What is this “stamp box” item?


One of our readers recently sent us this question: While cleaning out my attic, I came across a meticulously wrapped stamp box. I cannot identify the stamps since I don’t read Chinese characters. However, I could understand the part on the cover that says “November 18, 1884.” The red stamp has “5Mn” written at the bottom, and the blue stamp has “10Mn” and “COREAN” written on it. Below those two stamps, there are couple of more other stamps displayed. The box is khaki-colored and printed with gold Chinese characters. The condition is so pristine that I am curious to know what this is, so I am contacting you. 

Here are the images sent by our reader:




Well, dear reader, do you know what this item is? Who produced it and when was this item created? For whom was it meant to be? We would love to hear from you, as we have never seen this type of item either.


8 thoughts on “What is this “stamp box” item?

  1. This is not an official edition of the postal authority. 2-3 stamp dealers made collectively this
    philatelic kits and distributed them to the postal authority based on the semi-governmental
    contract. However, there is no official record that the postal authority approved them as the
    genuine products on the governmental level. Accordingly the stamps mounted on the page
    have their own original value, but the kit itself has hardly any additional meaning. You do not
    have to pay unreasonable money for that item. Anyway stamps are genuine.

    1. Thank you for your kind and informative response. I am truly grateful for your help in identifying the stamp.

      This stamp was a gift from my father’s close friend, Mr. Oh Myung, who was the Minister of Post and Telecommunications at the time. It is one of the official government stamps from a set that my father received along with Mr. Oh’s autograph.

      While I was able to identify other stamps with signatures, I was unable to decipher the contents of this particular stamp, which is written entirely in Chinese characters. Your detailed explanation has been immensely helpful.

      Thank you once again for your assistance.

      1. Thanks for too much undeserved appreciation. Minister Oh was one of the best ministers of all time regardless of the name of ministry. I also know him personally. As you commented, if the kit has some proofs with Oh’s signature in it, it could attract so-called Korean “OTAKU”s(Japanese term, hobby-maniac) Then, it might be sold with certain premium. I guess the postal authority in the past purchased the kits from the private dealers and provided high ranker officials of the Korean government with them. so that the high rankers could use them as gifts on the occasion of the meetings with foreign dignitaries.

  2. Dear Jin Hur, thanks very much for your quick identification of this book. It is fantastic now we have a member who is so knowable with Korean philately matters and can answer a lot of questions by our membership. Bob

    1. Actually my main topic is not Korea, but Japan. I beg your pardon that
      I am not omnipotent for all kinds of questions. Now I am encouraging other
      Korean experts to take part in the discussion more and more.

  3. This is a souvenir album of the first series of imperial Korea stamps. The album was made in around 1990s -2000s. It could be made by private company or Korea post, more likely a philatelic product. The stamps inside are genuine.

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