Too early use of KPSC R2 (Scott 56) on card?


Sometimes something comes up by accident which may be too good to be true. Or not, of course. One such item is this quite attractive card. It is a Japanese produced postal card of 5 sen which was used in South Korea as a card worth 5 jeon, uprated with another stamp for 5 jeon, one of the overprinted stamps from the R1-R6 series.

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3 thoughts on “Too early use of KPSC R2 (Scott 56) on card?

  1. What I believe I learned from Chen Fi-Yu while doing another article on the postcards, is that very few of the Japanese 5 sen were used prior to the end of WWII by the Japanese, and that there was a lot of stock left over of these 5 sen post cards that the Americans/South Koreans uprated to 25 cheon (sen). So this card doesn’t have the surcharge of 20 cheon bringing it up to the postal rate of 25 cheon.

    The surcharged 5 sen post cards didn’t go into service until 1946.8.12, or 7 months after the postmark of this card. Was the rate only 10 cheon for a post card domestically until August 12 or that year? Why would the total postage only be 10 sen (cheon).

    I could easily see how the 5 overprint was used a day or two early (actually only one business day or two if the post offices were open on Saturdays in South Korea). It happens many times in the USA and Australia when the post offices get the new stamps, and since this was the first stamps after WWII in South Korea, I can imagine the post offices were eager to go and someone was eager to use them on a postcard, most likely a stamp collector. But why only the 10 sen (cheon) total rate?

    However, since there is no writing on the back of the card, this must be a philatelic item created for a collector.

    1. This is no “uprate”, as another 5 Ch. was not required by 1946.1.28.

      Evidence: current postcard rates.
      Postcard rates in South Korea then were:
      1945.9.9-1946.8.11 5 Ch.
      1946.8.12.- 1947.3.31 25 Ch.
      1947.4.1 – 1947.9.30 1 W.

      The postmark looks OK.
      But my guess is it was backdated by someone not aware of the exact issue date of the surcharged postage stamp

      Also the card looks much to clean to have absolved actual postal transmission.
      Yes, that is just a personal opinion, based on observation from other real used stationery cards of the 1946/49 period.

      One might say “OK, sender required a card form, did not have one at hand, so just used a stationery and did not care for overpayment.”

      This does not refute the wrong postmark date and the very clean appearance.

      Note that commercially used covers/cards with these 1946.2.1 surcharged stamps are rather scarce.
      Inland commercial usages are from $350-up. Clean postmarked ones much more.
      Foreign usages do not exist, as these surcharges were already demonetized when international postal service was resumed from Southern Korea.

      Yes, sometimes we note these 1946 surcharges pasted with other stamps to foreign-bound covers (often much later, up to 1954!).
      They were invalid and just souvenirs.

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