Unrecorded Postal Stationery from North Korea

Articles North Korea

The Pyongyang published Korean Postal Stationery & Maxicard Catalogue of 1999 was an eye-opener for most of us in revealing the richness of postal stationery issued there over the years. It followed on Todd’s pioneering Catalogue of North Korean Postal Stationery 1947-1961 of 1997, and some listings in this Journal (Korean Philately, 34, No.2, 4-9; 34, No.3, 4-8; 35, No.1, 4-14; 35, No.3, 3-5; 45, No.2, 8-20; 45, No.3, 15-19). Occasional items still surface that are not to be found in any of these compilations, I report on a few such here. 

The first two are ‘virtual’ items, known only from cutouts (see Fig.1). The first, which has some writing on the back, is probably from a letter sheet. It carries a stamp design that is almost identical to the 1951 10 won stamp celebrating cooperation with Chinese Volunteers, SG N49 (Mi 51, Sc 46)–it doesn’t reproduce well—but in a different, red color and a larger format. The postmark records the month and day, but unfortunately not the year. This design has not been recorded on any other postal stationery.

Figure 1

The same is true of the second candidate, also shown in Fig. 1, although this one is more problematic. The design is a slightly re-drawn version of the 10 won Arms type issued in 1958 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the DPRK, SG N155 (Mi 155, Sc 147) in a very dark brown shade, and a somewhat larger for-mat. It’s problematic because it is on rather better quality paper than was common at that time, almost like a cutout from a magazine – but why a redrawn version? It also has adhesions on the back, suggesting that it was pasted onto an envelope, but with no cancellation. Something for the back of the book?

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2 thoughts on “Unrecorded Postal Stationery from North Korea

  1. Past few weeks, spent many hours trying to identify the stamp that was on eBay, 40 chon Revolutionary Museum Pochonbo. I was unable locate the stamp on Korea Stamp Catalog or the Scott’s Catalog. I had never thought that it was a cutout from an envelope until I read this article. The item is no longer available on ebay but I’d saved the image.

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