Ai Li-Shan



The 10c Chi Kan Tower (located in Tainan) revenue was first printed in March 1956, (per Bendig and Wu).  The basic design was used for very long period of time, over 20 years.  During this period of time, there was of course many printings with an undetermined number of plates.  The plates were of 100 subjects (10 x 10), with no plate numbers.  There is of course the normal sheet number hand stamped in black.  This may occur anyplace on the margin, however it is more often than not on the top margin.


The first issue was roulette perforation, which caused difficulty in separating the stamps. See figure 1 of a strip used on document dated November 3, 1958.  Consequently, it was privately (sewing machine perforations) perforated. See figure 2 of a block with the roulette and sewing machine perforations.  It might be worth noting that sewing machine perforations is a matter of  punching a hole, not removing the chaff.  This of course results in a rough perforation when the stamps are separated. 




                                                                      Figure 1





                                                                                    Figure 2


The first printing was on plain paper.  The plate layout consisted of an interesting variety (perhaps a secret mark) which is found on all stamps of the 1st and 6th vertical rows, or a total of 20 copies per sheet.   See figure 3 of the line that extends from roof top to the right peak.  (left stamp in the pair).  Figure 4 is a close up of this variety.



                                                                          Figure 3



                                                                        Figure 4


Here is the summary of the examples found for the first issue (also probably some additional printing before a change in the die).  This assumption is based on the rather worn die.


                        March 1959 Imperforate plain paper


a.       Roulette and perforated by sewing machine

b.      Roulette and perforated  12.5

c.       Roulette and perforated 12.5 x 13


Sometimes the roulette perforations are rather faint.  Please be aware when buying any imperforated pairs, examine them very carefully.  To my knowledge there has not been found imperforate between pairs.


Please refer to figure 5, you will note a vertical line between the Chinese character “Tai” and “Sin”.  This is found on the first printing as well as all others to some degree.  Mr. Wu mentioned a printing without the vertical line, this will be discussed later.  Please bear in mind that especially on the first printing, due to plate wear, sometimes the vertical line is reduced to a dot.



                                                                                       Figure 5


The second issue is reported by Mr. Wu to have been issued in 1959.  This is also on plain paper.  However, an entirely new printing plate was prepared.  Mr. Wu stated that both issues were printed by the Chinese Printing and Engraving Works (in Sintien, a suburb of Taipei).  Why they changed the plates is unknown.  This was the only issue printed on this plate, then they went back to the original plates!


The stamps from the plate are easily identified with the letter “H” between the characters “Tai” and “Sin,

figure 6.




                                                                              Figure 6



The changes to plate is especially noticeable in the top row of characters,   the left characters all protrude above the line in all printings except the “H” plate.  Figure 7 and 8 reflect this difference.  ((also, the 1st and 6th vertical rows DO NOT line from the roof peak to the tip.  All the other printings have the line.





                                                     Figure 7 All printings except the “H” plate




                                                                  Figure 8 Only the “H” plate




                        Second printing Plain Paper, “H” between “Tai” and “Sin”

                                                The earliest example on document was August 1962.

                                                Perforation 12.5



After the issue of the “H” stamp, the printer reverted back to the original plates (with the line mark in the vertical columns)  Granite paper came into use as early as September 1965.  This probably should not  be considered separate since there no doubt was a number of printings.  However, for simplicity, I will group all of them as follows:


                        Third printings all on Granite paper, vertical line between “Tai and “Sin”, however in many cases it may be faint.  The line on roof is found in on these issues in the vertical rows 1 and 6.


                        1965 September? (probably earlier)  granite paper


a.       Perforation 11

b.      Perforation 12.5

c.       Perforation 12.5 x 13  


The last issue is rather interesting in that it is a very clear plate, no wear at all.  It is also found with the distinctive color of grey blue.  When we discuss the Kinmen overprints, the last overprint was found on this stamp.  Mr. Wu identifies this as the printing without the vertical line.


                        Early 1970s, grey blue, very clear design, granite paper.


                                    Perforation 12.5 x 13




This issue had a total of  four different overprints, restricting the usage to Kinmen and area.  The dates noted are those of Mr. Wu.  The few that I have on document do not conflict with his dating.  Since the overprints will not be clear against the background, suggest you go to the website.


Kinmen overprint 1  1956  Basic stamp roulette issue, plain paper.  (I have not seen any of the private perforations on this issue.  The overprint layouts are as follows:



X   X   X                      X   X   X   X                      X         X                      X                 X

X   X   X                      X              X                   X    X  X    X                  X    X    X    X

  Roulett                       2nd Issue “H”                       3rd Issue                  4th Issue No Vert Line

    1956                              1964                                1967                                1972

              Figure 9                        Figure 10                       Figure 11                          Figure 12











                                                                              Figure 9





                                                                        Figure 10




                                                                        Figure 11




                                                                         Figure 12




Bendig, A. W.  Revenue Stamps of Taiwan, 2nd edition,   Published by author 1961


Wu, Shgeau Horng, Revenue Stamps of Taiwan Area, Republic of China. Published by the author, 1st edition 1981.  Highly recommended.