The Society was formed in 1936 to promote interest in Chinese philately, including Hong Kong, Macau, Manchukuo, Tibet, Shanghai and the Treaty Ports, Foreign Offices in China and the Japanese Occupation of China. Founding members included Lloyd S. Ruland and Major James Starr. Other prominent members have included Donald R. Alexander, J. Lewis Blackburn, Ellery Denison, Charles W. Dougan, Philip W. Ireland, Carl A. Kilgas, Warren Kauder, William E. Jones, and Norman Townsend.  It is the largest English speaking Chinese philatelic organization in the world and the oldest affiliate of the American Philatelic Society. The Society is a non-political organization.  In 2021 the Society celebrated its 85th anniversary.

     Among other activities, the Society underwrites philatelic research projects, publishes philatelic books, puts on seminars at major stamp shows, and scans out-of-print philatelic publications to offer to collectors on DVDs and eBooks. Members receive The China Clipper magazine six times a year and discounts on books published by Society, publications offered on DVDs, and other literature sold by the Society.  The first eighty-five years of The China Clipper are available on DVDs.

     Members also enjoy a free translation service for postal markings and other philatelic items. 
     The Society’s Annual Convention is held each year at stamp exhibitions in the US.  The Society presents awards for philatelic exhibiting and for philatelic writing.  It has a youth program and offers scholarships for writing articles for the The China Clipper or philatelic exhibiting. 

     The Society has U.S. Chapters in Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, and San Jose, CA, and international Chapters in Qingdao, Shandong, China and Taipei, Taiwan. 

     Since 2012 the Society has published it 'China Stamp Society Specialized Catalog of China to 1949'. The current edition was published in 2021.

     This web site has a Stamp & Cover Sales area where members can buy and sell Chinese stamps, postal history and other items.  Online Auctions are held in May and November. U.S. members are asked to pay by check.

     The CSS can also assist families of members in disposing of stamp collections.

There are many areas of collecting interest among members, including:


  • CHINA - Imperial Period (1878 - 1911)
  • CHINA - Republic Period (1912 - 1949)
  • CHINA - Republic of China, Taiwan (1949 to date)
  • CHINA - People's Republic - Forerunners, Liberated Areas (1923 -1949)
  • CHINA - People's Republic - General Issues (1949 to date)
  • CHINA - Japanese Occupation Issues (1941- 1945)
  • SHANGHAI and other TREATY PORTS (1865 - 1898)
  • FORMOSA (1886 - 1895)
  • MANCHOUKUO (1932 - 1945)

The China Stamp Society gives out numerous awards for writing and exhibiting. The most important award is the......


Established in 1995, the Meritorious Service Award is to provide recognition for those members who have given freely of their time in furtherance of the goals of the Society. It is generally accepted that a minimum of ten years of service is required in order to be considered for the award. The award is normally given around the time of retirement. However, these matters are all within the discretion of the Board of Directors, which makes all decisions with respect to the award. Any director may propose a recipient. The recipient is awarded a plaque and a life membership in the Society. Past recipients:

J. Lewis Blackburn - March 1995                   
Charles G. Strowe - May 1995
Fred C. J. de Ridder - January 1997
Henry Nyi - January 1997
Charles W. Dougan - January 1998
Gene C. Mallette - January 2001
Paul Gault - October 2006
Donald R. Alexander - December 2007
Ralph Weil - November 2011

Other Awards:

Exhibit Awards
                                                                                                                     Donald R. Alexander
Publication Awards

Membership Pins:

In addition to membership pins (available on this site) members can receive  special lapel pins on the 25th and 50th anniversaries of their membership.