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HOME: China Stamps 1985: J120
J120, Scott 2012-15 60th Anniv. of Founding of Palace Museum
Palace Museum
(4-1), Palace Museum, 8 fen, 93*26 mm
Palace Museum
(4-2), Palace Museum, 8 fen, 93*26 mm
Palace Museum
(4-3), Palace Museum, 20 fen, 93*26 mm
Palace Museum
(4-4), Palace Museum, 80 fen, 93*26 mm
Technical details
Scott No: 1974-80
Serial number: J120
Values in set: 4
Date of issue: October 10, 1985
Denomination: 116 fen
Designers: Shao Bolin
Size of stamps: 93*26mm
Perforation: 11.5
Sheet composition: 24 (3*8)
Printing process: Photogravure
Printing House: Beijing Postage Stamp Printing Works
Background
Know also as the " Palace Museum" and the "Imperial Palace," the Forbidden City was the home to the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is located in the center of Beijing. The first layout of the city was begun in 1406 (the 4th year in the reign of Emperor Yongle of Ming dynasty) and finally completed in 1420. As the home of 24 emperors, it is also a museum containing millions of Chinese cultural treasures from different eras.

Extending 753 meters from east to west and 961 meters from south to north, the rectangle that is the City covers an area of 720,000 square meters. The Forbidden City consists of many groups of courtyards comprising an unbelievable 9,999 halls. Together, the halls cover 150,000 square meters. The City is surrounded by an over 10-meter high rampart and a 52-meter wide moat. It is called the "Forbidden City" because civilians were prohibited to enter for 500 years. All the eunuchs, maids, factotums and guards in service to the royal family lived in the Forbidden City. By the end of Ming dynasty, there were 2,600 eunuchs and 300 maids. The eunuchs were the men on call who served and ran the errands for the royal family. They all came from the rural areas around Beijing. Boys between 6-10 years old were emasculated after they were recruited in order to prevent them from doing anything immoral.

The maids were serving girls for the royal family. There were 12 maids for an empress, 10 for a queen and 6 for a concubine. All maids came from the underclass families. They were chosen at the age of 13 to enter service to the royal family. The rules for the maids were very harsh and strict: They were not permitted to return home, and their parents were not permitted to visit them. They had no personal freedom. They were not permitted to speak loudly, walk with their backs to royalty, grin, or burp (so no maid dared eat her fill)! When they slept, they were required to cuddle up so as not to face upward (that was considered as despising God). When the maids turned 25, they would leave the palace and receive a little tael.
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