Hiram Deats' tobacco wrappers to bring $15,000 to Siegel auction

The Hiram Deats volume of revenue stamped tobacco wrappers is an unusual highlight in Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries' March 24-28 auction of United States Stamps.

Held in the New York, the auction has a strong focus on revenue stamps, starting with the Alan Hicks Collection of Tax-Paid Tobacco Stamps.

The album, a renowned philatelic item among revenue specialists, is estimated to sell for $10,000-15,000.

Tobacco tax-paid revenue album Hiram Deats
Deats' collection of US revenue stamps was unrivalled

Hiram Deats (1870-1963) created one of the finest collections of US states revenue stamps, which was subsequently used as the basis for what would become 1979's The Boston Revenue Book.

The album of tobacco wrappers is a magnificent leather-bound portfolio of 92 proofs and essays, including rare 4oz and 8oz tin-foils, along with 90 other 1oz and 2oz wrappers across a variety of brands and colours.

The auction features a host of tobacco wrappers from the collection of Alan Hicks

The album first appeared at auction at Christie's 1989 sale of Weill Brothers' stock, and has not been sold publicly since. It is believed to have been created from a John J Crooke & Co salesman's sample book, which was then stamped by Hiram Deats.

Deats' personal copy of EB Sterling's published list of tin-foil wrappers will accompany the sale, along with his notes.

Tax paid stamps were created to collect what are known as "sin taxes", which is the charge levied on products such as tobacco, liquor and playing cards.

The first tax paid on tobacco came in 1868, with strip stamps issued on weights from a half ounce to 100 pounds and printed directly on to the foil packaging.

Among the highest valued lots of the auction is a $40,000 3c imperforate playing card revenue stamp, one of only two known unused examples.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb selection of rare stamps for sale.

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