On January 19th, 1968 Sir Alfred Chester Beatty died at the age of 92 in Monaco. This American-born, British knight of the realm became the first private citizen in Ireland to be given a state funeral.
The honour was bestowed on Beatty as a result of the collection he bequeathed to the nation.
It includes the first surviving copies of all four Gospels and the earliest Koran by one of Islam’s greatest calligraphers. It is among the most significant collections of its kind in the world.
His collections of early papyrus for the bibles has been invaluable in determining how the New Testament, as we understand today, came together.
As a result, Chester Beatty set up his library initially in Shrewsbury road before it was relocated to the grounds of Dublin Castle in 2000.
The occasion of the 50th anniversary of Beatty’s death was marked with the unveiling of four new stamps featuring highlights from different aspects of the collection.
The first representing the East Asian collection was a privately commissioned Japanese woodblock print from the 19th century. The second was a portrait of Shah Jahan, ruler of India from 1627 to 1658, who is best known for having built the The Taj Mahal It is heading to the Getty Museum in New York on loan.
The third from their Western collection was a masterpiece of miniaturization. Simon Bening’s The Birth of the Virgin from 1530 was inserted into a prayer book commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The fourth stamp is a picture of Chester Beatty aged in his mid-thirties taken in 1911.
The collection of stamps was launched by Josepha Madigan Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. .
The minister said the “beautifully designed” commemorative stamps were a fitting tribute to Chester Beatty and also to the fact that his passion for collecting began when he started collecting stamps as a child.
Three Girls was painted by Amrita Sher-Gil .It was the first Painting after her return from Europe following her art studies in Paris. She first studied at Grande Chaumiere with Pierre Valliant and later at Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1930-34).
This painting won her a Gold Medal from the Bombay Art Society in 1937. The award launched Amrita who was later to be celebrated as the first lady of the Indian canvas and influence generations of Modern painters in India.A change in her visual language is observed when compared to that of her paintings done in Europe. The influence of Gaugin in the flattened treatment of figures is noteworthy.The use of red becomes predominant in her work thereafter.
In a coffee table book “A Life Well Lived” ,celebrating family traditions, by Karanvir Singh Sibia he mentions about the three sisters who had modelled for the iconic paintings and shows a photograph of the sisters with Amrita. He mentions that his mother and her two sisters were the models for this work. Amrita met them during her visit to her grandparents and she was so fascinated by the charm and innocence of her Punjabi nieces that she decided to paint them. This painting was done in March 1935 in the tennis court of Majithia House in Amritsar with repeated sittings over two to three weeks.
A Special Cover was issued in Delhi on 31 Jan 2013 to mark the Birth Centenary Celebrations of Amrita Sher-Gil .The cover illustrates “The Three Girls” painting.
Ukraine issued a miniature sheet 12 Dec 2013 on Pectoral Chain. It is a fine piece of Fine art Jewelry which is a Gold scythian pectoral or neckpiece from a royal kurgan in Tolstaya mogila, ordzhonikidze,Ukraine dated second half of 4th century BC.
Cheongsan ( From Cantonese Chinese) is a one piece body hugging Chinese dress for Women also known as Qipao (from Mandarin Chinese) and ROC’s Mandarin Gown. The stylish and often tight fitting Cheongsam or Qipao was created in Shanghai in 1920’s and made fashionable by Socialites.
In the1950’s Women in the work force in Hong Kong started to wear more functional form of Cheongsam made of wool,twill and other materials. After many ups and downs now it is considered as a ethnic attire.
In 2008 Summer Olympics medal bearers wore Cheongsam. Now Diplomatic Corps, Wives of political Leaders are often seen wearing Cheongsam during official Functions.
Hong Kong issued a set of five stamps and a 20$ miniature sheet of one stamps on Qipao on 17 Oct 2017. Qipao accentuates the gracefulness of feminine physique with oriental charm. the set of six stamps exhibits qipao dress over the decades from 1920’s.
The 20$ Miniature sheet is printed with paper made of Taffeta fabric to enhance the theme.