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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Collectors Focus Today: War Tax Stamps 

One of our collectors posted today a unique stamp titled 1872 Spain Aalfonso Xii 1peseta. The uniqueness of this stamp come from its purpose - a war tax stamp.  

A war tax stamp is a type of postage stamp added to an envelope in addition to regular postage. It is similar to a postal tax stamp, but the revenue is used to defray the costs of a war; as with other postal taxes, its use is obligatory for some period of time.

The first war tax stamps were produced in 1874 in Spain, during the Third Carlist War. A decree of October 2, 1873 imposed a war tax on letters and stamped documents. The stamps were issued on January 1, 1874 in two denominations, 5 centimos and 10 centimos, and depicted the Spanish coat of arms along with the inscription "Impuesto de Guerra" or "Impto de Guerra". The 5 centimo value was intended for use on letters, and the 10 centimo for use on stamped documents.

A similar set, using different colors, was issued on January 1, 1875. On June 1, 1876, after the Third Carlist War had ended, a further set of five depicting King Alfonso XII was issued. Intended to help pay off war debts, this set bore denominations of 5, 10 and 25 centimos, 1 peseta and 5 pesetas. 

On September 1, 1877, additional denominations of 15 and 50 centimos were added to this set. A new issue, also bearing King Alfonso's likeness, was prepared and printed for use in 1879. This issue, a set of seven with denominations of 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 centimos and 1 and 5 pesetas, was never placed in use as a decree of February 4, 1879 lifted the war tax

The 1872 Spain Aalfonso Xii 1peseta

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