Korea (South) 1956 – Kyongju Observatory

Kyongju Observatory, already encountered on Korean stamps from 1946 and 1948, makes its third and final appearance in our list of oldest astro stamps with this design issued in late 1956 (although the Stanley Gibbons Simplified Catalogue lists it under 1955). It was part of a series depicting traditional Korean subjects.

There are several subtly different later versions of this stamp (and other members of the series) which can cause confusion. Since the later versions were all released in 1957 they are strictly outside the range of our survey of oldest astro stamps, but I shall note them here for the sake of completeness. Firstly, this identical design was re-released in early 1957 on different paper and with a zig-zag watermark (the 1956 issue had no watermark); the SG number of the 1957 reissue is 282. A version with a face value of 100 h was released later in 1957 (SG 284). This 100 h stamp was itself reissued at the end of 1957 with different paper and a different watermark (SG 316).

The Korean Stamp Society’s website proved vital in clarifying the differences between the various versions. You can see them also on the Korean Stamp Portal.

SG number
Face value
50 h