Note: the following is an excerpt from the article, subscribe to the Philatelic Literature Review (PLR) to read the full version!
The last worldwide catalog of revenue stamps was created by A. Forbin and published by Yvert & Tellier in 1915. Subsequent to World War I, most single country catalogs dropped the inclusion of revenues as the number of postage stamps had grown to the point that they filled what was thought to be the practical limit of a stamp catalog. The notable exception to this was the United States, where Scott Publications continued to include U.S. revenue stamps in their catalogs.
The late Gary Ryan, of the United Kingdom, in his acceptance talk for the 1998 Lichtenstein Award, credited the omission of revenues in foreign country stamp catalogs as the reason why most foreign stamp dealers did not include revenues in their inventories, why collectors of these foreign country revenues almost didn’t exist, and why information about these foreign revenues was rarely encountered in the philatelic world.
The Forbin listings of United States revenues are a remarkable accomplishment for a catalog compiled and published in a European country.
One of the interesting parts of the Forbin listings is the taking of the Proprietary and Playing Card titles and placing them in a separate category along with the later proprietary and playing card stamps (Figure 2). The Scott catalog has never done this.
An examination of the law that brought about these stamps has a Schedule A for documentary taxes and a Schedule B for proprietary goods (matches, medicines, canned goods, photographs, perfumes and playing cards). Forbin seems to recognize this from the outset of the Civil War era taxes, whereas the Scott catalog only begins this distinction in 1872 for the general proprietary category and in 1894 for the general playing card category. In fact, the so-called First Issue revenue stamps with Proprietary and Playing Card titles were never supposed to be used on documents. What a wonderful insight of Forbin to segregate these titles and enjoin them with their later counterparts. One might wish Amos Publications, publisher of the Scott catalogs, would be so insightful.