A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps
From the world's first postage stamp, the 1840 Penny Black, to the First Class stamp 2012, Chris West's selection of 36 stamps – 'some beautiful, some quirky, some baffling, some stained with blood' – are the inspiration for his idiosyncratic and entertaining history of Britain. Among his collection are the 1881 Penny Lilac (33 billion printed); the first decimal set (1971); and a single foreign stamp telling a story of reparations and hyperinflation: a 1923 German 200 mark stamp, overprinted 2 million.
The Emperor's Private Paradise
Treasures from the Forbidden City
Within China's Forbidden City, and not yet open to the public, is the elegant, intimate Qianlong Garden, built as a retirement retreat for the Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century. A visionary patron of the arts, Qianlong designed the garden to reflect a perfect union of art, architecture and nature. This lavishly illustrated volume gives an in-depth analysis of that design and also interprets 90 of the superlative artworks commissioned by the Emperor for his garden.