Dutch Excise Seals – Catalog

In the Netherlands a lot of excise seals are found. These are often lead seals with the Dutch coat of arms on one side and an (abbreviation) “ACC” or something similar on the other side. The excise seals are related to the Dutch customs seals, which also bear the national coat of arms. For more information about this and the history of the various customs and excise government services, I refer to the Dutch customs seals Catalog.

The seals known to me can have three types of coat of arms. The oldest is the generality lion, which was also used intermittently until 1816 by the Batavian Republic, the Batavian Commonwealth and William I. After this, the national coat of arms was used and around 1845 they switched to a smaller, simpler version of the national coat of arms

Generality Lion until ca1816
National coat of arms ca1816-1845
Simple coat of arms ca1845-1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often see that excise seals are called meat-excise seals, while this is not always the case. A meat-excise seal is btw a lead seal that was attached to slaughtered cattle (excise duty on the slaughtered). I think the confusion arises because some lead seals still have hairs between the compressed lead. Lead has a preservative effect. Those “hairs” however are not always from the slaughtered animal. It can also be the threads of the commonly used burlap sacks.

In the Netherlands, excise duties are levied at origin, ie on the production of excise goods. That is why the manufacture of excise goods is subject to strict rules. They must ensure that the excise duties due are paid neatly and on time. Excise duties are levied on: sugar (1819-1993), salt (1819-1942), coffee (1819-1821), grinding mill (1821-1855) grinding grain, etc., slaughtered (1821-1952) until 1852 slaughtering pigs and sheep, vinegar (1821-1917), collective seal (1821-1823), soap (1832-1893), peat and coal (1833-1863). Excise duties still exist for wine (from 1821), spirits (domestic and foreign from 1821) and beer (from 1821).

It is generally assumed that at the beginning of the Second World War, the government stopped applying lead excise seals.

Questions and comments

During my research I came across a variety of lead seals. Because there is as yet no (known) documentation about these seals, some may incorrectly be labeled “excise seals”. Of course I therefor accept any comments about these seals. In this article I give each seal a type name so that it is easy to refer to. If you have any questions and/or comments about a specific type, you can email me (info@metaaldetecteren.nl) stating: the type you want to “talk” about. If you have a new and/or different type, please send photos that are as sharp as possible so that I can include them in the collection.

References

The book “Van tollenaar tot poortwachter – Geschiedenis van de douane, de oudste rijksdienst van Nederland” by Tom Pfeil. Other sources are Facebook, PAN (Portable Antiquities Netherlands portable-antiquities.nl) and of course bagseals.org. Paul Verhagen thanks again for the donation of some lead seals that were used in this research.

 

Standard excise seals

Type ACCYNSE

I think this is one of the first types of excise seals. There is no excise number on it, just like the first customs seals and it has the large national coat of arms (until about 1845) on it. There is also a decorative stripe on it, also like the first customs seals (also see “stripe” in the 1816 newspaper further on in this article)

decorative stripe excise seal
decorative stripe customs seal

 

 

 

 

Dating ca 1815-1845
Diameter: ca 16mm
Front: “ACCYNSE” with a small decorative stripe below that also appears on the customs weights of that time
Reverse: large national coat of arm

Here my collection of this type of seal

 

 

 

 

 

There is a less common variant of this type with the text “ACCYNSEN” and two stars above.

 

 

 

 

 

Type ACC-999

This type is less common than its (probable) successor ACC-NO-999, and resembles the customs seals type R&A-PEARL and R&A-LINE. The customs variant has “R&A” with the number below, the excise seal reads “ACC” with the number below. Both the customs seal and the excise seal bear the national coat of arms on the reverse. For the dating of this type of lead seal, I will provisionally use the same dating as the customs seal variant. t

Douanelood R&A

Dating ca 1845-1877

Diameter: ca 22mm

Front: “ACC” / “999”
Backside: simple coat of arms

Here my collection of this kind of seals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type ACC-NO-999

A very common excise seal in the Netherlands. Almost identical to ACC-999 ( but with the addition of the word “No”. There is also a much less common version ACG-NO-999 (probably) meat-seal with almost identical text but with “ACG” instead of “ACC”.

Dating 1877-1940
Dimensions: about 22mm

Front: “ACC” / “No” / “999” with the “o” of “No” in uppercase (top)
Reverse: Simple Coat of Arms

Here my collection of these kind of seals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excise seals with “stars (sterren)” or meat-excise seals

Type STERREN-999

Stars with below  the excisenumber and below that blank or “ACC” ,  “AG” . This seal may have been used for a specific excise duty. On basis of the stars this difference was made known. Maybe they were usesd for excise duty on the slaughtered (meat-seals below) because stars were also used there to distinguish them.

Dimensions: about 22mm

Front: “***” / “999” / “ACC”
Reverse: national coat of arms

accijnslood 200 met 3 sterretjes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type ACC-999-STERREN

This lead seal is the same as the previous one, only now “ACC” and the stars are swapped. I only found one of these. This could also be a contemporary forgery.

Dimensions: about 22mm

Front: “ACC” / “999” / “***”
Reverse: national coat of arms

 

 

 

 

 

Meat excise seal

The meat excise seal is a specific type of excise seal (for “accijns op het geslagt”) that was often attached to the tail of the inspected meat. As a result, there are often some hairs left behind because lead has a preservative effect. The threads of burlap bags, which were very common packaging material, are sometimes confused with this.

It is striking that relatively few specific meat seals are found that contain a reference to “geslagt” (AccGSt). My hypothesis about this is that this is because when the application of seals started around 1815, multiple seals where used, but that it was too time-consuming. Also, all the text was simply not visible on the relatively small seals. The most important was the excise number. After a few decades, I therefore think that they have switched to one type of general excise seal (ACC-NO-999) as described above. The officer who applied the seals could just use one pair of pliers.

Type ACCGST-999

As with the first excise seal ACCYNSE, the first versions of this meat seal seem to be slightly smaller. There is a small decorative stripe on this lead seal, which is also on the ACCYNSE excise seals. On one of the seals known to me has the large national coat of arms (until about 1845). It is remarkable that the seals of this type known to me also have an excise number on them. In the case of customs lead, this was only used from about 1835. This type of seal has 4 lines of text and it simply does not fit well on this format. It seems that over time they have started using slightly larger versions. Not a single seal is perfect, but if you come across one, I would like to see it.

Dating ca 1815-1845
Diameter: about 18-20mm
Front: “***”/ “AccGst” / a small decorative stripe below / “999”
Reverse: large or small national coat of arms

Here my collection of these kind of seals

sterren
AccGs
groot rijkswapen
Gst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type 999-AG

I have only seen this kind of seal twice. It has a large national coat of arms on it (used until about 1845)

dating: ca 1815-1845

Front: excise number / “AG” or “AGT”
Reverse: large national coat of arms

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type ACG-NO-999

This seal is similar to the common type ACC-NO-999. However, it seems to say “ACG” or “AGG” instead of “ACC”. It seems to have the simple coat of arms on it (after 1845)

dating: 1845-1940

Front: “ACG” or “AGG” / “No” / excise number
Reverse: national coat of arms

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various excise seals

I assume that the following seals are early excise seals. If anyone has more information about this, I’d love to hear it.

Type LEVENSMIDDELEN

Small excise seal with the text “levensmiddelen” (food goods / foodstuffs) and a large national coat of arms. Both the general excise seal ACCYNSE and the first version meat seal ACCGST-999 are also of this small size. And again this seal has the large national coat of arms.

Dating ca 1815-1845
Dimension: 19mm

ob: “levensmiddelen” “???”

Here my collection of this kind of seals

 

 

 

 

 

Type BR

Small excise seal (not entirely sure) with the letters “BR” on it. On the reverse is a lion clawing to the left, the generality lion. I have not yet seen a single crowned copy, which can imply that this is a seal from the Batavian Republic. That could also explain the letters “BR”. Again a small seal which was common in the early 19th century.

size approx 18mm
dating 1795-1806

Here my collection of this kind of seals

 

 

 

 

 

Type KL

Dating: 1814-1816

On bagseals.org i came opon this lead seal, found by Folkert, with the text “KL”. On the backside the generalitylion. In the period 1814-1818 the service “Convooien en Licenten” was spelled out as “Konvooijen en Licenten”. That can explain the use of  “KL”.

Dutch newpaper the Utrechtsche Courant 1816

The generalitylion was used in february 1814 in a period of 22 months by Frederik (Willem I), King of the Netherlands. This seal can only be used for a short period between 1814-1816.

 

 

Type BELGAR-INDUSTRIAE

When researching these seals I regularly used the PAN database. I came across two seals with the generality lion that was used by Convoyen en Licenten (Admiralty) but also during the Batavian Republic. PAN calls these seals textile seals with pin. However, the lion and the inscription “Belgar Industriae” are remarkable. This term for the local Flemish industry is mainly used in the early 19th century. After the Treaty of Paris (1814) a difficult period began for the economy in Flanders. The industry suddenly lost the French market as a sales area and came to a standstill. However, the introduction of the protectionist customs law of 3 April 1816 gave Ghent a major revival. I think that this lead seal is an excise or customs seal that was used in Belgium at the time, with the Dutch generality lion still on it instead of the national coat of arms (1816). From 1813, however, William I was in power and there was no national coat of arms yet. This lead can be dated between 1813-1816

size approx 20mm

dating 1813-1816