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Posted 10/20/2021   10:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well ok, I do understand clerks would hand cancel in advance to save time during the day. The Post office Department didn't authorize (press printed, or other) precancels until 1887. I do collect bureau precancels. I wasn't sure about revenue stamps this early though.

"The first use of precancels (both in the US and globally) was by Hale & Co., an independent mail company in the United States in the 1840s which undercut the expensive United States Post Office Department (POD). The first precancels were created in 1843 or early 1844 and their complexity varies; most were "crude straight lines" across the stamps, but examples from Portsmouth, New Hampshire were precanceled with "P / N.H." in block letters. Hale & Co., along with all other independent mail carriers, was shut down by an 1845 act of Congress."
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Edited by jconey - 10/20/2021 10:10 am
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