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 Constitution & Rules of The Revenue Society


This society was formed in 1990. It has over 300 members from 40 different countries. The society promotes the research and display of revenue stamps and their associated documents also publishing a quarterly journal [The Revenue Journal]. Encouraging members to exhibit their collections at regular meetings in England as well as at National and International Philatelic Exhibitions. We also have an extensive library

We work to achieve our aims in several ways:

  • Publication of The Revenue Journal, a high quality quarterly magazine which has carried articles relating to revenue material from well over 200 different issuing authorities. Articles range from introductory notes about individual countries to detailed scholarly studies of particular issues, and cover subjects as diverse as the history of stamps as a way to collect government funds to the history of revenue philately or unusual printing techniques. The Journal regularly contains updates to standard catalogues and reviews of specialist books and magazines. It was awarded a Vermeil at the FIP International in Málaga (España 06). We have also published an introductory booklet called Collecting and Displaying Revenue Stamps aimed primarily at postage stamp collectors seeking a new collecting interest. We will continue to support the publication of books/articles relating to Revenue stamps and their uses.

  • Meetings, which are held roughly quarterly, usually in London, but also in regional centres during important local exhibitions or stamp fairs. Some meetings are dedicated to selections from just one or two outstanding collections; others are combined displays by many members, so that we are able to see material from up to about twenty countries each year at every level of specialisation.

  • Displays to local or specialised societies and articles in the general or specialised philatelic press, both of which allow our members to 'fly the flag' for revenue collecting, and allow collectors of postal material to see new opportunities.

  • A regular annual auction of members material which generally has over 400 lots of all types of material, ranging from that elusive single item to general collection from a specific area/country.

  • Access to a library of reference books, which now contains well over 100 items.

  • Promoting the display of revenues in competitions at all basic levels; several of our members are regular exhibitors at Stampex and in International Exhibitions, and have made significant contributions to the acceptance of revenue stamps by FIP and National Federations.

  • About half of our members reside overseas in 40 different countries and gain considerable benefit from correspondence with fellow collectors with shared interests, 'met' through the Society.

Revenue collecting is the fastest growing area of philately join us now and get in on the ground floor.


What others have said and are saying

From an article by member Peter Mansfield in the British Philatelic Bulletin, the monthly philatelic journal of Royal Mail (the British Post Office), in February 2006:

In the nineteenth century, collectors regarded Revenues, or “Fiscals and Judicials”, as being on a par with Postage; I have heard that Stanley Gibbons included them in his early catalogues, and there was a flourishing Fiscal Philatelic Society. But for some unknown reason they fell out of favour during the 1920s, and disappeared off the collector’s map. This is a pity, because Revenues (in particular the earlier Victorians) are too beautiful, and too important historically, to languish in obscurity. What most collectors nowadays don’t know is that in their early days, postage stamps were regarded as the impoverished baby siblings of Revenues. . . . . . . One of the greatest challenges is to overcome the prejudice against all Revenues that has become so prevalent throughout the philatelic world. Why this should have come about, nobody seems to know. But until their recent “resurrection” by the FIP, Revenues were relegated to a back-of-the-book or “cinderella” status, which they still possess for many collectors. Then, in the half-century between about 1925, when the Fiscal Philatelic Society faded away, and the mid-seventies, when Robson Lowe began his series of Revenue auctions, there is a Black Hole. Modern catalogues for this period are all in some degree unreliable. So for the academically-inclined there are boundless opportunities for research and discovering unlisted items. But I would encourage all collectors in search of “something new” to join in.


From member Dave Elsmore:I found this article inThe Canadian Philatelist, March 1893

 A coming boom in revenues

It is but a matter of time ere revenue collecting becomes general.  Every month sees its adherents increasing, and the demand for revenues and telegraphs becoming greater, and there is no reason, as far as I can see, why this branch of philately should not become as great or even greater than the sway exercised by the postage stamp at the present time.

Now, how is it that revenue stamp collecting did not, and is not as general as the collection of postage stamps?  The revenue stamp was in use centuries before the idea of the postage stamp was conceived.  The leading cause is the regulation regarding the use of this class of stamps.  They are placed on documents, and usually the law requires that they be left there, otherwise the document in question shall have no legal value.  This is not always the case.  Again, papers such as are required to be stamped with revenues are not so commonly seen as the letters which are flying to and fro before our eyes daily.  Their partial obscurity is one reason why they have not been generally collected.

A time of changes is coming.  New adherents to fiscal collecting are becoming very numerous.  Take the beginner, and it will be found that he almost invariably mixes revenues in with his collection of postage.  He sees no reason why one has any more claim on him than another. He has an eye for beauty of color and design.  It will generally be found that he considers his revenues the pink of his collection.

Specialists of their native country invariably include revenues in their collections.  Today we find many who collect nothing but revenues, and again others who collect both postage and revenues.

Revenue collecting is steadily gaining ground. We now have numerous catalogues of revenue stamps published.  An enterprising London firm have recently commenced the publication of the Fiscal Philatelist, which will do much for the cause.  The leading journals are beginning to take hold of the subject, devoting their space and effort to its advancement.

Do you collect revenues? If not, you should remember they have a strong claim on you, whether specialist or general collectors.  You find in them a range of variety greater than in postage stamps.  The size is, on the average, larger.  The increased size gives room for artistic design such as is seldom seen in postage stamps. Taken all around, examination will show you that for beauty, coloring and exquisite original design, revenue stamps have this even more than postage stamps.  Reader, think this over, and let your decision be that you will collect revenues, even though it be on a small scale.  Now’s the time to begin. The demand at present is, comparatively speaking, small, and revenues can be bought at very low rates.  But prices are steadily on the rise.  As collectors increase, the prices do likewise. “A word to the wise is sufficient.” Those who begin before the demand becomes general are the wise; and the result will be apparent in the near future. “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”


Revenue stamps are defined as stamps, whether impressed, adhesive or otherwise, issued by or on behalf of International, National or Local Governments, their Licensees or Agents, and indicate that a tax, duty or fee has been paid or prepaid or that permission has been granted.