To enhance our fellow countrymen's undersanding of our classical literature and to introduce the ancient and profound culture of China to the people of other nations, the Directorate is issuing a set of postage stamps from the novel "Red Chamber Dream". Following a "Journey to the West" set, it is the second in a series of sets focusing on Chinese classical novels. The stamps show characters engaged in four scenes from the novel: "Pao-yu visits the garden","Tai- yu buries flowers," "Pao chai plays with butterflies," and "Hsiang-yun in a drunken sleep." The former two will have face values of NT$3.50 and the latter will have two values of NT$5.00 and NT$20.00 respectively. The stamps were planned by Mr. Wu Hung-yi. a professor of Chinese at National Taiwan University.
"Red Chamber Dream" is the greatest and most cherished love story in Chinese history. The author, Tsao Hsueh-chin, magnificently brought to life Chia Pao-yu, Lin Tai-yu, Hsueh Pao-chai and Shih Hsiang-yun, the main character of the book. Each has a very different personality. Handsome, clever and refined, Chia Pao-yu is busy doing nothing in Takuanyuan, his family's estate, flitting among his many sisters, cousins and maids. In his lifestyle there is something that seems to foretell the changing fortunes that will befall the book's main characters and the House of Chia. Lin Tai-yu is wayward and yet pure and innocent; Hsueh Pao-chai, on the other hand, is sensible and worldlywise. By seeing one of them burying flowers and the other playing with butterflies, one can see how different their destinies and personalities are. Shih Hsiang-yun is straightforward and good-natured. The stamp "Hsiang-yun in a drunken sleep" shows how broadminded and outdoing she is, qualities rarely seen in traditional Chinese women.
(1)First Day Cover to be sold at NT$ 2.00 apiece.
(2)Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$6 .00 apiece.
(3)Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$8 .00 apiece.
(4)Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$8 .00 apiece.
(5)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low value stamp to be sold at NT$5 .50 apiece.
(6)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$34 .00 apiece.