25c Beer revenue stamp proof single
This is a proof of the 1/4 barrel, 25-cent Beer Stamp of the 1866 Issue. If listed, the Scott number would be REA3P4.
The Note Printing Division of the Treasury Department, precursor of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, produced the issue, which it printed on white wove unwatermarked paper from plates of twenty subjects, five rows of four stamps each. There was a small plate number, 1.5 mm high, located in the center of the lower middle block of four. Plate number 5 is known on REA3.
The stamps were issued to brewers without gum or perforations. The brewers cut the stamps apart, cancelled them, and pasted them over the bung of the beer barrel. Tapping the barrel destroyed the stamp. Some examples were cut to circular rather than square shape. To facilitate the stamp's destruction when the keg was tapped, the stamps had a pattern of thirty-one small holes punched in them before issue.