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Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket!

Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket!

Well… not exactly, but a ticket nonetheless.

This is one of the most unusual items I’ve seen several years. I know I ended up overpaying for it, but it falls under that category of “when will you ever see another one?” I’ve certainly never seen one before… and may not again.

It is a Civil War-era photo (Carte de Visite or CDV) depicting the grand prize in a raffle, with the CDV also acting as a raffle ticket.

So what exactly is the revenue stamp paying the tax on?

  1. It’s not the lottery ticket tax, as that tax was repealed in July of 1864.
  2. It falls within the 2-year period that CDVs were taxed. One could make the assumption that it is de facto this option, however the cancel initials are not that of the photographer, as would be expected. Also, photographers would frequently gang-affix revenue stamps and pay tax in batches rather than affix revenue stamps on every individual item.
  3. Because the initials and hand of the cancel match that writing the ticket number and name on the ticket, this is presumably either the person running the raffle or the purchaser of the ticket, paying tax on the $1 ticket cost.

I’d be interested in reading other opinions.

Regardless of which tax the stamp is paying, it is an incredibly esoteric item.


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