Reader’s Question: Those Troublesome Overprints

Old Korea Q&A

Can you help me identify this Korean stamp? I cannot find it in a catalogue. Maybe it’s a fake? (From: Harald Zierock, France) 

[Ed. Harold Penn responded:]
I get the giggles, every time I run into one of you archeologists; I refuse to get too interested in anything made before I was born, 1939.

On the other hand, I’ve seen the perforation on your stamp many times before; or should I say “attempt at perforation,” on South Korean stamps of 1948-around 1953. It is not the perforation of “Andrew B. Graham Co., Washington, DC, USA,” the printer of the original 1895 Poon stamps.

It is obviously an error in faking; 1 cheon overprint went on the blue 10 poon stamp; 2 cheon overprint went on the maroon 25 poon stamp; 3 cheon overprint went on the dull violet 50 cheon stamp; NOTHING went on the yellow green 5 poon stamp.

I can’t distinguish “5 POON” at the bottom of your stamp; but, I read it in Hangul at the right, and my wife read it in Hanja at the left.
I was first stationed in Korea 1965-1968, and I have the distinct feeling that I have brushed shoulders with the people who made this stamp. How can that be?

Extracted from Korean Kingdom and Empire Philatelic Catalog and Handbook; by Dr. James W. Kerr:
“South Korea, 1961 Historical Information
Korean Government Issued Souvenir Books (Presentation Albums), Book# 8:
In 1961 the ROK Ministry of Communications issued a dark blue book, tied with a blue ribbon, marked “Imperial Korea Postage Stamps (Reproduction)”. It includes copies of Moon, Poon, First Provisional (1 poon surcharge, 1900), TH red and black (Tai Han overprint), Small Chon (1900-01), the 1st Commemorative, Second Provisional (1,2,3 chon surcharge), Falcon, and 3rd printing of the Small Chon.
Sizes, colors perfs are not true. This should be regarded as facsimile (almost fake), not as a reissue.”

Harry Penn

[Ed. And our President Beck adds:]
To be more precise, you are quite right in your guess that the stamp you have is a (poor) forgery.

(Originally from KP February 2012, Vol. 54, No. 1)

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1 thought on “Reader’s Question: Those Troublesome Overprints

  1. The “C. Poon” is a turn of the century product. Have seen it on full pages with other ugly printed imitations, in the style of “tourist sheets” and are probably japanese products. The 1 Ch. on “C. Poon” is a funny phantasy, same producers of course.
    There is a certain similarity in roughness and missing the original colours with the ROK official reprints, but the paper quality is much worse.

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