Interesting Korea related items in Corinphila and Vance auctions

Philatelic items directly related to Korea are relatively rare in (international) auctions. Of course, there are these “collections” with albums packed with North Korean stamps from the 1970s and 1980s or the usual South Korean flag sheets and such, but occasionally interesting items do show up. Here are a few examples from two different auction […]

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How Stalin and Mao disappeared from the map of Pyongyang

After the Second World War quite a few cities in Western democracies had a “Stalin Street”. At the time this was quite understandable: the Soviet Union had from 1941 been an important ally against Nazi Germany. However, these streets disappeared overnight when the Soviet army invaded Hungary in 1956. The Stalinlaan in Amsterdam for instance […]

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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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Testing the South Korean postal system after first liberation of Seoul

Shown here are two cards, one sent by correspondent Richard Johnston, the other by correspondent Charles Grutzner, both to their own (postal) addres. Neither were actually handled handled by the US Army-Air Force Postal Service, which means they probably do not qualify as ‘private usage’ in this instance. (See this KP article for the background […]

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Custodian Force, India in Korea 1953-1954

This cover illustrates the use of stamps overprinted for the Custodian Force, India (CFI). This was a deployment of Indian forces, including the 60th Parachute Field Ambulance unit (which had been in Korea from November 1950) to oversee the repatriation of POWs after the armistice. The CFI was in Korea from late September 1953 until […]

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1913 SPG Postcard showing missionary residence

On Kobay, the Korean version of Ebay, mission history-related philatelic items are often available. Here is one of many of these items – a postcard sent within Great Britain from Grimsby to Skidbrooke on 19 February 1913. Both of these places are coastal towns in north east Lincolnshire. Grimsby is a major fishing port, whereas […]

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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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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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Having fun with the Korean postal services: cancellations

Because of the extreme emphasis of Koreans on education there are, even today in times of digital communications, a lot of stationery shops in Korea. These shops sell hundreds and sometimes even thousands of different products, one of them being whole series of sticker stamps. These stickers look like stamps because of their “perforation” and […]

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Korean paquebot cover from 1953 shows up

In a recent series of reprinted articles several covers with Korean (Busan) paquebot cancellations from the 1950s were shown. One cover was referenced in an article by Talbert Fowler from 1954. This cover apparently came with a strange paquebot marking. The cover showed up recently in an inheritance sale of Korean paquebot covers from a […]

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Reader’s Question: History of Travelling Post Offices in Korea?

  Does anybody know more about the history of Travelling Post Offices (우편열차) in Korea? What I have found so far comes from two pictures showing two boards from the Stamp Museum in Cheonan (not Seoul) from an exhibit on TPO’s in Korea. This board lists for instance that the first mail transported by train […]

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Korea’s First Post Office Cancel – Don’t Be Misled!

In the summer of 1964 I received the following letter from a French gentleman: “Enclosed is $3000.00 plus in Korea No. l’s and 2’s in singles, pairs and combinations. All stamps are tied on piece and with the exception of one or two stamps the condition is very fine or superb. As I do not […]

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