THIS IS ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE $3.00 CHARTER PARTY FIRST ISSUE REVENUE PRINTED ON BOTH SIDES, WITH THE DR. McMINN'S ELIXIR OF OPIUM PRIVATE DIE PROPRIETARY ISSUE ON THE REVERSE SIDE. ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE OF ALL PHILATELIC RARITIES.
This $3.00 Charter Party stamp comes from a sheet that apparently had an unsatisfactory impression of the Sands' private die proprietary stamp (RS208) on one side. It was put on the press a second time in order to produce the $3.00 Charter Party. The fact that both impressions are in the identical green color offers some intriguing possibilities for how the printers worked with plates and inks. Were press runs grouped by color, in order to use up a batch of ink? Were two or more presses operating simultaneously with the different plates? This rare artifact of Butler & Carpenter's revenue stamp production is physical evidence that the printers were pressed for time and resources during the rush to produce huge quantities of Civil War tax stamps in 1862.
According to the Boston Revenue book, the $3.00 Charter Party first went to press on Dec. 1, 1862, and the first delivery was made on Dec. 9. The Sand's private die was approved on Dec. 26, 1862, and the first issue was in Jan. 1863. During the month of Dec. 1862, many of the different green stamps printed by Butler & Carpenter were on the press. This $3.00 Charter Party stamp was evidently made from a sheet of paper with a poor impression of the Sands plate. The relative orientation of the impressions reflects the different plate layouts and dimensions for the two stamps: the Sands plate of 69 subjects and the $3.00 Charter Party plate of 72 subjects.
Dr. McMunn's Elixir of Opium was first formulated in the mid 1830's by Dr. John B. McMunn. The product became a big hit in the United States once the A. B. & D. Sands drug company bought the recipe in 1841. Soon after, advertisements for the product flooded newspapers and medical journals, many guaranteeing that McMunn's was not habit-forming. Yet, bottles of the narcotic-laced formula were labeled as the "Pure and Essential Extract of the Native Drug", and the preparation was said to be "Greatly Superior to Morphine." Touted as a cure for a host of ailments, including the relief of "convulsions and spasmodic action," as well as "pain and irritation, nervous excitement and morbid irritability of body and mind," McMunn's potent remedy was among the countless pharmaceutical preparations containing opiates and widely available to the 19th-century consumer." (source: http://odysseysvirtualmuseum.com/products/Dr.-McMunn%27s-Elixir-Of-Opium-Bottle.html).
This is one of only two recorded examples of this rarity. The other, offered in our 2011 and 2019 Rarities sales, was previously believed to be unique.
With 2016 letter of authenticity from Eric Jackson and accompanied by normal stamp.