Tuesday, June 21, 2016

South Korea and France Joint Issue 2016 - 130 Years of Korea-France Diplomatic Ties

ISSUE DATE: 3 June 2016
STAMP SIZE:30 x 40 mm

Korea Post is issuing commemorative stamps in celebration of 130 years of diplomatic ties between France and Korea. They depict Celadon Openwork Incense Burner and Pippin’s reliquary, relics that embody the beauty of each country’s authentic culture. Since the two countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in 1886, their exchange in many areas including culture, politics, and commerce has consistently been active.

A type of inlaid celadon, the Celadon Openwork Incense Burner (12th century, Goryeo period, National Treasure No. 95) is a very unique piece of Goryeo celadon in that various techniques were used for its decoration, including intaglio, embossing, open work, inlay, and appliqué. The burner features many delicate decorative elements in a very harmonious and balanced composition. The piece has three main parts: the lid, the body, and the pedestal. Ornamented with chilbomun (“seven-treasure design”), the lid is shaped as an openwork globe to allow the fragrance of incense to diffuse widely. The incense-burning bowl is covered with three layers of chrysanthemum leaves, which were each fashioned separately and attached to the body. The pedestal is connected to the body through lobed decoration. Three rabbits supporting the pedestal give this piece an additional aesthetic touch.

Pippin’s reliquary is the reliquary of Pepin I (Pepin of Aquitaine, 797~838) of the Carolingian dynasty. It is one of the oldest goldsmith works made in France and one of Europe’s five greatest treasures of medieval goldsmith work. The box is made of wood covered in gold leaf and is encrusted with engraved gemstones en cabochon, pearls, and cloisonné enamelwork. It is shaped like a house, and on the roof, two eagles spread their wings decorated with blue, white, and red cloisonné enamelwork. Three round arches ornamented with green cloisonné enamelwork on green-gold repoussé fragments are below them. The decoration of exquisite engravings and gemstones featuring delicate designs is stunning.

In celebration of the 130 years of diplomatic ties, 2016 has been designated as the Year of Korea-France Mutual Exchange, and a series of cultural, art, and other exchange events have been organized. 

Stamp images and description thanks to Korea Post

South Korea Post