One of the most detailed catalogs for Korean stamps (not including the Korean Empire), was published for the first time in September, 1959 by Commander L.L. Dilley , USN (Ret.). Commander Dilley, seen here in a photo from World War II, was in the Cryptanalysis Section of Fleet Radio Unit Pacific (FRUPAC) based in Hawaii, and charged with the intercepting, decrypting and analysing of Japanese messages and media. Commander Dilley’s skills obviously helped him in publishing the Specialized Korea Catalog when he became an avid collector of Korean stamps.
The publishing period of the catalog was short lived, but it was a very valuable asset to Korea Stamp Society (KSS) members in the early 1960’s. Robert Jones, president of the KSS, stated in the November 1961 issue of Korean Philately on page 86 that: “While Mr. Dilley’s catalog is a private endeavor, and produced at his own expense, it is a work of vital importance to the KSS.” (See below for complete citation.) Commander Dilley was also the Sales Manager of the KSS from October, 1959 to February, 1965.
In February, 1965 rights to the Commander Dilley’s catalog were sold to the KSS and the remaining copies were sold to the KP editor. It was not published again. Commander Dilley also sold all of his philatelic stock of Korean stamps were sold and he retired from collecting.
Of course, at the time Dilley himself also had something to say about this publication. This is what he wrote in the preface to the September 1961 edition:
But what did this publication actually look like? Here are some sample pages:
The catalogue was used extensively by members, updating their version of the publication whenever new information came out. The PDF version contains scans made by longtime KSS member (and KSS Board member) Stewart Steres. These contained his annotations, but they were edited out of the scans to create “clean” pages. Here are examples of pages of annotations, in this case from the copy owned by another longtime KSS member, Hal Klein:
David Phillips still has several editions of the catalogue, one from 1959 and one from 1961. He was very much involved with the catalogue at the time. He tells about Luther Dilley that “Luther Dilley was a retired US naval officer who — in common with many of us — became interested in Korea and it’s stamps as a result of our exposure to the place during service in the Korean War.” Shown here is page ii from both editions:
And finally several examples of advertisements from the 1960s:
Download the catalog
The complete PDF (131 pages) contains the 1961 version updated to 1965 plus the 1968 “Guide to Pricing”. Combined this is almost 300MB, which is way too large to include it here as one large download. Therefore the file has been cut up in 5 parts (of approx. 25 pages each):
- Korean Stamp Catalog (Luther Dilley, 1961) Part I
- Korean Stamp Catalog (Luther Dilley, 1961) Part II
- Korean Stamp Catalog (Luther Dilley, 1961) Part III
- Korean Stamp Catalog (Luther Dilley, 1961) Part IV
- Korean Stamp Catalog (Luther Dilley, 1961) Part V
Note that only KSS members can actually download these files but becoming a KSS member is for free and applying can be done online in a matter of minutes. By becoming a member you get access to all the pages/articles on the KSS website including all (scanned) publications already online. And even more is coming soon!