Ai Li-Shan


In 1997 the philatelic department in Taipei was looking for ways to increase interest in philately and to prepare items to be given out fee at stamp shows etc.  It was decided to issue a series of high quality “Proof” souvenir sheets for this purpose. All were printed by the intaglio process and are of superb quality. The first one was issued in April of 1998, and shows the National Theater (this set was issued on October 30, 1990).   The initial distribution of the sheet was with a letter from Tsai Min-Ting, the Director of the Philatelic Department.  The letter had two slits at the corner of the square in the lower left corner that had the souvenir sheet inserted.


Issues have continued at the rate of one per year.  It is easy to determine the sequence, the first one was “A”, the second “B” and continues to “J” which was the last sheet that will be issued.  Please see the illustrations for each sheet.


The second issue “B” was also sent with a similar letter from Mr. Tsai.  However, starting with “C” and continuing through “J” a special folder was prepared, one in English and one in Chinese.  If at all possible the folder should be collected with the sheets.  However, most of the sheets were given away at exhibitions and philatelic events without the folders.  I have found it rather difficult already to find the older folders, apparently not many of them were retained.  With sheet “D”, the illustration of the sheet was printed in the space to mount the sheet.  An illustration is provided for the “I” airmail booklet.


The quantity of the proof sheets were 600,000 for A - F  sheets issued.    Sheet “G” had a quantity of 500,000 and H to J were 300,000 each..


The quantity issued is certainly sufficient to assure they will be around for a long time and sold at a most reasonable price.  Most of them without the folder is in the 1-3 US$ range.  I consider the folder to add about the same value to the sheet.


It has been noted that some of the sheets have had the stamps cut out in pairs and being sold as “Specimen” proof pairs.  One price given was US$20.  Please beware of such offerings, we can expect more to appear in the years ahead. 


Sheet                Issue Date        Color Top Inscription


A                     April 1998                    Green

B                      March 1999                 Red

C                     March 2000                 Blue

D                     September 2001           Purple

E                      October 2002              Red

F                      June 2003                    Magenta

G                     April 2004                    Purple

H                     October 2005              Brown

I                       November 2006           Green

J                       September 2007           Red


It should be noted that the “stamps” are all printed in black, with the two horizontal bars obliterating the value.  These are fun to collect, but try to get the folders.