Elizabeth Keith and Christmas Seals

Articles Seals

(Originally from KP May 2012, Vol. 54, No. 2) I inherited this picture of “Mother and Child” from my mother-in-law (Figure 5a). While doing research on Elizabeth Keith, the artist, I discovered that this painting served as the basis for the 1934 Korean Christmas Seal. (Figure 5b). Can you tell me anything more about this? 

[Ed. Unfortunately, my computer crashed after having inserted this letter, and by then both my e-mail and Harry Penn’s e-mail systems had deleted the original letter. So, I am creating this letter from memory (though the images remained) and cannot give proper credit to the author.]

Figure 5a:

Noted Korean philatelist, Dr. Sherwood Hall, a medical missionary, was responsible for bringing Christmas seals to Korea in 1932. He brought the idea back with him after a visit to the U.S.

Figure 5b:

Elizabeth Keith’s (1887-1956) woodblock prints served as the basis for two Korean Christmas seals: this one (in 1934) and Children Flying Kite (in 1936).


3 thoughts on “Elizabeth Keith and Christmas Seals

  1. Hello, the first photo is the 1934 Christmas and New Year Poster. There are two varieties, a 245 mm x 440 mm which was valued at $500 in a the foremost catalogue on these, but the catalogue is somewhat dated, issued in 2006, , so it is probably worth more now, as is the other variety which is 375 x 670 mm that was valued at $750. There are four varieties of the 1934 postcard, including one with no red cross and depending on the reverse side, i.e. blank, “Post Card”, no “Post Card” and two folding cards with the design. All of these 6 types were valued from $75 to $150. Ones that are “used” with Japanese stamps and postmark are actually much rarer and hard to find. I am looking for used ones for my collection of seals.

  2. Hi Bob, which catalogue from 2006 do you mean? If you have that catalogue it would be great to have a reference to it on the KSS website, under Literature.

    1. Hi Ivo, it is “Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Christmas and New Year Seals of Korea 1932- 1940” It is by Stephen J Hasegawa who is one of the, if the not the most knowable collector of Korean Christmas seals and revenue stamps. He lives in Japan, but has published the catalogue in English. The catalogue contains just about all the types of seals, posters, etc. that is available. Unfortunately, he has retired from collecting and has sold off his collection. I believe that both his Christmas seal and revenues catalogues are still available on eBay as he still has some stock left (or he did a few months ago).

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