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Friday 2 November 2018

Russia 1920s Tula Local Revenue stamps for agricultural improvement

For many countries, fiscal / revenue stamps issued by national governments for general use are very common. In contrast, stamps issued by provincial or local government organisations can be scarce or rare. The obvious reason is that fewer  copies were used; the less obvious reason is that dealers or collectors at the time may not have known of their existence and so did not seek them out.

Early Soviet Russia was a very bureaucratic society but also one where local improvisation and local initiatives were common. There are a LOT of early Soviet fiscal stamps which were not issued by the national government.

I illustrate here one example since I cannot find these stamps already illustrated on the Internet. They were issued and used in Tula and they imposed a local tax on land transactions in addition to that nationally prescribed. This local tax was intended to fund agricultural improvement. It’s possible that there was some continuity with the activities of the Tula Zemstvo organisation. 

The stamps which indicated payment of the local tax were locally produced on poor quality coloured papers and had no gum – sometimes they were attached to legal documents by overlapping the gummed national-issue stamps. There is evidence of their use in 1922, 1923 and 1924. There were three values: 5 k orange, 10k pink and 20k green. The high value appears to be the scarcest. The stamps were also modified in three different ways as I illustrate below. Click on Images to Magnify.

5 kop without modification used here on a May 1924 document:

5 kop with revaluation to rubels by means of manuscript Руь in tablet at base used here on 1923 document:

10 kop without modification used here on May 1923 document:

10 kop with handstamp Γ.Ο.З. in tablet at base used here on June 1923 document:

10 kop with handstamp С Д А Н О in tablet at base used here on February 1923 document:

20 Kop without modification used here on February 1922 document. The 20 kop appears to be the scarcest value and the strip of three on this document is the largest multiple on any of the documents I have seen:

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