For sale is an original 1877 SPECIAL TAX STAMP for a PEDDLER THIRD CLASS, certificate, number C2246. A street peddler had to buy an annual tax stamp from the US IRS at the cost of $15.00 in order to peddle their wares. One of the 12 spaces on the left side of the certificates was punched at sale to represent the month the tax was paid. This certificate measures 14 1/2″ x 7″. Each certificate has a watermark which can be seen if the paper is held up to the light. These certificates are sometimes referred to as the world’s biggest stamp. The tax stamp is preserved under glass in a handsome serving tray. A great collectible to compliment your home bar or vintage decor.
Lady Liberty is engraved on each stamp. She’s seated next to a keg of hard liquor and a box of cigars and appears ready to get her drink on. The American eagle is nearby and is glancing at her in a disapproving manner. Tobacco and alcohol excises provided nearly 50% of the federal tax revenues by the 1890s.
The federal government changed the color of the paper for the tax stamp each year to help identify stores with expired certificates. They were engraved and printed by the Bureau of Engraving & Printing. This tax stamp certificate is unused (not sold to a merchant) and thus the State tax collector punched holes through the unsold stamp to void it.