Invited display: Great Britain Revenue Stamps Printed by Perkins Bacon

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The security printers Perkins Bacon are well-known for their involvement in printing the world’s first postage stamps. This invited display from Frank Walton RDP FRPSL shows their activity in the secure printing of British revenue stamps.

The security printers Perkins Bacon are well-known for their involvement in printing the world’s first postage stamps. This exhibit shows their activity in the secure printing of British revenue stamps which they undertook before, alongside and after British postage stamp production.

How to view the exhibit

  • Click on the gallery images above to view each page
    • This facility allows you to view one by one, or as a slideshow 
  • Use the links below to view each section of the display as a PDF
    • Quick links at the end of each section take you to the next section or back to this index page

Scope of Exhibit

There are nine different kinds of British revenue stamps that were printed by Perkins Bacon. These are covered in the order of the date of their introduction: 

  1. Playing Cards (1828-1883)
  2. Paper Duty (1848-1861) 
  3. Life Policy (1853-1872) 
  4. Customs (1860-1863) 
  5. Ireland Registration of Deeds (1864-1888) 
  6. Ireland Record of Titles (1865-1882) 
  7. Justice Room (1869-1910) 
  8. Mayor’s Court (1883-1939) 
  9. Guildhall Consultation Fee (1892-1900)

These revenue printings all demonstrate the same degree of complex engine-turned backgrounds as the contemporary postage stamps, making the designs almost impossible to forge. There is considerable synergy between the design of the revenue and postage stamps, as evidenced by the re-use of the head of Queen Victoria and several of the engine-turned backgrounds. 

The term ‘Great Britain’ is an abbreviated version of the country name ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland’. Hence the two Irish revenues in Chapters 5 and 6 are within the scope. 

Only by studying all adhesive stamps produced by Perkins Bacon can the pattern of use of paper and perforation be observed.

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Treatment

The nine types of revenues are considered in turn, and within each a chronological approach has been adopted. The number of different revenue adhesives issued within each category varies enormously: for the Guildhall Consultation Fee only one stamp was issued - but for Life Policy there were nine denominations issued over five major series. 

Rarities are highlighted with captions in red ink.

Note. The printers’ name is given simply as ‘Perkins Bacon’ throughout. However, the correct legal title of the company in the period under consideration was: Perkins & Heath (1822-1829); Perkins & Bacon (1829-1834); Perkins, Bacon & Petch (1834-1853); Perkins, Bacon & Co (1853-1887); and finally Perkins, Bacon & Company Ltd (1887-1935).

Sources

  • Booth R.G., Catalogue of the Revenue Stamps of the United Kingdom Isle of Man Channel Is and Eire, Booth, 3rd Edition 1989 
  • Barefoot J., United Kingdom Revenues, Barefoot, 5th Edition, 2010.
  • Kaiser J.B., British Playing Card Stamp Duties..., APS, 1960.
  • Dagnall H., The Taxation of Paper in Great Britain, Dagnall, 1998
  • Berry J., Taxation on Playing-Cards in England from 1711 to 1960, IPCS, 2001.
  • The Revenue Journal

With thanks to Frank Walton RDP FRSPL


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