One of the most important items in Korean postal history, two used pairs of 1884 Moon issue stamps, will be sold from the Meiso Mizuhara Exhibition Collection on January 13 in Hong Kong.
The stamps originate from Korea's first and rarest issue and will be sold with a $64,500-77,500 valuation as the most outstanding item in the collection.
The internationally renowned collection of Meiso Mizuhara began with his passion for the stamps and postal history of China. By prolifically exhibiting his collection - which was unrivalled in strength and breadth - he was instrumental in founding the Japanese Philatelic Society in 1946, which has since become one of the largest in the world.
Mizuhara was also responsible for popularising stamp collecting in Korea, after he gave himself the challenge of providing information on and studying the postal history of the changing nation.
The two horizontal pairs (two 5m rose-pink and two 10m light-blue) are in used condition and are affixed to a small piece of paper. Each has been cancelled by a well-centred strike of the Inchon single-circle date stamp and is in fine condition, aside from a short tear to one of the 10m stamps.
These are the only recorded multiples of the issue, with a total of just 20 stamps known to exist. They were the first stamps of the fledgling Korean Post Office, but were on sale for just a few days before it was burned down during a revolt.