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Repatriated Cultural Heritage
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information on Korean stamp
Date of Issue : 2024.01.30
Types : 4
Denomination : 430 won
Design :
Stamp No. : 3725
Printing Process
& Colors
: Offset / Four Colors, Pantone Silver
Size of Stamp : 30 × 40
: 4 × 4
Image Area : 28.5 × 40
Paper : White unwatermarked
Perforation : 12 × 12
Printer : null
Designer : Shin, Jae-yong
Quantity : 608,000
As of 2023, it is estimated that approximately 230,000 pieces of Korea’s cultural heritage are scattered throughout the world. The Cultural Heritage Administration, with the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation, not only conducts surveys on pieces of Korea’s cultural heritage located abroad to promote public awareness, but also strives to repatriate rare and significant pieces of Korea’s cultural heritage. Since 2022, the following items of Korea’s cultural heritage have been successfully repatriated using funds raised by the national lottery. Iryeongwongu, a spherical sundial measuring 23.8 cm in height and 11.2 cm in diameter, is a portable horological device unlike conventional sundials, which indicates the time of day no matter where you are with a few simple adjustments of various mechanisms. This piece of Korea’s cultural heritage, a testament to scientific and technological advancements, bears inscriptions on the hemisphere, indicating that it was created by an individual named Sang Jik-hyeon in July 1890. Yeolseongeopil is a book compiled to honor the achievements of past kings by collecting their handwritings. Repatriated in 2022, this piece of Korea’s cultural heritage is a copy published in 1722 that was presented to a senior high-ranking official of the Jijungchubusa by the name of Hwang Heum (1639–1730) in 1723. This copy is highly valuable as its later edition in 1725 includes the handwritings of King Taejo and King Gyeongjong added to the handwritings of King Sukjong, making it a significant archival heritage. Baekja Dongchae Tonghyeongbyeong is a white porcelain cylinder-shaped bottle in copper underglaze that dates back to the late Joseon dynasty. As copper is difficult to work with for underglazing, this piece of Korea’s cultural heritage is considered to be especially exquisite and treasurable. The label on the bottom of the bottle is noteworthy as it indicates its belonging to the personal collection of British missionary Stanley Smith, who acquired this piece in 1914 during his activities as a missionary in Korea from 1912 to 1917. This piece of cultural heritage not only provides insight into the collection and distribution routes of late Joseon-era cultural heritage, but also serves as a rare example of late Joseon-era white porcelain with copper underglaze. Najeon Gukhwa Neongkulmunui Sangja is a box with inlaid mother-of-pearl chrysanthemum and scroll design that measures 33 cm in width, 18.5 cm in length, and 19.4 cm in height. It features flower and leaf motif patterns using approximately 45,000 individually attached mother-of-pearl pieces. It also epitomizes Goryeo-era lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl, characterized by decorative methods and golden metal wires to represent vine stems. This piece of Korea’s cultural heritage is notable for preserving the original rainbow colors and luster of lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl as well as the excellent condition of decorative materials, such as metal wires, making it a remarkable piece for understanding Goryeo-era lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl. We hope that this commemorative stamp series depicting four precious pieces of Korea’s cultural heritage repatriated through multifaceted efforts serves as an opportunity to appreciate the value of Korea’s cultural heritage.