Following the issues of Red Chamber Dream issues released in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Chunghwa Post is following up with another set of four stamps on themes taken from the book.” Descriptions of the designs follow:
1. Xiangyun Sleeps in Inebriation (NT$5): One day, Shi Xiangyun joins the girls for a birthday celebration for Baoyu and Ping’er and makes merriment. The revelers split up after the party, but Xiangyun is nowhere to be seen. When she is at last found, she is slumping across a stone bench in an inebriated sleep, with her peony petals wrapped in her silk handkerchief as a pillow. Petals cover her body, face, and clothes in a fragrant mess. Her fan is also half-buried in the flowers as honeybees and butterflies buzz about her, a picture of mirth and joviality.
2. Daiyu Burns Manuscripts (NT$5): Daiyu becomes bedridden when she learns of the upcoming nuptials of Baoyu and Baochai and she is cared for only by her two loyal maids, Zijuan and Xueyan. In despair, Daiyu decides to burn all her literary works and a handkerchief inscribed with a poem by Baoyu. This offering has been an anchorage of Daiyu’s life and love, and in burning it, she puts closure on her lovesickness. Gulping for her last breath, Daiyu instructs Xueyan to start a fire and burn all the manuscripts and handkerchief.
3. Jia Mansion Ransacked (NT$10): Jia Zheng returns home from his official assignment and while entertaining his guests, the Prince of Xiping appears with the Emperor’s decree, with Imperial Guard Zhao in tow to search the property. Thanks to covert protection from the Prince of Xiping, and the timely arrival of the Prince of Beijing to proclaim a decree, only Jia She’s property is searched. Shortly after, Jia She is granted leniency, and Jia family’s property is returned to Jia Zheng. The Jia Mansion continues to stay in the Emperor’s good graces. Nonetheless, the raid is symbolic of the family’s declining fortunes.
4. Baoyu Becomes a Monk (NT$25): Jia Zheng transports the coffin of Grandmother Jia back to Jinling for a proper burial. On his way back to the capital, Jia Zheng pens a letter home on the boat, and as he looks up, he sees a figure with a shaved head and bare feet, draped in a red felt cape, about to make a bow. Jia Zheng hurries out of the boat, and identifies the figure as Baoyu. A Buddhist monk and a Taoist priest sandwich Baoyu and the trio leaves by shore.
For the continuation of philately boom, “Red Chamber Dream” Postage Stamp Pictorial (II) with two styles will be released, which contains one set each and two 20-piece sheetlets of running proofs of the 2016 and 2017 issues, of which the denomination on the rightmost line of 2017 issue will be kept intact so as to add to collecting interest. A deluxe edition with the pictorial packed in a wooden box complemented with one set of six pieces of “Twelve Beauties of Jinling in Red Chamber Dream Postal Cards (II).” To encourage customers to collect both stamp pictorial I and II together, Chunghwa Post is specially issuing a collection of the two pictorials and an additional outer cardboard cover for those who purchase the two pictorials separately.
(1) First Day Cover: NT$2 apiece
(2) Folder (with or without mount): NT$5 apiece
(3) Loose-leaf album page: NT$8 apiece
(4) Pre-cancelled FDC affixed with one NT$5-denominated stamp: NT$7 apiece
(5) Pre-cancelled FDC affixed with a complete set of stamps: NT$47 apiece
(6) Stamp pictorial (II): NT$500 a copy
Stamp pictorial (II) in wooden box: NT$900 a set
Stamp pictorial collection (both I and II): NT$1000 a set
Cardboard cover only for the collection: NT$50 apiece
To purchase the relative philatelic products, please go directly to the post office branches, or order on line at https://stamp.post.gov.tw.