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Poland 1923 – Nicolaus Copernicus

The first astronomer to be depicted on a postage stamp is Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), a Polish clergyman and astronomer who in the year of his death published the heretical view that the Earth revolved around the Sun, not vice versa as had been traditionally believed. This revolutionary idea dethroned the Earth from the centre of the Universe. Fittingly, the first to honour him philatelically was his home country. Copernicus makes ten further appearances on this list – eight times on stamps from Poland (see 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1951, 1953, and 1955), once from China (1953) and once from Russia (1955).

These two stamps commemorated the 450th anniversary of his birth, and were issued along with a third stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of Stanislaw (or Stanislaus) Konarski, a Polish education reformer.


SG number
Face value
Colour
199
1000 m
Slate
201
5000 m
Red
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