To ride on the successful collaboration with the Hong Kong Museum of Art (HKMoA) for the "Hong Kong Museums Collection" series last year, Hongkong Post will launch a special stamp issue and associated philatelic products with the theme "Hong Kong Museums Collection - 19th Century China Trade Paintings" on May 25 (Tuesday) with the HKMoA. This issue includes a set of six stamps and two stamp sheetlets, showcasing people's lives and customs as well as the landscapes of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, where merchants converged in the 19th century, enabling stamp lovers to have a glimpse of these scenes in miniature.
The genre of China trade paintings emerged in Canton (present day Guangzhou), a city where foreign merchants converged in the 18th and 19th centuries. After noticing a demand for these paintings in the West, some painters began to set up studios and workshops creating paintings using Western art techniques. These paintings featured the local customs, lifestyle, landscapes and scenery, which attracted admirers in Europe and America. Large amounts of trade paintings were exported due to their huge popularity. In addition, Canton and Hong Kong were popular shopping paradises for travellers. All sorts of goods were sold on the shopping streets ranging from handicrafts and retail tea leaves to local products and alcohol. Trade paintings captured the thriving and diverse scenes of the economic market and consumer activities at the time, while the paintings themselves were also purchased frequently by visitors.
The first day cover features the art piece "Porcelain shop, Canton" on the $3.40 stamp. The porcelain shop is intricately illustrated against a pale green background, giving a sense of freshness and elegance. The two collector covers, which are not for sale separately but included exclusively in the collector pack, feature the art pieces "Queen's Road looking east from Canton Bazaar" and "Production of ceramics: packing in barrels" on the $2 and $3.70 stamps respectively. The collector covers adopt a plain and simple design, spicing up a strong historical ambience that also helps to set off the stamp contents in bold colours, making them precious collectables not to be missed.
The most anticipated item is the collector pack, which comes with treasured contents. It not only includes a set of six stamps, a $10 stamp sheetlet, a $20 stamp sheetlet, a serviced first day cover and two serviced collector covers, but also shows the original paintings in their entirety. This allows stamp lovers to appreciate the delicacy of these masterpieces.
This set of special stamps and associated philatelic products, including a first day cover, mint stamps, stamp sheetlets, a presentation pack, a mini-pane, a collector pack, postage paid picture cards and serviced first day covers, will be on sale at post offices from May 25.
Information about this special stamp issue and associated philatelic products are available on the Hongkong Post Stamps website (stamps.hongkongpost.hk) and the Hongkong Post mobile app.