This small 1 1/4" high Tax Stamp is a Red Wax Seal Usher Tax Agent Stamp from the days of the Turkish OTTOMAN EMPIRE. I'm advised that it has a date of 1876 on it. It is made of lead type base metal. The Ottoman's are one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations of the modern period. Their moment of glory in the sixteenth century represents one of the heights of human creativity, optimism, and artistry. The empire they built was the largest and most influential of the Muslim empires of the modern period, and their culture and military expansion crossed over into Europe. Not since the expansion of Islam into Spain in the eighth century had Islam seemed poised to establish a European presence as it did in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Like that earlier expansion, the Ottomans established an empire over European territory and established Islamic traditions and culture that last to the current day (the Muslims in Bosnia are the last descendants of the Ottoman presence in Europe).
The Ottoman empire lasted until the twentieth century. While historians like to talk about empires in terms of growth and decline, the Ottomans were a force to be reckoned with, militarily and culturally, right up until the break-up of the empire in the first decades of this century. The real end to the Ottoman culture came with the secularization of Turkey after World War II along European models of government. The transition to a secular state was not an easy one and its repercussions are still being felt in Turkish society today; nevertheless, secularization represents the real break with the Ottoman tradition and heritage.
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