Two Examples of the Often Faked Cancellations of the First Two Korean Stamps of 1884

Old Korea

Normally mint stamps are worth more than used stamps. One notable exception to this philatelic rule is the often faked cancellations of Korea’s first two stamps issued in 1884, the 5 and 10 mun values. As these two stamps were used for just a few days because of a riot/revolution that burned down the Korean Post Office, genuinely used copies are extremely rare and valuable. This article discusses two typical  faked cancellations.

The loose 10 mun shows a coin or token strike. It was a privately applied non-postal mark as a fake cancel and has no value. This fake cancel has been already treated in KP and is shown in Dr. Kerr’s Empire book.

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Fake cancellations on covers or individual stamps
The KSS website has a lot of information on fakes and forgeries. The cover and stamp shown in this article are from Robert Finder’s collection. If you have such materials please contact us. The more of these fakes we can show, the better, as these materials are still being offered to starting collectors. Generally speaking these items are only interesting from a historical point of view, their monetary value is nil.
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.

8 thoughts on “Two Examples of the Often Faked Cancellations of the First Two Korean Stamps of 1884

  1. Mr. Florian Eichhorn,
    Excellent description! Thank you for that.
    I sent you an e-mail a couple of days ago.
    I asked you to review my collections of KOREA 1884-1905 at “HTTPS://” and to give advice.
    If you could, please, do so. It will be very appreciate.

  2. I have a large selection of early forgeries that The KSS is welcome to study and make copies of at any time. What would be interesting to know is who exactly went to so much trouble to duplicate copies of stamps that were of little demand. Perhaps privately created for souvenir booklets to be sold to tourists would be my best guess.

    1. As stated above “*A typical product of japanese curio dealers of the 1890s are “tourist sheets” with fake stamps of China (inc. Local Posts), Japan, Korea. As with all these products, Korean tourists’ sheets have both the stamps faked along with the fake cancellations.”

      Such souvenirs from the exotic “Far East” were much in demand back then. I can not confirm Your statement of “little demand”. They were printed in considerable numbers. Later on, crooks cut out the fakes from the sheets.

      Here is an example of a complete tourist sheet with korean stamps:

  3. Hi,
    I found used Scott 1,2 with 2 different types of cancels, are different from the examples shown above. What’s your e-mail to send an image if you’re interested? I think either forged or not could be a good reference.

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