A brief biography of Helen Kingsbury Zirkle (1898 – 1976)

Catalogues and books

My interest in Chinese stamps has focused for the past few years on Manchukuo. During this time I have collected a number of books that have aided my research and one of the most useful has been a book with the catchy title “The Postage Stamps and Commemorative Cancellations of Manchoukuo/Manshukoku, Manchou Tikuo, Manchukuo”, written by Helen Kingsbury Zirkle and published by The Collectors Club, New York in 1964 (also published in German).

After WWII, Helen began corresponding with Japanese philatelist Dr Yoshitsugu Mishima, together they wrote a series of ten articles about Manchukuo published in American Philatelist in 1951. This collaboration, with extra help from Robert M. Spalding Jr., helped Helen develop her book about Manchukuo which effectively completes the works of Roy Akagi and Alexander Schumann which only covered issues up to 1941, prior to America entering into WWII.

This book provides the complete picture of Manchukuo from 1932 to 1945. Included are details of 159 stamps; a full listing of postage tables and illustrated details of all 85 of the commemorative cancellations (or LCD’s) issued by the Manchukoan Post Office, the first time this had been done. Also included are varieties, errors, imprints, plate numbers, proofs and slogans – everything a collector needs to know. This is the definitive work on the subject.

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