Cut outs or die proofs or…? What are these items?


The items shown here are “cut outs” according to Spink Auction. In their Spink China auction of May 2017 these five items were listed by Spink as “1884 First issue, set of five, colour die proof in white thick paper, toned spots.” They were sold for HK$20.000 (approx. 2300 EUR or 2550 USD).

However, when these items showed up there was some discussion amongst KSS members. So, what do you think? Real or not? And what would “real” mean in this case?

Image from Spink Auction website.

17 thoughts on “Cut outs or die proofs or…? What are these items?

  1. I believe Florian may have commented on these before. Dr. Kerr, in his Empire book on page 2 says that these some “proofs” were cut out of presentation books and sold as the so called “proofs”, but I don’t know if that applies to these particular stamps, but I strongly suspect that is true.

    1. The newly reissued “Handbook of Philatelic Forgeries, Korean Empire” by Brady, Tyler” states , pg.3 “imperforate singles are known which originate from the 1905 and 1914 official books issued by the Japanese Governor General of Korea” The items described here fit the bill, they are not ‘proofs or essays’
      The Handbook augmented form is available at $14.95 + postage from Dave Phillips

  2. Update: owner could not sell them at Spink, so he placed them at John Bull auctions Hong Kong, using unchanged description. On information of the real character of these allaeged “proofs”, JB auctioneers redraw them from sale at once.

    1. Hi Ivo, maybe Florian knows if these are genuine. Mizuhara Meiso wrote there were three kinds of essays all with perforations. He wrote that there are proofs of the 2 cheon, the 15 cheon and the 2 won and a block of four of the 4 cheon with the imprint of the “the production of the Printing Bureau of the Ministry of Agariculture and Industry, Korean Empire.” He stated that these were imperforated. He said that both Chin Ki-Hong and he believed these were made as souvenirs, rather than as proofs to check the stamps. Since of the stamps illustrated by you, only the 4 cheon is listed as a possible proof, I am guessing that these are fake.

      1. The comments by Messrs. Mizuhara / China may be true. I remember several imperforate imprint blocks of 4 or 10 of various Ewha values. But can not comment on the status without having checked originals.
        Its a usual thing to take imperf proofs of final colours or final sheets for checking / presenting to deciding authorities.

      1. The only Korean text directly referring to the cut outs is “이화우표 무공?”, which simply means “plum-blossoms stamp imperforates?” So essentially the Korean blogger is asking more or less the same question.

  3. Hello Bob,

    “Its official”: japanese official publications in communications (mails, telegraph ec.) came in english AND french versions, as the latter is the official language of the UPU.
    Bottom right of the front cover You see the imprint “bureau de communications” which is the french translation for tsushin kyoku or communications office of the Govt. General of Korea. This was a sort of mini-ministry for the Korea area. In pre 1946 Japan, Colonies and dependencies had their own local mail ec. head organization, which reported to the governor and the Tokyo ministry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.