Interesting items showing up in recent stamp auctions

Auction News

Once in a while we report on the KSS website on interesting items showing up in stamp auctions worldwide. Here are some of these items from the last few months from Cherrystone Auctions, Corinphila Veilingen, AAK Phila GmbH and Auktionshaus Christoph Gärtner.


Cherrystone listed a few items from 1937 and 1940 in their 7-8 February auction. Here are two examples. The first one is a cover sent to Korea in 1937 to the famous Dr. Hall, known for starting the Korea TB seals. He was living and working in Haiju at the time.

Fig. 1: cover to Hall

The other cover is an example of a cover sent from Korea to the US. Notice the “directional cachet” in classical hanja. This was explained on the KSS website in an article on New Ilhan covers.

Fig. 2: Cover sent from Korea. But from whom?

Both these and the other two alike covers in the Cherrystone auction were sold.

AAK Phila

Albert Kiel has an item from Korea in its 2-4 March auction which could potentially be an article for the KSS website. It is a postal card which is described as “1904 CHEMULPO, alte koreanische Marinepost-Karte (übl. Mgl., Eckknicke) m. Buntfrankatur (Mgl.) geschrieben von einem Besatzungsmitglied der SMS Geier n. Schweidnitz, tolle Zeitgeschichte!” The card is interesting not only for what it shows, but also from where it was send: what was the Geier doing in Korea at the time? And can anyone read the German handwriting…?

Fig. 3: Address side of card.
Fig. 4: Text side of card.

Auktionshaus Christoph Gärtner

C.G. listed a cover which was send to someone well known to KSS website and Korean Philately magazine readers: Mr. Tremoulet! The cover was described as “1903, “Hansung dodong (= Seoul No. 2) Kwangmu 7.11.9”, the rare inland style type as mark of dispatch on AR-registered cover with falcon 3 Ch. and 10 Ch. tied “SEOUL 9 NOV 3”, from French Legation to Tremoulet. While an inland usage, the latin letter postmarks were used as courtesy towards foreigners”.

Fig. 5: Cover to Mr. Tremoulet.

Corinphila Veilingen

And finally, Corinphila listed an airmail item as part of lot 302 in their Auction 256 of March 2023 that has direct links to the Korean War. In this particular case the cover couldn’t be delivered to the intended recipient in 1951 because he, a Dutch soldier, had been missing in action. This cover comes with a lot of cachets, including those of several assistant adjutants, which would make for a great article! Also, what happened to Arie van Rijn…?

Fig. 6: Address side of 1951 airmail letter. Notice all the cachets!
Fig. 7: Reverse of same item. Lists the tragic reason why this letter was never delivered.

Please note that the KSS has no legal or financial links to any of these companies. All items are listed for philatelic reasons only!


4 thoughts on “Interesting items showing up in recent stamp auctions

  1. What was the SMS Geier doing in Chemulpo in 1904? SMS Geier was reassigned to China to help suppress the Boxer Uprising in 1900. She remained in East Asian waters through 1905 before being recalled to Germany for major repairs. Like the rest of the German East Asian squadron she was stationed at Qingdao (Tsingdao) then a German colony so just across the Yellow Sea from Chemulpo. Western warships were frequent visitors to Chemulpo. At the time of the Battle of Chemulpo Feb 1904 – the same year (between the Russians and Japanese) there were British, French, Italian and US warships there. A curious note on the Chemulpo SMS card is that following the ship’s name it notes in parenthesis that the ship is (Osturich) suggesting an Austro-Hungarian Navy ships which were also SMS, and not the German Navy. On the otherhand there is no Austrian SMS Grier (Vulture) that I can find. The Austrian ship on China station (usually based at Port Arthur before it changed hands and then Tianjin) was the Kaiserin Elizabeth until relieved in late 1906 by the Franz Joseph. Russian sailors injured in the sinking of its ships were later carried to Russia in neutral ships Tony Michell

  2. About fig. 1, fig. 2
    These illustrated covers were produced by Karl Lewis (1865-1942), who was in Japan ca. 1900 to his death.
    “Karl Lewis was an American who spent the last forty years of his life in Yokohama, and is widely famous for the thousands of covers that he sold from 1933 to 1941 with full-color cachets hand-painted by Japanese artists.” (ISJP quote).

    The person who published most about Karl Lewis is Todd Lewis.
    Here is his article entitled “Karl Lewis – Yokohama years”:


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