ROK/South Korea

Proof & Presentation Sheets

Proof &Presentation Sheets

South Korea, is the most gift-giving society that I have had the privilege to live amongst. It was, therefore, no surprise to me when I learned of a postal-episode that occurred from 1946 through September 1, 1957.

A by-product of the stamp design phase, are practice printings -Proofs, of stamp designs that are close to completion. These are passed among the decision makers, seeking the final decision; go with this design, or, change this or that about the design, and then print some more Proofs.

As soon as the S. Koreans took over the Postal planning and operation, under the U.S. Military Government, they began to give gifts of the final Kyong Yang She-tuh/Proof Sheets of stamp designs, mostly to high-ranking individuals in the Interim Government. This practice continued through October 1, 1948.

At the dawning of the Republic of South Korea, the Bureau of Posts decided to jack-up the gift-giving practice, by producing a pseudo-Proof Sheet with a printed topic description at the bottom. This new sheet became to be known as a Jung-jong She-tuh/Presentation Sheet, and records indicate that 300 each, of the first 21 sheets were produced: July 1, 1948 - November 20, 1950.

If one compares the issue dates of the 18th Presentation Sheet-1950.05.30, "The 2nd General Election", with history; one can plot the give-and-take of the Korean War, which began during the early-morning hours on June 25, 1950, with North Korea's attack. The next three stamp issues, and therefore the next three Presentation Sheets (the 19th, 20th, and 21st), didn't occurr until 1950.11.20, after the U.N. forces' landing at Inchon, and the subsequent, "retaking of Seoul".

During the period 1951.09.25 - 1952.02.10, the Bureau of Posts issued 44 stamps (22 Green background, and 22 Blue background) identifying the 21 participating countries in the U.N. Forces, which were then involved in the Korean War; (Both green-background and blue-background stamps were printed for Italy, 1951.10.25; with a crown on the Italian Flag. On 1952.02.10, a second set of stamps were printed for Italy, without the Royal symbol of the Crown). At the same time 22 Presentation Sheets, which included both the green & blue background images were printed, in the quantity of 2,000 each. These Presentation Sheets have become the most highly sought-after, over the years.

Presentation Sheets No. 49-107, were printed in a consistant manner during the period 1952.02.22-1956.12.04. It was the dawning of 1957, that the recipiants of the previous Presentation Sheets should have noticed a huge design change. Presentation Sheet #'s 108 & 109 (1957.01.31 & 1957.02.27) were printed in miniature-sheet format, and didn't contain the former topic description; but; announced the topic in English. The final 11 Presentation Sheets, were produced in the miniature-sheet format.

On November 7, 1957, the Ministry of Communications issued the first Soe-hyung She-tuh/S-S through normal postal channels. It contained images of stamp#'s 242 & 243; "Commerce Treaty with the USA"; and was issued in the amount of 2,000.

Soe-hyung, literally translated means "smaller version of", or "miniature of", and has no relationship to "souvenir" or "rememberance". It is not known to me, who began the "Souvenir Sheet" class of philatelic item, that has ensued for the past fifty years.

Proof &Presentation Sheets

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