Entires with “TAEGEUK” of the 1st and 2nd Issued Sets

Old Korea

The Gab-sin coup d’etat (甲申政變; 갑신정변) of 4 December 1884 (Lunar calendar 10. 17.), attempted by the reformers at the opening ceremony of the post office, failed. All main figures were killed including Mr. Young-Sik Hong whose constant efforts had led to the issuing of a Royal decree to establish the Department of Post Office on 22 April 1884 (Lunar 3. 27.), which started the postal services on 18 November 1884 (Lunar 10. 1.). After the coup the post office was forcefully shut down. The postal service operated of only 17 days.

After an intermission of more than 10 years, a new Korean Postal Services was restarted on 22 July 1895, using 5, 10, 25 and 50 Poon stamps printed by Andrew B. Graham Co., U.S.A.

The first one of these two entires has a set of the first issue of the “TAEGEUK” series stamps. They are 5, 10, 25 and 50 Poon. The double circle cancellations were used on them. The date of the cancellation was “大朝鮮 建陽 元年 二月 二十九日 甲 東 / Great Choson Gun-yang 1st year Feb. 29, 1896 Dong-rae. It was sent to Busan (Inland use), with a very clear cancellation.

The first entire

The cover was made specifically for stamp collecting. The receiver was part of the foreign staff at Busan Customs House in 1896. (See Horace Newton Allen, “A Chronological Index of Foreign Relations of Korea from Beginning of Christian Era to 20th Century”, Methodist Publishing House, Seoul, 1904.) This cover was owned by Mr. Kim Yo-chi in Seoul, Korea. (See Jae-Seung Kim “The Facts of Korean Classic Stamps”, p.307.)

The second entire has a set of the second issue of the “TAEGEUK” stamps. They are 5, 10, 25 and 50 Poon stamps. The bisected circle cancellations were used on them. The date of the cancellation was “漢城 光武 二年 二月 二十八日 甲遞 / Han-sung Kwang-mu 2nd year Feb. 28, 1898 Gab-Chae. It was used for Inland, Seoul, very clear. It was also a “made cover”, a cover made for stamp collecting.

The second entire

These two entires are very good samples to compare the 1st and 2nd “TAEGEUK” series stamps. There are few points of difference between 1st and 2nd “TAEGEUK” series stamps.

The total number of entires with double circle cancellations between 1895-1898 are only known to be about 30. (See Seung-Hwan Kim, Sin-Dong-A No. 538 p376-377.) Therefore entires with a whole set of “TAEGEUK” series stamps and double circle cancellations are very few.

My Online Exhibition of KOREA Stamps 1884-1905 can be seen at: https://blog.naver.com/coree1884

Dr. Joel Lee
Born in Korea, Vietnam war participation as ROK marine, Dr. of Ministry, Retired Presbyterian Pastor. 40 years collected for Korea stamps 1884-1905.

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