Today in Postal History

Korea to France
February 9, 1900

This registered cover was sent from Seoul about 25 km inland
from the west coast in the center of the Korean peninsula.

Korea was a closed kingdom owing suzerainty to China between 1637 and 1895.

Its first stamps were issued in November, 1884; however, the entire stock was
destroyed when the post office was burned down during a revolt in December, 1884.

Korea didn't get back to issuing stamps until 1895.
The cover was franked with a complete set of these 1895 yin yang lithographed stamps.
There are a 5 poon green, a 10 poon deep green, a  10 poon deep blue,
a 25 poon maroon, and a 50 poon purple type II with a period after "50" (Scott 6-9).
In addition there are two stamps from the 1900 series.
There is a 3 cheun orange red and a 2 cheun blue (Scott 21 and 20).
(5 poon = 1 cheun.)

Registration was accomplished by a faint red box with a bold R in the left portion
and a SEOUL in the upper right portion and No. ______ with a script 140 below.

The cover bears six strikes of the international SEOUL | COREE CDS in French.

The destination was Paris.
I think the addressee is the Director of the Bureau of Postal Exploitation
in the Secretariat of State for the Postal System of France.

There is an inscription at the lower left - Correspondeance Interior?? -
which needs explanation (and further help with the handwriting).

All in all, this is a prize cover from early Korea.


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