The culture of Chinese people’s traditional costume is unique of its kind in the world. The system of court dresses for both civil and military officials was devised during Hongwu’s reign of Ming Dynasty in order to indicate the rank and status. Emperor Shunjhih of Cing Dynasty even mandated to embellish the official dresses with Mandarin squares (bu zih) for the first rank to the ninth rank officials. Bu zi on the court dresses of Ming and Cing dynasties were very particular about both workmanship and materials of embroidery and were endowed with artistic significance. To give our fellow citizens a better understanding about the culture of court dresses, Chunghwa Post is specially issuing a set of four postage stamps entitled “Traditional Chinese Costume Postage Stamps – Cing Civil Official Bu Fu” featuring court dresses (bu fu) for the first rank to the fourth rank officials of Cing civil officials.
Bu fu (or Bu zih), with different designs of Mandarin squares embroidered at the front and the back of the court dresses for the civil and military officials of Ming and Cing dynasties, could mostly indicate status. The designs on Mandarin squares for civil officials’ court dresses of the Cing Dynasty were each formatted with a single flying bird raising its head toward the sun in the middle and with the emblems of 8 auspiciousness and 8 treasures as background. The birds for these designs were: a Manchurian crane for the first rank, a golden pheasant for the second rank, a peacock for the third rank, a wild goose for the fourth rank, a silver pheasant for the fifth rank, an egret for the sixth rank, a Mandarin duck for the seventh rank, a quail for the eighth rank and a paradise flycatcher for the ninth rank.
(1) First Day Cover in small size to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece. (2) Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece. (3) Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 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-valued 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$39.00 apiece. (7) Postage stamps pictorial to be sold at NT$180.00 apiece.
Chunghwa Post has specially commissioned Ms. Stony Cherng, the original designer of the issue, to handle the plan of “Traditional Chinese Costume Postage Stamps Pictorial – Cing Civil Official Bu Fu.” Each copy will consist of one set of 4 stamps and 4 color postal cards which can be drawn out. Chinese and English interpretations with relative photographs will be used to describe vividly and intellectually for the Cing Civil Official Bu Fu. The item is certainly suitable for both gifts and collectibles.
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