Blogs with contents on korean philately: Arabesque blog, by blogger Komoro1939

Old Korea

Blogger komoro1939 gives an in-depth retrospective of unusual korean material recently offered on ebay or other auctions. His comments are always interesting. So this is a sort of chronology on new material and worthwhile reading. Very much recommended, particular if you are into the Korean kingdom/Empire 1895/1905 philatelic period. 

Komoto 1939 blog
Here is one by user komoro1939 from Japan. Komoro is a city in Japan. It is a japanese language blog with the bloggers view on his philatelic interests. Luckily for us, it is mostly Korea. The focus of blog entries is on current offers of interesting Korean materials in online-auctions.

How to use and understand
Users not reading japanese can get most of the meaning by using: Cut/paste the Japanese text into the left window and select „Japanese“ as language of origin. Then selecting the translation language of choice in the right window and click „translate“. Of course Google Translate is a generic translation app. So it has big problems with any special technical terms. Also for specific philatelic terms different from an everyday meaning, e.g. „single“, „booklet-pane“ or with historic currencies and of course personal names.

Going back with the monthly entries, this blog has a wealth of pictures and information, particular for the friend of old korea and early ROK / DPRK. As an example, let’s have a view on a recent entry month, February 2018, mostly reporting offers from Ebay:

Tae Geuk 10 P. blue with red Dae-Han overprint. It has a bisected circle datestamp showing the place name: Kyodon 喬桐. This was a rural agency, not a full fledged post office. So it is a scarce mark. Back then Kyodon was on a small island near the larger island of Kanghwa in the bay of Incheon. Nowadays Kyodon is part of Incheon.

The map detail was taken by the blogger from Mizuhara “The Postal History of Korea” which exists both in a Japanese original and a translated English version.

The next entry reports, again from Ebay, several interesting 3 Ch./50 P. varieties, like basic stamp early printing, or surcharge inverted (one example shown here, more examples on blog):


Following entry reports the bloggers find of two copies of rare 2 Ch./50 P. in his own paper bag/stock card materials he now takes a 2nd look.

Note that the 2 Ch./50 P. surcharge is known faked and on fake covers (e.g. pictured in Woodward 1929). So regarding this variety, Korean and Japanese catalogues do not list it, while SG and Michel report it. On the bloggers copy, the „In“ 仁 character of the Inchon postmark gives at first glance the impression of a third line. It appears like a chinese character „3“, so one tends to take it as just another copy of the common 3 Ch./50 P. surcharge. But in fact is a “2”. So the blogger comments he first overlooked it.

Next one is regarding an Ebay offer with 3 Ch./25 P. stamps all cancelled with the standard inland usage postmark in characters (1898/1905 type) reading “Hansung Idong” or Seoul No. 1 branch. The curious fact is the date, Kwangmu 5.1.3 or 3 January 1901. The consensus is, that the Chon (cheun, sen) surcharges were issued Nov. 1902. The author concludes that these 5.1.3 pmks are cto (cancelled-to-order), done with remainder stocks/postmark device much later.

Next are probably doubtful NK occupation of South Korea overprints offered at Ebay:

Dodgy overprint, of very questionable value. Best to avoid.
This violet version of the alleged NK occupation handstamp looks even more suspicious than the black one.

Subsequent entry is Dae Han overprint in red on 25 P., where the upper (chinese) ovpt. part is inverted, while the bottom part (hangul) appears normal.

Author assumes, that in an real invert both parts should be inverted and asks fellow readers for comments / contributions.
(Note: I have seen this variety elsewhere and perhaps one cliché simply was composed wrongly, and the error repeated on this specific position?)

Conclusion: there is a lot more to be found on this blog. Highly recommended!

[Please note all images shown here are examples from this blog, therefore copyright by komoro1939.]

Florian Eichhorn
Collects Japan, Korea Kingdom/Empire (covers/postmarks only) and ROK (covers only), China postmarks to 1949 and Dutch East Indies covers/postmarks as sideline.

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