Arago: Beer Stamps

Beer Stamps

$1 Beer revenue stamp proof single

Scott Catalogue USA: REA28P4

This image is a proof on card of the one barrel, 1-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 scarlet and the vignette is an image of Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch (1808-1895). Two words are misspelled on the proof (and the stamp): McCulloch's name is misspelled "McCullough," and the word "printing" in "Bureau of Engraving and Printing" is misspelled. If listed in Scott, the number would be REA28P4.

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 four vignette plates for the 1-dollar 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 letters A, B, and D are known on yellow orange stamps, while all four plates are known on scarlet ones. Plate numbers for the frame plates appeared in the side margin next to stamp 10, with plate 6 known on yellow orange stamps.

card; ink (scarlet, black); engraved frame and vignette
7 x 7 cm (2 3/4 x 2 3/4 in.)
Museum ID:

Additional Records

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