$2 Beer revenue stamp proof single
This image is a proof on card of the two barrel, 2-dollar 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 red brown and the vignette features an image of Alexander Hamilton (1755/57-1804). If listed in Scott, the number would be REA29P4.
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 BEP used two vignette plates for the 2-dollar stamp and designated them with letters (A, B), which appear on the left of the vignette (B 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 REA29.