Embossed Adhesive Revenue Stamps Overprinted "Inland Revenue" 1860-74
Since the first Stamp Act of 1694 (5 & 6 William & Mary c.21) all General Duty stamps had been impressed directly on to documents at one or other of the Stamping Offices. In 1860 it was decided that adhesive General Duty stamps should be introduced to make it easier for the general public to use. The 1d, 3d, and 6d values inscribed "INLAND REVENUE" were to be printed by De La Rue by the surface printed method.
As a provisional measure, the General Duty embossing dies held at Somerset House were used for producing stocks of adhesives of the most commonly used 3d and 6d values. The General Duty dies were also used to produce other values whose expected rate of use was small. By definition, therefore, these embossed values are scarce and several rank as among the rarest adhesive stamps of Great Britain. These issues have always been listed in the major catalogues since they were allowed to be used as postage stamps from 1st January 1883. The exhibit shows only the earliest of the issues from 1860 until 1874, when they were replaced by a new type, and contains examples of all currently known issued stamps together with a set, accumulated over many years, of unique proofs struck at the Royal Mint in sealing wax. All values were issued imperforate but some were perforated from early 1871.
- 3d & 6d values -- Issued in 1860 as provisional stamps pending the availability of the surface printed stamps printed by De La Rue. No further printings were made after this date. A very few 3d stamps received official perforations.
- 1/-, 2/- & 2/6d values -- Issued in 1860 as rarely used values. The 1/- was the most used and was reprinted from time to time over the years up to mid 1874. The last printing of the 2/6d was dated 1863 and the last 2/- was dated 1869.
- 2d & 9d values -- These were additional values issued in December 1870 to complete the range of values available.
- Officially perforated stamps appeared in early 1871. For the 2/6d value they used up old stock dated 1861.