Saturday, August 22, 2009

Taiwan Artifacts FDCs

Taiwan FDCs
Name: Ancient Chinese Art Treasures (Issue of 2009)
Date of Issue: 20 July 2009
Number: Sp. 532

To spread understanding about the beauty of ancient Chinese artifacts, Chunghwa Post is issuing a set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet on ancient articrafts from the National Palace Museum collection.

A Pair of Gold Gourds, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century (清 十八世紀 子孫萬代金葫蘆一對)
The surface of these gold bottle gourds features a lacy design of intertwining flowers, leaves and tiny bottle gourds. There are three leaves sticking out from the stem of each gourd. These gourds have two detachable parts. The upper parts fit over lips at the tops of the lower sections. In Chinese, larger fruits produced by vines are called gua, whereas smaller fruits of vines are called die. Because the bottle gourd continually fruits and flowers, it is associated with the Chinese expression "mian mian gua die," which is used to describe a family with abundant descendants.

NT$5.00: Gold Bowl Used Personally by the Qianlong Emperor, Qing Dynasty (1736-1795) (清 乾隆御用金碗)
The interior of the bowl is smooth and unadorned, while the exterior is densely embellished with small millet-shaped beads set into a pattern of pomegranates, flowers, and leaves. The result is dazzling and exuberant. On the bottom, inside the ring foot, there are four traced-standard-script characters carved in intaglio: Qianlong Yuyong ("for the personal use of Emperor Qianlong").

NT$12.00: Mughal Empire Large Round Urn with Inlay Ca. 17th-18th Century (蒙兀兒帝國 十七至十八世紀 帶鑲嵌圓腹大罐)
The body of the urn is covered with hexagonal plates of bluish white jade. Metal wire inlay may have been present originally between the jade pieces although no trace remains. The jade pieces are inlaid with rubies, emeralds, topazes and brown gemstones set in gold wire.

NT$12.00: Gilt Ewer with Cloud and Dragon Decor, Qing Dynasty (清 鍍金雲龍紋萬壽無疆蒲蘆式壺)
This pot, in the shape of a bottle gourd, has a long spout and a long handle, to which the lid is chained. Four seal script characters—wan shou wu jiang ("may you live forever")—and dragons are carved in relief on the belly of the gourd. The Chinese words for bottle gourd (hulu) sound similar to the words for good fortune and prosperity (fu lu). Consequently, a gourd bearing the four characters described above conveys the idea of "good fortune, prosperity and longevity" ("fu lu shou"), three words that are commonly regarded as life's greatest blessings in Chinese culture. This was an imperial wine vessel used by Qing Dynasty emperors.

Comment: Because these articrafts are collected in National Palace Museum (故宮博物院), so this pair of FDCs were sent from the "Shihlin National Palace Museum Post Office (士林故宮郵局)".Comment: This pair of FDCs were sent from the Taipei Temporary Post Office (臺北臨時郵局) with beautiful special cancellation.

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