Taiwan post issued stamps and a miniature sheet featuring treasured Asian artworks to celebrate the opening of the National Palace Museum, southern branch.
The post had selected four objects from its opening exhibitions to publicize the collection of treasured Asian artworks.
For the first time, an inscription area is employed to separate designs on the top and bottom portions of the stamps, which showcase the special characteristics of the artwork.
Treasured Asian artworks on Stamps
# Right-Spiraling Conch, Qianlong Reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty (NT$5)
Commonly known as Dingfengzhu, or “stable wind pearl”, this conch is said to possess the power to protect ships at sea.
It traveled to Taiwan once before with Qing troops to put down the Lin Shuangwen Rebellion and Chiayi’s Cai Qian Rebellion.
This white conch, a great Indian shank, is a Tibetan Buddhist artifact. The top edge of its mouthpiece is decorated with lotus petals and scroll grass patterns in repoussé.
Its silver underside is etched with praises of the conch in Tibetan and the phrase “made during Qianlong’s reign, Qing dynasty” in Mandarin, Manchurian, Mongolian and Tibetan.
The outer side of the wing is gilded with gold and inscribed with praise written in Tibetan.
# India Jade Bowl with Two Handles and Lid (NT$10)
Carved out of pea-green jade, the top of the lid and the exterior of this deep bowl are inlaid with white jade, green jade, red beads and gold wire in gorgeous flower and leaf motifs.
The knob of the lid is carved to resemble a flower bud. After receiving it as tribute, Emperor Qianlong favored it and ordered jade artisans to carve the four-character Qianlong yuyong (“for Emperor Qianlong’s use”) mark and zisun yongbao (“treasured by offspring forever”) mark on the bottom of the bowl and under the lid respectively.
# Good Fortune, Wealth, and Long Life ? Three Deities, Imperially Commissioned and Inscribed ke-si Scroll, Qing dynasty; Hanging Scroll (NT$12)
The scroll is made of ke-si tapestry, with some details elaborated with painting.
The top part of the scroll features an ode to the Three Deities by Emperor Qianlong in black silk.
The theme features the Three Deities (the three immortals associated with happiness, prosperity and longevity), carrying either a child, a ruyi scepter, a reishi mushroom, or a peach of longevity.
They are surrounded by children carrying such auspicious objects as a vase with peony flowers, a ruyi, and weapons.
# The sheet includes two NT$25 stamps.
These stamps feature the top and bottom boards of the eighth case of the Tibetan Kangyur.
The Qing Emperor Kangxi was instructed by his grandmother, the Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, to commission this Tibetan Kangyur.
All the folios were transcribed with gold ink and stored separately in 108 cases with gemmed and finely painted boards.
Each board was protected by five layers of gold brocades in different colors. When flipping up the brocaded screens of the top board, one may see there are two deities were painted on each side next to the scripts in both Sanskrit and Tibetan read, “Salutation to the Buddha, Salutation to the Dharma, Salutation to the Sangha, and Salutation to the Three Jewels.”
Beneath the screens of the bottom board, there were five finely painted different deities.
Title: Treasured Asian artworks at National Palace Museum
Date of Issue: 10 December 2015
Denominations: NT$5, NT$10, NT$12, NT$25 x 22
Source: Taiwan Post