Tobacco stamp with history
For the collection of taxes on certain services and goods, a contract was concluded by the French king with private tax collectors. They paid the state in advance an estimated amount of tax, which they then earned back during the year by levying impost and duties. One of the most important royal monopolies was that on tobacco, called "Ferme du Tabac". That had already begun in 1674. Under King Louis XV this system is simplified by placing several of these contracts in one what is called Ferme Général. The depicted wax stamp has been used by the head office. In the center we see the French coat of arms: a shaded shield with three lilies. Along the edge we read "FERME GENERALE DV TABAC L.XV". Believe it or not, this is one of the official stamps of tobacco control. The stamp was used under King Louis XV and can be sharply dated between 1726 and 1732. The wax stamp is a unique object that should never occurs outside of the French state archives or state museums. It has been in government possession for generations as a sign of the official tax authorities of the Ancien Régime. Later it was exhibited in the Paris tobacco museum, still part of the state monopoly, but miraculously from there it passed to our collection.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 20.063Permalink