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It is therefore possible to devise one's own scheme of collecting and also to find quite considerable rarities far more often than in conventional philately.Revenue stamps are now accepted for entry into national and international competitions under FIP rules and with their own guidelines.A full history of British document stamps is given in such excellent publications as Booth (2) and Frank, Schonfeld and Barber (3).

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This article will merely highlight and simplify some facets of the embossed document revenue stamps from 1694 to the present.It will not be looking at the later embossed and other revenue adhesive stamps, which developed from 1853, some of which are well known to philatelists as they became available for postal use from 1881.Nor will the article deal with , the elegant engraved copperplate stamps, used from 1711 on almanacs, newspapers, post horse duty, hats, patent medicines, etc.The 17th century saw an increasing need for taxation to pay for various wars.These needs have continued to increase ever since and, as with postal rates, even such relatively peaceful times as 1815-1840 did not diminish them. At first, all stamping was done at the Stamp Office in London (6,7).

Other offices were opened in Edinburgh (1712) and Dublin (1774) and several more provincial ones from 1888 (2)Embossing was the chosen technique for such security printing.From 1694, there was a clear distinction between the techniques for stamping paper and parchment.ollecting revenue stamps has again become popular after a lull of nearly a century, and popular for very good reasons.These stamps offer a wealth of interest for collection and original study.The scope is very wide, collectors not so plentiful and material not so abundant as with many postal issues.There is the added satisfaction (or frustration) of knowing that a complete collection is unlikely to be achieved.