Extremely rare items brought to world stamp expo in Taipei. The highlights of the long-awaited expo

Extremely rare items brought to world stamp expo in Taipei. The highlights of the long-awaited expo
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StampNews.com is glad to inform our readers that extremely rare and valuable philatelic items will be showcased by India at the PHILATAIPEI 2016 World Stamp Championship Exhibition (21.10-26.10) in Taipei, where exhibitors from 80 countries and areas are displaying precious philatelic collections.

Among them are two sets of “politically incorrect” stamps are on display at the World Stamp Championship Exhibition in Taipei, a testament to the power struggles waged in the early years of the Republic of China (ROC).

One of them is a rare sheet of 48 stamps with a face value of 2 yuan, on which the words “provisional neutrality” are printed.

When Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) established the Provisional Government of the ROC in Nanjing, China, in 1912, he asked postal authorities to overprint Qing Dynasty stamps with the Chinese characters for “Republic of China” to represent the change of regime, China Stamp Society Taiwan Chapter president Ho Huei-ching (何輝慶) said yesterday.

However, a Frenchman named Theophile Piry — who was inspector general of the Directorate of General Posts in Beijing, which was still under the rule of the Qing Dynasty at the time — did not want to take sides, so he had the words “provisional neutrality” printed on the stamps instead, Ho said.

Needless to say, Sun and Yuan Shikai (袁世凱), the first formal president of the ROC, were furious and immediately recalled the stamps, which were issued for only a few days, said Ho, a former National Taiwan University professor.

After the stamps were recalled, Piry reissued them, adding the words “Republic of China,” but retaining the words “provisional neutrality.”

Not only did the reissued stamps fail to appease Sun’s government, “they now contained an even more egregious political error, as they appeared to claim the ROC government was doomed to exist only temporarily,” Ho said.

Sun ordered that the stamps be recalled and the words “provisional neutrality” removed.

One sheet of the reissued stamps, with a face value of 5 yuan, is on display at the exhibition, which runs until today at the Taipei World Trade Center’s Exhibition Hall 1.

Given their short run, the two sets of stamps are now extremely rare and valued at between NT$30 million and NT$50 million (US$948,887 and US$1.6 million), Ho said.

In 1943, while visiting the US to address the US House of Representatives, Soong Mayling (宋美齡), wife of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), presented a collection of these “politically incorrect” stamps as a gift to then-US president Franklin Roosevelt, who was an avid stamp collector, Ho said.

“Of course, President Roosevelt did not have those stamps in his collection and was thrilled to get them,” he said.

Sourced by taipeitimes.com

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