Soviet Bloc Charity Seals for North Korea—what are they?

Q&A

Recently I was looking for Korean Relief philatelic related material, the type of which I have written about in past articles for the Korea Stamp Society’s website and Korean Philatelic magazine. While doing this, I found a couple of sets of seals from Hungary offered by a Hungarian stamp dealer on Delcampe that appear to have raised money for North Korea social welfare. I was not familiar with these and asked Ivo Spanjersberg if he knew anything about them. He did not know anything either, but when looking for information about them he also found some Romanian seals that were apparently made for raising money for the North Koreans.

Fig. 1: one set of four stamps with values of 2, 5, 10 and 20 forint.

We do not have any information about these seals and we hope that some of our members can give us more details about them. Were they officially from the Hungarian government at that time or privately produced? We do not even know what year(s) they were issued. They have the look of Soviet era stamps of the 1950’s. Interestingly, they have different Hungarian currency values of Ft, (100 filler equals 1 Forint). So, what these values used for? Was it just for the charity or did they have anything to do with postage? We could not find them in any of the catalogues that we own. Are there additional charity seals from Hungary or other Soviet Bloc countries issued to raise money for the North Koreans?

Fig. 2: Second set, with identical values in forint.

I have ordered some of the Romanian seals that Ivo found and will show these images in a later article. If anyone has information about these seals, please inform us through the KSS. Thanks for any help members are able to share with the society.

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