Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Two FDC from China

I’m back from a few days of holidays in Reims, and since then I have been so busy that I could not find time for stamps and my blog. I hope that it will improve in the coming days.
Since now several days I want to share with you two nice FDC that I received from Charles, one of my philatelic friends in China. Here they are.

These covers are the official first day covers of a set of six stamps issued on the 22nd of March 2009 and picturing selected masterpieces of Shi Tao, a Chinese artist.
Shi Tao, born Zhu Ruoji (1642-1707) was a member of the Ming royal house. At the fall of Ming dynasty (in 1644) he escaped his fate and became a Buddhist monk in 1651. He later converted to Daoism in 1693.
Shi Tao is one of the most famous individualist painters of the early Qing dynasty. In some ways his art was revolutionary, transgressing the rigidly codified techniques and styles that predominated at this period.
The first FDC is franked with the three fist stamps of the set, picturing, from left to right:
- Chaohu Lake
(According to legend, the site of the lake was once a prosperous city named Chaozhou. Because of sins of its people, it was cursed by the heavens and ordered to be destroyed by flood. The task was to be carried out by a white dragon that was only able to find one good person, an old lady named Jiao. After the destruction of city, only the old lady and her daughter were saved. They became the two islands emerging from the lake)
- Enjoying the sound of a fountain
- Double Chrysanthemums       

The second FCD is franked with the three other stamps:
- Plum blossoms and bamboos
- Horse and Its Owner
- Lotuses             

A rather nice set of stamps, isn’t it ? I’m not a big specialist of Chinese painting but I like them.

To complement the franking of the letters, Charles used the stamp issued on the 5th of January to celebrate the year of the rooster (on the second FDC) and also stamps belonging to a set of six stamps issued on the 5th of November 2007 to celebrate Chinese calligraphy. Here is a picture of the full set, taken from the website of Chinese postal administration (hence the bar across the face value to make transform them into specimen).

I’m unfortunately not able to translate the text written on those stamps. I could not even find details about their origin. I find those stamps rather impressive with this black background!

There is one thing I could not identify on the covers: the red marking (S.A.L). What does it mea? Does anybody have any idea?


lefung said...

S.A.L if I translate directly then it will be Sea Air Letter, means this letter sent via Airplane and ship as well..not sure is that correct too

Adrian said...

I think the official translation is Sea+Air+Land mail, which apparently is cheaper than airmail and faster than surface mail. Have a look here:

chickenstampy said...

Always nice to visit your great blog.
Do I see a chickenstamp on the second FDC?

Singapore Stamps said...

Hi, I like your site. If you don't mind, we can exchange links?

T-M said...

SAL means "Surface Air Lifted", this mail is sent with air mail to the county of destination and there transported with surface mail to the receiver.