July 1, 1898 First Day of Tax Period Printed Bullseye Cancels by Smith, Kline and French pharmaceutical company. The pair above is a part roulette pair and has no rouletting between the stamps. There is a bit of a scuff on the left stamp.
Smith Kline and French experienced numerous name and corporate changes, becoming SmithKline Beckman in 1982 and then SmithKline Beecham after mergers, the latter in 1989. In 2000, SmithKline Beecham merged with Glaxo Wellcome to become Glaxo Smith Kline, a UK-based company and one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world today.
Listing and Value: In the Scott Catalogue the 5/8 cent proprietary stamp is listed under Scott #RB23. The item listed as "horizontal pair imperf vertically" (actually part roulette) is numbered RB23b. There is a value given in the 2009 US Specialized Catalogue for this item in unused condition: $350. That value is italicized, meaning the item is difficult to value accurately. In the case of this pair there just is not much market activity. However, even the italicized value is for the unused pair, not a used or cancelled pair. For that item there is only a blank, and not even a dash. The dash normally indicates the known existence of an item but no value can be placed on the item. "Christopher West" in his series in Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News published nearly 90 years ago did not indicate he knew of the existence of the 5/8 cent proprietary without vertical rouletting, either used or unused. This is a very interest pair given the printed cancel, its date, and the nature of the part rouletting. This pair was a part of Henry Tolman's collection.