Classic Russian Revenue Stamps
Some of the items shown in this section are included because they are rare and first of their type of revenue stamps in Russia, others are shown because they are popular and rare and still others simply because they are very rare.
100 Ruble Consular
From Russian Imperial consular set of 1913. It was said that the Czar demanded a series of stamps from 1 kopeck to 500 Ruble and personally approved the design. The four 100 Ruble stamps shown here are the only copies known by the author to remain. The copy in black and white is not in the authors’s collection and the image comes from scans of the Cerini collection. The 500 Ruble value is known only by way of several copies that are marked specimen. A 30 Ruble stamp was apparently produced but may never have been issued. A copy of the 30 R value was seen in a lot with other consulars in about 1980, but the stamp has not been seen since that time and may be lost. No image of the 30 R is known to exist.
First used in about 1877 by the Zemstvo court system in Imperial Simferopol, this stamp is both rare and highly sought, as it is considered an important addition to both revenue and Zemstvo collections. The exact number of surviving copies is not known, but is probably between 5 and 6. Unfortunately, the perforations on many of the surviving copies were trimmed by the user, so there are only a couple complete copies remaining.
Imperial city court chancellery issue of 1889. The stamp that is shown was the centerpiece of Faberge’s Russian revenue exhibit that won many awards. There is only a single copy of the stamp that has survived to modern times and that copy may be lost. The owner has indicated that he can not find it.
During the Imperial Era the peace courts of at least 25 cities collected fees or revenue for various reasons including a fee for the filing of a law suit, a per page fee and the like. From the 1870s to the 1890s the fees were collected in conjunction with revenue stamps with black wording on white paper using a similar but not exactly identical format. Some cities used them even after they were officially discontinued until the Civil War in 1917. Over time the stamps also varied somewhat with each printing in each city. The above sheet represents a version used in the Kamenets-Podolsk courts in the late 1870s. The sheet is unusual for several reasons, the first of which is that full sheets from no other cities or time periods are known to exist. Secondly, the sheet shows all three types of stamps in columns. The right stamp was applied to the document, the center was given as a receipt to the person paying the fees and the left was an accounting stamp retained by the clerk. Of all of the cities using these there are only a couple of known examples of the accounting stamp. Consequently, this item is very rare as a full sheet and for showing the layout of the three different types with the accounting stamp. It is noted that there are at least two spelling errors found on the sheet.
Imperial local court of appeals of 1880 for Oster and very rare. The above copy may be the last surviving stamp. Another was in the Marcovitch collection, but has not been seen for over 30 years.
St. Petersburg Residence Permit
This stamp is from the popular residence permit sets of 1889 and 1895. While some of the other values are priced highly in some catalogs, this stamp is the one from the two sets that is rare. Jack Moyes at one time kept track of existing copies and indicated that not more than 7 copies survived.
Essay for First General Revenue Stamp
In 1875 Russia decided to produce a general revenue stamp. The above essay was proposed by the stamp designers with a peasant girl on the 5 k value. According to legend, the Czar refused to have a peasant girl on a stamp that he thought represented Russia, so the essay was dropped and a completely new design replaced it. Only a couple of copies of variations of the stamp exist today.
St. Petersburg Police
St. Petersburg issued a number of series of stamps associated with the collection of fees by both city and suburban police. The above shown stamps are the 1 kopeck value from the first suburban series of 1860. Note there are two different types represented. In particular, in the one there is a space between the words on the top line and in the other there is not. Both are very rare. Although the exact number of surviving copies is not known, probably not more than 2 or 3 of each type survives,
250 Ruble Value for Bills of Exchange
All of the higher values for Soviet Bills of Exchange are all hard to find, but the 250 R is rare
Playing Card Charitable Tax
First used in 1892 to collect tax for charity. The Czarina promoted a charity to collect used playing cards which were sorted into complete decks and sold with the stamp to collect money for the charity. The stamps are popular with collectors and are considered to be rare. Several copies are known to exist with the word specimen.
Yaroslav of 1876
For payment of court fees in Yaroslav. Both 10 k and 20 k values. Rare and popular due to wreath design.
The above stamp is the earliest Russian banderolls to survive and was placed around a box of cigars. It was first used in 1838. This particular stamp was found and collected by Faberge and is believed to be the only copy to survive.
Stamped Paper of 1822
Stamped paper was used to collect revenue for the sale of land and the like. The paper was sold with the stamp imprinted for a fee that was comparative to the price paid and the sale document or the like was written out on the paper. This stamp is a high value of 600 Rubles (there are higher values) of the beautiful set of 1822. All of the higher values are rare with only a couple of copies of some and none of others still in existence.
Earliest Types of Russian Revenue Stamps
Stamped paper represents the earliest known example of the collection of revenue in conjunction with stamps in Russia. The above stamp was one of the earliest and dates to about 1699. The cost of the stamp was proportional to the cost of the transaction written on the paper.