1 Nisan 2011 Cuma

Priceless Stamps in Chinese History

(An exhibition of valuable stamps was recently held in Nanjing. Let's take a look at some of these priceless stamps and the history behind them. )
The most precious stamp displayed at the exhibition was one issued in 1943, during China’s War of Resistance Against Japan. It’s a combination of four stamps, each containing the Chinese character “Gao”.

Stamps like this one were used by journalists and correspondents when they sent their articles to the Xinhua News Agency. Years of war had left China with a serious lack of resources, so these stamps were made with recycled paper.

This particular stamp was very coarsely made, but it’s the only remaining one to have been found in China, and no doubt, the most precious.

Owner of the Stamp is Shen Cenghua. In 1943, he was working in one of the liberated areas of China, where he had befriended a young local farmer. Before he moved away, the farmer gave him the stamp as a gift. As an enthusiastic stamp collector, Shen kept it in excellent condition. In 1980, he published an article in a stamp magazine about the old stamp, and through the article, finally managed to make contact again with his old friend.

Another very valuable stamp displayed at the exhibition is a blue stamp issued in 1953 to celebrate the Army Day. The stamp is a picture of the PLA badge. It was jointly issued by the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. Each set had three colors: yellow, purple and blue. At an auction a few years ago, one of these blue stamps fetched 10 thousand U.S. dollars.

Another attraction at the exhibition was China’s first set of memorial stamps, which were issued in the late Qing Dynasty to celebrate the 60th birthday of CiXi, the notorious empress-dowager. This set of stamps was designed in 1894, by R. A. De Villard, a German who was then working in the Shanghai customs. The pictures on the stamps include a bat, the Eight Diagrams, a peony rose, and a sailboat, all are symbols of a long and healthy life.

Villard designed a good many stamps for the Qing Dynasty. He also published a book, which contains very detailed information about the stamps issued in his time, including photos of the stamps, their designers and their value.

Some people say stamps are good records of history. China’s rich history has made its stamps uniquely attractive to collectors around the globe.