Arago: Beer Stamps

Beer Stamps

16 2/3c Beer revenue stamp proof single

Scott Catalogue USA: REA21P

This image is a proof on card of the 1/6 barrel, 16 2/3-cent Beer Stamp of 1871. The 1871 series of Beer stamps was bicolor with engraved colored frames printed by the National Bank Note Company and engraved black vignettes printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. For this stamp, the frame is vermillion and the vignette features an image of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). If listed in Scott, the number would be REA21P4.

Brewers received the stamps without gum or perforations. They then cut the stamps apart, cancelled them, and pasted them over the bung of the beer barrel so that tapping the barrel destroyed the stamp.

The inscription, "Engraved and Printed at the BUREAU ENGRAVING & PRINIING," contains an error in the word "printing." The same error occurs on the 1-dollar and 2-dollar stamps of the 1871 series.

The BEP used four vignette plates for the 16 2/3-cent stamp and designated them with letters (A-D), which appear on the left of the vignette (A for the stamp illustrated). Starting at a sheet's upper left corner, a position number (from 1 to 20) appears on the vignette's right side. A printed sheet had four rows of five stamps each. Plate numbers for the frame plates appeared in the side margin next to stamp 10, but none are reported for REA21.

card; ink (vermillion, black) / engraved
Height x Width: 2 7/8 x 2 13/16 in. (7.3 x 7.2 cm)
Museum ID:

  • 16 2/3c Abraham Lincoln Beer revenue stamp proof single
  • Revenue Stamp
Additional Records

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