Philatelic items directly related to Korea are relatively rare in (international) auctions. Of course, there are these “collections” with albums packed with North Korean stamps from the 1970s and 1980s or the usual South Korean flag sheets and such, but occasionally interesting items do show up. Here are a few examples from two different auction houses, Corinphila and Vance.
Corinphila auction nr. 248-249 (8-10 April 2021) has two cards coming from a specialized collection created by Dutch philatelist Dick Scheper titled “Postal History Russian Civil War in Siberia 1917-1924” which have a very direct and interesting link to Korea.
The first card, item nr. 160, is described as:
“Coat of Arms 2 kopeks green and Chita issue 10 kopeks blue and red on Russian postcard 5 kopeks from Vladivostok 25-4-1923 to Gensan (nowadays Wonsan, North Korea), fine/very fine (no. 22 short at right) A rare destination!”
A rare destination indeed. Here are the front and reverse of this card:
The bonus postcards have is that, if actually (postally) used, they come with text! Unfortunately though, it turns out the handwriting on this card is quite unreadable, even (as it turns out) for a Russian native speaker. If someone manages to read the text, we would love to hear from. Please leave your translation below in the comments.
The other card in the Corinphila auction is item nr. 217. This item is described as:
“Chita issue 10 kopeks blue and red and overprint 2 kopeks on 70 rubles on postcard from Vladivostok 4-7-1923 to a French goldmine in Korea, fine/very fine”
Notice that reference to a “French goldmine”, which is indeed literally what it says on the card. The mines run by Westerners in (mostly northern and central) Korea have been mentioned in editions of our magazine, Korean Philately, before. A topic worth of further investigation! Having said that, read the address on this card. Makes you wonder how it ever managed to arrive… It apparently did (notice the arrival cancellation), but then, how and when, did this card manage to leave the country again and end up in someone’s collection?
Again, if you can read this text, please notify us through the comment section below.
The other auction we noticed is the Vance Auctions Ltd auction #349 (7 April 2021 ). Vance publishes much smaller images (and usually one side only) than Corinphila does on their website, which is why the images below are considerably smaller than the other images shown so far. Having said that, here are four items from the Vance auction which show Korean history, in this particular case related to Japanese and British activity.
The first item, nr. 2947, was produced on occasion of a British naval squadron visiting Korea in July 1960. It is according to Vance a “Special envelope July 1906 (for a postcard) commemorating the reception of the BRITISH CHINESE NAVAL SQUADRON to SEOUL KOREA. Depicts Japanese and British emblems, special violet h/s, etc. F“:
Another card related to the same occasion is item nr. 2916. This item shows the name of the British squadron in more detail. It is described by Vance as “95, Tied on special 1906 multi-coloured postcard commemorating the reception of BRITISH CHINESE NAVAL SQUADRON to SEOUL KOREA. The postcard has a map of Korea, Japanese/British flags, etc. VF. Scarce”
Even more directly related to Korean history is item nr. 2923. This item shows Minami Jiro, a man who has a Wikipedia lemma which states as its introduction: “Jirō Minami (南 次郎, Minami Jirō, 10 August 1874 – 5 December 1955) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army and Governor-General of Korea between 1936 and 1942. He was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment.” Vance describes the particular item as: “129, 152, Each tied by special commemorative cancels on front of 2 diff postcards, issued for the 7th and 8th Anniversaries of Minami Jiro as Governor General of Korea in 1917-8. Depict the Governor, his residence, 2 diff views and map of area. F-VF (2)” (see above, left)
Finally, item 2958. This consists of two cards, one of which is shown by Vance. Here is how 2958 is described: “Two b/w photo postcards, circa 1918. One has special cancel commemorating completion of Korean land survey with panoramic view of Port Chemulpo. The other bears the red h/s of the Korean Consul at Genzan depicting the local post office. Also has red match box label affixed “MIKADO”. F-VF, unfranked”
And that’s it for now. If you have items you think are interesting for your fellow collectors, please send as a message through our contact form. Previous examples can be found under Auction News.
Please note that the KSS has no legal or financial connections to any auction house or stamp dealer whatsoever. These items are shown here for philatelic purposes only. Copyright images: Corinphila / Vance.
2 thoughts on “Interesting Korea related items in Corinphila and Vance auctions”
Very difficult text. My native language is Russian, but I cannot accurately convey the content.
Corinphila item nr. 160 (reverse)
Postcard from 22.IV.23. (22 April 1923)
Последние известия за 2 апреля чтобы
многие знакомые получили поздравления, благодарят, шлют привет.
Пиши много раз. Я кажется
хочу знать. Пишу ему без конца.
Просил уже Ал. Серг. [Александр Сергеевич] зайти и воздействовать. Удивляет меня, что Из.А. [имя непонятно] ничего не отвечает сам. Алекс. Тр. [Александр Трофимович] Слава Богу вернулся домой. И жив, здоров . №1 занял госуд. учрежд – “Архивинсбюро” во главе профессор Георгиевский. Старожил-студент и будет жить сын один следящий, окончивший университет. Платить обещает. Сверх свободен, кроме одной комнаты, занятой 8р. [рублей] и снизу переложил им плиту и печь в малой комнате. Обошлось все – 11р.[рублей].
Дело Сав. Ив. [Савелия Ивановича] уже кажется откладывается, он приуныл. Надо
сызнова подавать, старое недействительно занят налогами и подачей подоходной деклараций. Пиши открытки, доходят хорошо. Христос с тобой. Будь здорова и благополучна.
Когда решила ехать. Жду известий. не пиши Ю.Ю.[Юрию Юрьевичу] и Ал. Тр.[Александру Трофимовичу]
Dear Irochka (The female name Irina is a diminutive).
Latest news for April 2 to many friends received congratulations, thank you, send greetings.
Write many times. I seems to me I want to know. I write to him endlessly.
Already asked Al. Serg. [name Alexander Sergeevich] go and affect.
It surprises me that Iz.A. [the name, not clear] nothing is answers himself. Alex. Tr. [name Alexander Trofimovich] Thank God he returned home. And he is alive and well. №1 took
state Institution – “Archives Bureau” at the head Professor Georgievsky. He is an old-time student and his son will live alone, who has graduated from university. Promises to pay. Above it is free, except for one room occupied by 8r. [currency, rubles] from below he transferred the stove and stove for them in the small room. Everything worked out – 11r. [currency, rubles].
The Sav. Iv. case. [name Savely Ivanovich] already seems to be postponed, he is depressed. It is necessary
serve again, old is invalid busy with taxes and filing income returns. Write postcards, they get through well.
Christ is with you. Be healthy and happy. When I decided to go. I look forward to hearing. do not write to Yu.Yu. [name Yuri Yurievich] and Al. Tr. [name Alexander Trofimovich]
Corinphila item nr. 217 (reverse)
Postcard from 4.VII.23 (4 July 1923)
Идя на почту получил большое письмо от 6.06 еще не читал. Сообщаю, чтоб ты знала и не повторялась, описала
потребность дальнейшей жизни. Счастлив, что получил письма. Иду к завтраку и буду читать. Ирочка
Христос с тобой, моя дорогая. Любящий тебя ИН.
Going to the post office received big letter from 6.06 yet do not read. I inform you knew and did not repeat, described
the need for later life. I am happy to have received letters. I go to breakfast and read. Irochka [The female name Irina is a diminutive] Christ is with you, my dear. Loving you IN (name, not clear).
Hi Alexander, thanks very much for taking the time to translate these for us. Robert