Ai Li-shan


Most collectors of China have acquired some chops along the way of collecting.  In the 1920s and 1930s anti-bandit or currency control chops were numerous.  The use of perforated initials (Perfins)  were readily used during the 1920s until the early 1940s.  Sinkiang also of course had the official perfins.   To my knowledge, none of these items were used after 1945.


Probably to prevent stamp theft, some chops were used in Taiwan during the 1950s and up to the middle of the 1960s.  It consisted of a chop on the back of stamps, so far only on the definitive issues.  The latest I have seen is the Chu Kwang Tower issues of the early 1960s.


Since the chops are on the back of the stamps, it is certainly not identifiable  on cover.  I suppose it could be used to prevent theft of stamps, but once applied to a cover no one would know. 


The earliest one that I have seen is on Scott 1031 the surcharge on Sun Yat-Sen issue of 1950.  The illustration is dated July 6, 1950 and is on a pair of stamps.  The chop reads “Taiwan Health Department”.  Unfortunately, this is the only example I have at the present.  Check the back of your used stamps during this period, you might just be lucky and find the complete chop on a block of four.


front of the stamps Health Department Chop


Taiwan Health Department Chop on the reverse