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Ancient Chinese Scientists and Their Works (I)
Supporting Information   
Stamp Title: Ancient Chinese Scientists and Their Works (I)
Serial Number: 2018-13
Value in Set: 4
Denomination: 4.8 yuan
Date of Issue: 2018-05-26
Designer: Li Chen
Size of Stamp: 33×44mm
Perforation: 13.5
Sheet Composition: 12
Printer: Shenyang Post Printing Factory
Printing Process: Offset Printing

China Post issued a set of four commemorative stamps of Ancient Chinese Scientists and Their Works (I) on May 26, 2018.

Li Shizhen (A.D. 1518-A.D. 1593), a famous doctor in the Ming Dynasty (A.D.1368―A.D.1644), was born in Qichun County, central China's Hubei Province.

Coming from a family of doctors, Li began to practice medicine with his father at the age of 23. He also worked in the Imperial Academy of Medicine for decades, and enjoyed a high reputation.

In order to correct the mistakes in most medical publications of that time, he spent 27 years collecting drug samples and prescriptions, and compiled the scientific book Compendium of Materia Medica, a 52-volume Chinese medical classic.

The whole book is divided into 16 parts, 60 categories, 1,892 entries with details about more than 1,892 drugs and 1,109 attached images.

The scientific classification of plants in this medical text was made two hundred years earlier than that of Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish taxonomist.

Compendium of Materia Medica not only greatly contributed to the development of Chinese pharmacology, but also had a profound influence on the development of medicine, botany, zoology, mineralogy and chemistry in the world.

Song Yingxing (A.D. 1587-unknown), born in Fengxin County, east China's Jiangxi Province, was a Chinese scientist who lived during the late Ming Dynasty .

He devoted his life to the scientific investigation and research of agriculture and handicraft production.

Song's works and research fields were related to the different disciplines of natural science and humanities, and his most outstanding work is The Exploitation of the Works of Nature, which was known as China's craft encyclopedia in the seventeenth century.

The first publication of The Exploitation of the Works of Nature was published in 1637 (ten years after the Ming Emperor Chongzhen's reign).

The book is divided into three parts and 18 volumes. It is the first comprehensive work on agriculture and handicraft production in the world.

It records all the ancient Chinese techniques before the mid-Ming Dynasty, including agriculture technology and handicraft industries, such as machinery, bricks, ceramics, sulfur, candles, paper, weapons, gunpowder, textile, dyeing, salt-making, coal mining, oil extraction and other technologies.

The set of stamps features images of the two ancient scientists and their two scientific works in the form of sketches and drawings.

In the first picture, Li is wearing a bamboo hat, with the herb Panax Notoginsengin one hand and a hoe in the other hand, carefully studying the herb.

The second picture features the Compendium of Materia Medica, an oil lamp and a cup of tea placed on a writing desk, which display Li's hard work in writing the book.

The background depicts the prelude of the earliest edition of Compendium of Materia Medica published in 1593, and four representative drugs, namely Panax Notoginseng, ardisiacrenata, Crossostephium chinense(L.)Makino and mossback.

In the third stamp, Song is studying textile technology with weavers beside a textile machine.

Finally, the fourth stamp displays two illustrations of the first edition of The Exploitation of the Works of Nature in the Ming Dynasty, a double-acting plunger bellow and a water mill against the background of the title page of the scroll of The Exploitation of the Works of Nature.

The figures' expressions and actions are exquisite and lifelike.

This set of stamps was designed by a professor of the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts and member of the comic art committee of the China Artists Association, Li Chen, and printed by Shenyang Post Printing Factory using an offset printing process. 

Offer for sale: This set of stamps is available at designated postal outlets, the online philatelic shop of China Post (http://jiyou.11185.cn), China Philately mobile client and the China Philately Wechat Mall since they were issued on May 26, 2018. This set of stamps will be sold for six months.


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