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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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 […]

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