Sep 24, 2020 - Sale 2546

Sale 2546 - Lot 21

Price Realized: $ 15,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
THE LITTLE PIECE OF PAPER WHICH STARTED IT ALL (AMERICAN REVOLUTION--PRELUDE.) Stamp from the Stamp Act of 1765. Embossed stamp on blue-gray paper reading "II Shillings VI Pence," 1 1/2 inches square, mounted as issued on a slightly larger piece of vellum, with a small period staple sealed on verso by a printed revenue stamp, just under 1 inch square, reading "GR 316"; minimal wear. Np, circa 1765

Additional Details

The Stamp Act of 1765 required expensive duty stamps to be affixed to many kinds of legal documents. The cost was higher in the colonies than in England, which sparked resistance from colonial legislatures and Sons of Liberty street protests in Boston, New York, and beyond. The act was repealed in March 1766, but the idea of liberty had taken root.
"The embossed revenue stamp could be impressed upon ordinary paper; however, it was not possible to impress the stamp on vellum. Instead, for documents prepared on vellum, the revenue stamp was impressed upon either beige or dark blue paper, which had been glued and stapled to the vellum. The back of the staple was covered with a cypher bearing the Coat of Arms of George III, probably to prevent reuse of the embossed stamp. These cyphers are thought to be the inspiration for the first adhesive postage stamps."--Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The museum has traced only 42 surviving examples of these free-standing vellum stamp preparations, with only 11 on blue-gray paper as seen in the present example.