I once moved in diplomatic circles. Well, almost, I was a glorified errand boy for the Taipei Representative Office in the Netherlands (basically the Taiwanese Embassy, but they weren't allowed to call themselves that because the Chinese were only a few blocks away and watching them!)

Whenever I had some spare office time, I would always delve into the waste paper baskets and pick out all the envelopes with Taiwanese stamps on them and so I managed to collect quite a fair number in a short time, the great thing being that even older Taiwanese stamps were still often used.

The definitives I liked most were the sets of Chinese engraving, issued in the 1990s.
There were four subsets in that set, such as; flowers, plants and fruit.

As you can see, the latter set had a different font for the value and the Chinese no longer read from right to left but the other way round.

My favourite subset were the birds. There were four in total. I'm showing you three here. I tried to find out what sort of birds are depicted but no luck so far.

I saw that the Taiwanese Philatelic Bureau still sells some of these stamps, even though the definitives have now been replaced by a series of pets, so I might try that when I come home from my trip to Paris.

See you then!