Japanese Offices in Korea Double-Circle Date Stamps (1876-1888)

This is a collection of date stamps used in Japanese Offices in Korea from 1876 to 1888. During this period the first type of CDS, “double-circle date stamps”, was used at Busan (or “Fusan” in Japanese), Wonsan (or “Gensan”), and Incheon (or “Ninsen”). The Japanese-language version of this exhibit was shown at JAPEX 2019 and […]

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Story of Baron G. de Gunzburg – Russian Government Official in Chosen

(On the relationship Between Chosŏn and Russia) On October 8, 1895, Queen Myung-Sung was assassinated by the Japanese force. King Go-Jong, who was also confined at the palace Kyung-Bok, fearing for his life, wanted to escape. On November 28, 1895, the King’s first try to flee to the legation of the United States failed because […]

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The Story of Monsieur Charles Aleveque

Charles Aleveque (known in Korea as An Ryebaek, -晏禮百) made and distributed the first photographic postcards in Korea, published a French-Korean dictionary, and represented the Korean Government at the 1900 Paris Exposition. As a representative for a French trading company, he worked for trade between Korea and France, importing modern materials for the government of […]

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The Story of Monsieur Tremoulet

Following the opening of Korea’s ports to international commerce in the 1880s, the Government recognized the importance of developing modern methods of mining. On September 4, 1900, the ‘Governmental Mining School’ to promote industrial education was established. The officials of the school were to be the principal, a superintendent, four trainers, an assistant trainer, and […]

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Lee Neung-hwa, an unknown historical figure and a stamp collector in a time of turmoil

In Joseon (Korea) in the 33rd year (1896) of King Gojong‘s rule a French person, Emile Martel (1874-1949), established the French Language School in Seoul as a governmental institute in Jong-ro-gu, now known as Susong-dong (Korean: 수송동). Martel arrived in Korea in July 1894 at the age of only twenty years old. Subsequently this school […]

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Korean forgeries (VII): 10 poon issued July 22 1895 (1st Printing); 1896 (2nd Printing) etc.

The second stamp in the Taegeuk series is the 10 poon. The stamp is designated Scott #7 deep blue (both printings), KPSC #4 (1st printing; #4a 2nd printing and Minkus #4. Black and white images and data are from Brady-Tyler, Zirkel, G. La Francesca and colour images and data are from MikeG Canada (Stampboards), Florian […]

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Reader’s Question: Was their a Russian influence on the 1903 Falcon stamps’ design?

(Editor: a question from reader Jim, currently living in South Korea:) “I’m interested in any information about how the 1903 Postes Imperiales Coree stamp came to be designed and authorized for issue, especially in that it seems that this stamp had Russian influence just prior to the Russo-Japanese War as Russia’s involvement in Korea was […]

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A Beautiful Cover. A Striking Cover. A Cover of Extreme Importance!

I had the unique opportunity to review prior to its publication the article by Dr. Joel Lee. It is not only a beautiful cover. This Empire Korea cover is a striking example of the postal history of Korea and it is a cover of extreme importance. To the casual observer, not familiar with Empire Korea […]

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Korean forgeries (VI): 5 Poon issued July 1895 (1st Printing); 1897 (2nd Printing) etc.

The first stamp in this series is the 5 Poon. The stamp is designated Scott #6 and Minkus #3. Black and white images and data are from Brady-Tyler, Zirkel, G. La Francesca and colour images and data are from MikeG Canada (Stampboards), Florian Eichhorn, David Phillips, KSS and other sources.

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Beautiful Postal Cards and Postal Covers of Early Korea

Some of the rarest examples of postal history of Empire Korea, combining the images of early 20th century Korea on hand-tinted postal cards and a cover demonstrating all the stamps available at the Chemulpo, Korea post office on a single day are that of a correspondence addressed to Mrs. Charlotte K. Ober, University of Washington, […]

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Entires with “TAEGEUK” of the 1st and 2nd Issued Sets

The Gab-sin coup d’etat (甲申政變; 갑신정변) of 4 December 1884 (Lunar calendar 10. 17.), attempted by the reformers at the opening ceremony of the post office, failed. All main figures were killed including Mr. Young-Sik Hong whose constant efforts had led to the issuing of a Royal decree to establish the Department of Post Office […]

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Two Examples of the Often Faked Cancellations of the First Two Korean Stamps of 1884

Normally mint stamps are worth more than used stamps. One notable exception to this philatelic rule is the often faked cancellations of Korea’s first two stamps issued in 1884, the 5 and 10 mun values. As these two stamps were used for just a few days because of a riot/revolution that burned down the Korean […]

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The Semiotics of the First Korean Issues

As a philatelist, my principal interest has been in the semiotics of the stamps, the meaning of their design. The first stamps issued by a national government or stamp issuing authority are particularly intriguing. This is a government’s first opportunity to present itself graphically to the world. What do they put on their very first […]

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