Decoding Cheon Stamps: Unveiling a Stamp Editions Myth

In the fascinating realm of philately, the classification and study of stamps often reveal intriguing insights into history, culture, and even the nuances of artistic expression. A striking example of this is presented in an enlightening article titled “The truth about the classification of ‘Cheon’ handwriting surcharge stamp plates” by Oh Byeong-yoon, published on December […]

Continue Reading

Debunking Myths: The Reality of ‘Taegeuk’ Stamps Editions

In the world of philately, the distinction between different editions of stamps can be a matter of intense debate and interest. A prime example of this is found within the Korean stamp collecting community, particularly regarding the ‘Taegeuk’ stamps and the ‘Cheon’ surcharged series stamps. Traditionally, these stamps have been categorized into first and reprint […]

Continue Reading

Specialised Catalogue of Korean Stamps

South Korea will celebrate the 140th anniversary of the inception of the modern postal system in 2024. On the occasion of this significant year, to be commemorated both nationally and internationally, PHILAKOREA will take place for the fifth time under FIP recognition. As South Korea has achieved remarkable economic growth in such a brief period, […]

Continue Reading

Review of the Latest Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue (KPSC) 2022-2023

Well, with the latest Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue (KPSC) for 2022-2023, it is “Back to the Future” or as the saying goes: “Old is New Again”. With the help of a fellow Korea Stamp Society (KSS) member living in Korea, Tony Michell, I was finally able to obtain a copy of the 2022-2023 edition of […]

Continue Reading

A brief biography of Helen Kingsbury Zirkle (1898 – 1976)

My interest in Chinese stamps has focused for the past few years on Manchukuo. During this time I have collected a number of books that have aided my research and one of the most useful has been a book with the catchy title “The Postage Stamps and Commemorative Cancellations of Manchoukuo/Manshukoku, Manchou Tikuo, Manchukuo”, written […]

Continue Reading

Download (KSS members only): “Handbook of Philatelic Forgeries – Korean Empire”

One of the most challenging aspects of collecting Korean stamps is that there are many forgeries/counterfeits/fakes of both the stamps as well as the overprints and cancellations of the early “Empire” issues from 1884 to 1900. Very often, the stamps, overprints and the cancellations can all be forgeries. Fortunately, there are few or none known […]

Continue Reading

Download (KSS members only): “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog Errata”

In 1986/1987 KSS member John J. Sauer published “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog”. This 32 page publication can be download on the KSS website. A 2 page update to the original publication was published some time after as an addendum.

Continue Reading

Post Offices in Korea – December 1906

The primary intent in creating this list of post offices is to aid philatelists and researchers in the identification of postmarks used in Old Korea during the Japanese period. For the average Western philatelist not familiar, or somewhat familiar with Chinese characters, reading cancels or postal addresses can be a daunting task. This task is […]

Continue Reading

Download (KSS members only): “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog”

In 1986/1987 KSS member John J. Sauer published “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog”. This 32 page publication was published according to the front-page “in lieu of the missing volumes and partial volumes of the past three years”. 

Continue Reading

KSS Monograph 2: Korean English Philatelic Glossary

First published as a for print publication by Stanley Kim in 1993, this glossary is now being developed in digital form. Originally meant “to assist collectors using either Korean or English to organize their collections, literature, and their own write-ups for exhibitions or just in their albums” it can these days also be used especially […]

Continue Reading

Korean Railroad Commemorative Ticket Traffic Card Catalogue

Question: what do railway tickets and stamps have in common? Answer: not much, unless they come in stationary made exclusively for the tickets. Which is what is shown, amongst all the tickets of course, in the “Korean Railroad Commemorative Ticket Traffic Card Catalogue”, published on March 26 2013. 

Continue Reading

Download (KSS Members Only): Korean Stamp Catalog (Luther Dilley, 1961)

One of the most detailed catalogs for Korean stamps (not including the Korean Empire), was published for the first time in September, 1959 by Commander L.L. Dilley , USN (Ret.). Commander Dilley, seen here in a photo from World War II, was in the Cryptanalysis Section of Fleet Radio Unit Pacific (FRUPAC) based in Hawaii, […]

Continue Reading

Download (KSS members only): “Monograph 3: The Postal History of the Korean War 1950-1953”

In 2000 the KSS published a monograph, the third in the series of KSS monographs, titled “The Postal History of the Korean War 1950-1953”. Written by Robert W. Collins, this monograph is no longer readily available. As a service to KSS members a scanned version of this document is available online. Some examples and texts […]

Continue Reading

Download (KSS Members Only): “The Christmas-Tuberculosis Seals of Korea”

In August, 2018, Helen Zirkle’s publication “Philatelic handbook for Korea, 1884-1905”, which was published in 1970, was added to the KSS website for the members to peruse and download. Earlier, in 1966 Ms. Zirkle also wrote for the Korea Stamp Society one of the first comprehensive publications of the Korean seals, called “The Christmas-Tuberculosis Seals of […]

Continue Reading

2002 Edition of North Korean Stamp Catalogue

After ten years since the first edition of this full color(!) catalogue of North Korean stamps, the third edition was published by the Korea Stamp Corporation, Pyongyang, in 2003. Chronologically, the first edition was published early in 1993, containing up to #3277, the winners of 25th Olympic Games, issued December, 1992, and consisted of the […]

Continue Reading

“De postgeschiedenis van het Belgisch-Luxemburgse vrijwilligerskorps in Korea 1950-1955” by Henri Smets

Originally published in French as “Histoire postale du Corps de Volontaires Belgo-Luxembourgeois en Corée” in 2002 by Henri Smets a Dutch translation by W. Major was published in that same year. Titled “Postgeschiedenis van het Belgisch-Luxemburgs Vrijwilligerskorps voor Korea” the Dutch version contains 165 numbered pages with philatelic information on the Belgian and Luxembourg UN […]

Continue Reading

Download (KSS members only) “Philatelic handbook for Korea, 1884-1905” by Helen Zirkle

In 1970 the “Philatelic handbook for Korea, 1884-1905” was published by The Collectors Club in their series of handbooks as handbook number 23. Written/compiled by Helen Zirkle and others it was published in 1970 and was, at the time, one of the very few specialized books about Korean philatelic history. 

Continue Reading