Date of Issue: 21 August 2014
Width: 28.00 mm (stamps); 100.00mm (SS)
Height: 45.00 mm (stamps); 40.00mm (SS)
Perforations: 13.50 by 13.25
Stamp Issuing Authority: Hongkong Post
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France
Cantonese opera, as a traditional form of performing art, has a large following in Hong Kong. The “Cantonese Opera Costumes” stamps featured seven distinctive costume types in beautiful embroidery.
Cantonese Opera is the indigenous performing art form of Guangdong region. Dating back to some four centuries ago, the genre has a unique style built upon narration and Cantonese folk music and singing. Cantonese opera costumes are mostly embroidered and classified by the roles, gender and scenes. This exquisite stamp issue presents seven costumes including the Great Han Costume, Gown with Sloping Collar, Dress for Young Ladies, Military Uniform for Soldiers, Python Ceremonial Robe, Gown with a Vertical Collar and Grand Armor in meticulous details.
The stamp sheetlet features a grand armour. Dressed in the grand armour, actors impersonating the marshals of the Six Kingdoms in the Joint Investiture project a heroic, gallant and formidable demeanour.
1.70 Hong Kong Dollars - Great Han Costume
2.20 Hong Kong Dollars - Gown with a Slopping Collar
2.90 Hong Kong Dollars - Dress for Young Ladies
3.10 Hong Kong Dollars - Military Uniform for Soldiers
3.70 Hong Kong Dollars - Python Ceremonial Robe
5.00 Hong Kong Dollars - Gown with a Vertical Collar
A set of special stamps on the theme “Cantonese Opera Costumes” will be released for sale with associated philatelic products on 21 August 2014 (Thursday).
Cantonese opera is a highly-valued traditional performing art in Hong Kong. With a live chamber orchestra and special theatrical costumes, Cantonese opera is an art form involving many skills such as singing, acting, narration and martial arts. Cantonese opera costumes come in a wide variety and correspond to the identity and social status of different roles. Hongkong Post issues a set of special stamps on “Cantonese Opera Costumes” featuring seven distinctive costumes on 21 August 2014.
The $1.70 stamp portrays a great Han costume. Embroidered with phoenix and floral designs, the costume is mostly worn by artists impersonating queens, princesses or imperial concubines. A female great Han costume features a top with draping sleeves and a large decorative shoulder cape, a long double layer pleated dress, a tight waist, a front flap and a back flap.
The $2.20 stamp shows a gown with a sloping collar. The gown is a common Cantonese opera costume worn mostly by artists playing young aristocrats and noblemen. Decorated with floral patterns, it is characterised by a sloping collar, wide sleeves covered by flowing sleeves and a straight body with two side slits.
The $2.90 stamp depicts a dress for young ladies. The dress is the daily wear for the role of unmarried maidens. It is featured by a top with wide sleeves covered with flowing sleeves, a tight waist, and a long dress embroidered with flower motifs. A decorative shoulder cape and a front or back flap can be added to the costume to reflect the character’s identity or status.
The $3.10 stamp delineates a military uniform for soldiers. The uniform, emblazoned with floral and cloud motifs, features a top with a round collar, loose sleeves with cuffs, an outer vest and a pair of harem trousers. Artists portraying military officers usually wear this costume.
The $3.70 stamp displays a python ceremonial robe (mang). The robe, a form of regalia worn by actors playing emperors, generals and ministers, is decorated with a circular dragon, a single dragon and cloud motifs. A men’s mang is a long robe with a round collar, wide sleeves covered with flowing sleeves, and a jade belt around the waist.
The $5 stamp features a gown with a vertical collar (pei). This gown with floral embroidery is the casual wear worn by patricians. A women’s pei is a long knee-length robe with symmetrical fronts, wide sleeves covered with flowing sleeves, two side slits and a long dress.
The $10 stamp sheetlet features a grand armour. Dressed in the grand armour, actors impersonating the marshals of the Six Kingdoms in The Joint Investiture project a heroic, gallant and formidable demeanour. As the costume for military officers, grand armour emblazoned with a scale pattern is decorated with triangular pennants on the back. Grand armour for men features a round collar, narrow sleeves and a stiff protruding protective front covering in the centre.