To welcome the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Monkey in 2016, Hongkong Post issued a special set of four stamps featuring monkey motifs on different artworks.
The special stamp issue is the fifth set in the fourth Lunar New Year special stamp series issued every year to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
As part of China’s history and culture, the twelve Chinese zodiac animals signify wishes and carry special meanings, and are frequently depicted in handicrafts.
Chinese New Year Celebration with artworks
# $1.70 ? Enjoying a long history, Chinese liuli (coloured glass) is synthetic crystal created through pate de verre, the process of lost-wax casting. The stamp shows a liuli artwork featuring a monkey embracing a full round pinkish-white peach on the background of a gold filigree peach formed by calamondin motifs. Calamondin, a symbol of good fortune, is a common festive plant for Lunar New Year in Hong Kong.
$2.90 – Originated in China, the use of silk has given birth to silk fabrics and brought about a boom in silk embroidery. The stamp depicts an elaborately embroidered, lifelike monkey on a background of gold ornamental openwork embellished with pomegranate motifs, denoting prosperity and great fortune.
$3.70 – Capturing the hearts of the Chinese for centuries, silverware appears in a variety of elegant shapes of exquisite craftsmanship. The stamp depicts a lifelike silver monkey that looks lovely and clever. The gold filigree peach in the background is adorned with fingered citron motifs. The “fingered citron”, by way of being a homonym for “good fortune” in Chinese, suggests luck and blessing.
$5 – Paper-cutting, with its emphasis on likeness, is a folk art which fuses tradition with creativity. By applying colours to a finished paper cut-out, one can combine the techniques of paper-cutting and painting to give the product a unique and realistic style. The stamp shows a cut-out of the painted face of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, as a mask in Beijing Opera. The richly coloured mask exhibits exceptionally fine paper-cutting skill. The gold peach filigree in the background is formed by bunches of grapes to symbolise fertility and happiness.
The stamp sheetlet features a hand-painted famille rose porcelain plaque with a monkey, peaches and peach blossoms to denote a fruitful and prosperous year ahead. In making famille rose porcelain, a picture is painted on the surface of fired white-glazed porcelain. The object is then fired for a second time to give the picture a softer, suppler and more refined look.
Hongkong Post also released a silk stamp sheetlet with the same design. Enduringly elegant, silk is used to complement the brightly-coloured famille rose plaque, adding grandeur to the clever monkey and ushering in a New Year full of joy and good fortune.
Title: Hong Kong welcomes the Chinese New Year with Various artworks stamps
Date of Issue: 16 January 2016
Country: Hong Kong
Denominations: HK$1.70, HK$2.90, HK$3.70, HK$5.0, HK$10.0, HK$50.0
Source: Hong Kong Stamps