Home from the hunt I took out of the box a file folder marked Misc. unsorted Rev’s. In it was an untidy pile of album leaves and stock pages with an assortment of Korean, Chinese and Japanese revenue stamps. In sorting through I noticed a couple of stock cards and two pages of Korean Municipal revenues.
I spread them out over the dining room table then went back to the stamp den to locate my collection and files on Korean revenues. My references included the articles in the American Revenuer, November and December issues of 1980, by GM Abrams, titled Korea: The Municipals, in which he gave credit to a Major Bill Collyer of California for the loan of his material permitting in an initial listing of Korean municipal revenues. My additional notes were obtained in 1991 during several visits to the Western Philatelic Library located in Sunnyvale, California. These notes were taken from various articles appearing in the Korean Philately journal and the Catalog of Korean Revenues and Non-postal Revenues by Matt Parkkinen.
Another collector, Anson Stout and I had been searching the philatelic literature for information pertaining to world revenues. At that time we made notes on thirty + Korean municipal revenues reported in this journal not listed in the Abrams article. Neither of us at that time had yet to obtain a single Korean Municipal revenue. Back to the folder. I compared my new find with my references. With the exception of Seoul City none of these newly acquired Korean Municipals were in either listing. The new items include two values of the Seoul City previously unrecorded, the 5 hwan purple and the 100 hwan brown.
How rare are these Korean Municipals? I don’t know, however, I had only managed to acquire two in the previous twenty years of collecting revenues. They just do not seem to be available in the market. It was another ten years before I located this group of Korean Municipal Revenues and I suspect that this material had lain dormant at least 20 years or more.
There were a few notes in amongst the stamps that led me to the conclusion that this group of revenues had been collected by a PFC. Robert W. Larsen, Hq. Co. 931st E.A.B. He was stationed in Korean in 1955. Apparently he was able to ferret out this unusual material. All the Municipal revenue stamps are different from those already reported and the dates of these are much earlier. Some of Larsen’s dates would have seen these stamps issued during the Korean War (1950-1953).
It may seem strange but the US Military Government authorized the first two issues of Korean Revenues in 1946.
UNITED STATES ARMY MILITARY
GOVERNMENT IN KOREA
Office of the Military Governor
Ordinance Number 110
14 September 1946
ISSUE OF KOREAN REVENUE STAMPS
DISCONTINUANCE OF FORMER ISSUES
Section 1. Korean Revenue Stamp Issue Authorized. The issuance and use of Korean Revenues stamps are hereby authorized. Such stamps shall be used in all cases where the use of revenue stamps is required…”
The second issue was authorized in 1948. I wonder who authorized the Municipal revenues. Since this were authorized by a US Military Government in 1946 & 1948 shouldn’t they be listed in the Scott specialized just like the Ryukyu revenues?
This past week I received three additional unreported Korean municipal revenues courtesy of eBay auctions. They are Seoul City revenues with a 1989 date on the reverse side of the piece of document that they are attached. There is a 200 won purple-gray, 300 won olive and a 1000 won carmine-brown.