1920 Scott B69 40f + 1k dull red
"Released Prisoner Walking Home"Quick History
With the death of the popular Franz Josef I in 1916, and the the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the wrong end of WW I, turmoil and revolution reigned.
The seeds of the Kingdom of Hungary's demise, where 70% of it's land base was lost, lay in the ethnic rise of nationalism within the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The disparate ethnic groups of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
After WW I, the Hungarian Army was fully disarmed, leaving Hungry without any national defence. The Serbian and the French forces were in control of the southern part, the Romanians occupied Transylvania and eastern Hungary, and Czechoslovakia had the northern section (Upper Hungary).
This is reflected in the 11 different occupation territory issues recognized by the Scott catalogue!
The Treaty of Trianon was signed in 1920, leaving Hungary with a significantly shrunken border.
The ceded land was given to Czechoslovakia, Romania, Austria and Yugoslavia.
Treaty of Trianon: Hungary lost 10.5 million population
Hungary no longer had sea ports, and 3.5 million ethnic Hungarians were detached from their motherland.
Meanwhile, with the demise of the Monarchy in 1918 (then with Queen Zita and Charles IV), there was a short lived Hungarian Republic from 1918-19.
But the Communists took power in April, 1919, and declared a Hungarian Soviet Republic, and along came a period of violence known as the "Red Terror". This too proved short lived, as the Romanian Army, which was occupying the nearby territory, removed the regime form Budapest.
Philatelic output reflects these regime changes with Issues of the Republic stamps, and Issues of the Soviet Republic stamps now collectible.
Then former Admiral Miklós Horthy, with his troops from the stronghold in Szeged, entered Budapest after the Romanian Army departure, and reestablished the Kingdom. Horthy was elected Regent, but no "Kings" returned.
The Hungarians again bet on the wrong horse in WWII, as the Horthy government befriended itself with the Nazi's in order to obtain some of the territory lost by the Trianon Treaty. But in 1943, when the war wasn't going well. the Hungarian government tried to negotiate a surrender with the Allies. This infuriated the Germans, who then occupied Hungary and set up a puppet government. During this time (May-June, 1944), over 400,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz.
With the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Soviets occupied the country, and Hungary became a satellite Communist State.
1919 Scott 199 45f brown orange & green
"Sándor Petöfi": Soviet Republic Issue
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic catalogue has, from 1916-1940, 338 regular and 70 semi-postal stamps. Of those, 313 (93%) of the regular, and 45 (64%) of the semi-postal stamps are CV <$1-$1+. Clearly, Hungary is inexpensive for the WW classical collector for this time era.
Despite being inexpensive, Hungary's stamp designs are very striking indeed.
Although the "Harvesting Wheat" and "Parliament Building in Budapest" designed stamps, with their many iterations, are a bit of a challenge.
A closer look at the stamps and issues
1916 Scott 105 15f red "Charles IV"
With the death of the long reigned Franz Josef I, the coronation of Queen Zita and King Charles IV occurred on December 30, 1916. One can see the Cross of St. Stephen on his head. In total, the Kingdom of Hungary lasted for well over 900 years. But King Charles's reign would abruptly stop with the end of WW I.
1916 Scott 107 15f violet "Harvesting"
Note the white numerals
The long run of "Harvesting" designs was initiated in 1916 with a two stamp "white numerals" issue. Some attention needs to be paid to the changes in design and color changes: otherwise confusion reigns. ;-)
1916-18 Scott 112 6f greenish blue
The next issue had 11 stamps with the "harvesting" motif. Note the "Magar Kir. Posta" and the double box outline around the numerals. These will change with subsequent issues. The CV for these stamps for all "Harvesting" designs are usually the minimum 20 cents.
1916-18 Scott 119 50f red violet & pale blue
"Parliament Building at Budapest"
The second design in the issue had 8 higher denomination stamps with the "Parliament Building" motif. Subsequent issues also can be confusing. Pay attention to the Danube River, as sometimes there is a vessel, sometimes not.
1918 Scott 127 10f scarlet "Charles IV"
1918 Scott 132 50f lilac "Queen Zita"
In 1918, the last "Monarch" issues was produced, as a sea change (Defeat in WW I) was occurring. This stamp issue had six values. After the restoration of the "Kingdom" in 1919, King Charles tried to return, but was rebuffed.
Wmk 137- "Double Cross"
This might be a good time to mention that the "Double Cross" watermark, introduced in 1913 for some of the "Turul" stamps, was still in use through 1924.
1918-19 Scott 156 5f green, Scott 10k violet brown & violet,
1918 Scott 171 25f bright blue: Issues of the Republic
The nascent Hungarian Republic overprinted the stamp series as above in 1918. This 19 stamp issue is overprinted "Köztársaság" which is Hungarian for "Republic"
1919-20 Scott 179 10f red
The new Republic also issued a redesigned "harvesting" stamp, with "Magyar Posta" and without the inner frame around the numerals (Compare to the preceding 1916-18 issue). The 1919-20 issue had 12 stamp values with the above design.
1919-29 Scott 192 1.20 dark green & green
The remaining portion of the 1919-20 set has a redesigned "Parliament Building" image for the higher denominations, 11 in all. Note the "Magyar Posta" and the white background behind the numerals (Compare to the preceding 1916-18 issue).
1919 Scott 198 20f rose & brown "Karl Marx"
The communist takeover of the government in April, 1919 resulted in a very attractive set being issued June 14, 1919, with various revolutionary heroes, as well as the customary homage to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Sándor Petöfi (His stamp is shown further above in the post), was a poet and liberal revolutionary who was involved in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. This five stamp set was bi-colored.
The "Double Cross" watermark can either be found horizontal (usual) or vertical (rarer). CV for the stamps in the set range from $1-$3+.
July 21, 1919 Scott 203 2f brown orange
Overprint in red: "Hungarian Soviet Republic"
The recently produced "Harvesting" Magyar Posta issues were then overprinted and issued as shown. This portion of the set had eleven stamps.
1919 Scott 219 2k olive brown & bister
The rest of the set for the higher denominations, some nine stamps, were overprinted in red as illustrated. All of these stamps, save for the 10k, are CV <$1.
November 16, 1919 Scott 308 15f violet: black overprint
"Entry of the National Army - November 16, 1919"
Fortunes rapidly reversed for the Soviet Republic. The French supported Romanian Army, who was occupying territory close by, swept them out of Budapest. As the Romanian army withdrew, the anti-Bolshevist National Army forces from Szeged, under the leadership of Miklós Horthy, arrived, and re-established the "Kingdom of Hungary". But Charles IV (Karoly IV) was not returned to his throne, and Miklós Horthy served as Regent from 1920-1944.
As the Hungarian joke goes, " For the next 24 years, Hungary would be a Kingdom without a King, ruled by an Admiral without a fleet, in a country without a coastline".
The above set can be found with these "Expert" marks
Of interest, four of the five stamps I have for the set have these markings on back. An inquiry at www.stampcommunity.org....
...revealed that these are listed as expert marks, and "That's a guarantee mark applied by the Social Mission Society to remainders of this issue. Even though they are remainders, they sell for more than the un-backstamped stamps (perhaps because forgeries exist of this overprint)".
I suspect these "expert" marks are fairly common for this issue, as they occurred in several feeder albums.
Why don't you examine your examples?
1920 Scott 319 24f dull blue
Overprinted in black on July 21, 1919 issues
The remaining communist surcharged issues were overprinted with a sheaf of wheat image , and a "1919" date on January 26, 1920. This portion of the set consists of eleven stamps.
1920 Scott 312 3f red lilac (forgery overprint?)
1920 Scott 317 15f violet
The "Wheat sheaf" overprint has been extensively forged. One of the more common forgeries can be detected as there are no continuation of the wheat image running between the "1" and "9" overlying the "1919" date. The stamp on the left may be a forgery, or simply a light printing. I need more examples.
1920 Scott 329 5k dark brown & brown
Black "Wheat sheaf" overprint on higher values
The remaining portion of the 1920 set (nine stamps), has the illustrated "Wheat sheaf" overprint on the July 21, 1919 "Parliament Building" issue . CV ranges from $1+-$8.
1920-24 Scott 340 60f black
Same in appearance to 1916-19 issue, but different colors
In 1920, a new issue of "Harvesting" appeared in different colors compared to the 1916-18 issue. The issues are similar up to the 1920-24 6k denomination (15 stamps). Note the "Magyar Kir. Posta" and the double box lines around the numerals are back. Both have the "Double cross" watermark.
1923 Scott 357 100k claret, watermarked "Double crosses"
The 10k on up have the denomination tablet without inner frame
The higher denomination "Harvesting" portion stamps in the 1920-24 issue ( 15 stamps), though, have no inner frame around the numeral box. But they can be distinguished from the former "no inner frame around the numeral box" stamps by the "Magyar Kir. Posta" inscription. All the other one line box stamps have the "Magyar Posta" inscription. And they are "Korona" rather than "Filler" inscribed denominations.
In summary, there are 94 major Scott catalogue number stamps that have the "Harvesting" design. This does not count all the occupation issues that have this stamp for the overprints. But some attention to color and design detail (and, for some stamps, watermarking, as we will see presently), should keep one out of identification trouble.
1922 Scott 366 10k brown
"Magyar Kir. Posta", "Korona" denominations
Solid color behind numeral tablet
The higher denomination stamps issued between 1920-24 have the "Parliament Building" design. They again have the "Magyar Kir. Posta" inscription, and have a solid colored background behind the numerals. In addition, they are in "Korona": no "Filler" denomination stamps found. The only possible confusion with the 1916-18 issues is the 1916-18 Scott 126 10k violet brown & violet, which is a different color than the 10k brown shown above.
The 1920-24 "Parliament Building" stamps are fourteen in number with a CV all @ 20 cents.
1916-18 Scott 126a 10k violet brown & violet
1922 Scott 339a 50f blue violet
Between 1921-24, stamps available in panes had the two center rows punched forming three triangle holes.
These were sold at Post offices. This included regular, postage due, and official stamps. If one wanted a pristine pane, one had to pay a 10% premium over face value at a philatelic agency. The three-hole-punch varieties have a minor number in Scott.
!!!!!!!!!! Even after 90 years, what a horrible idea. !!!!!!!!
Interestingly enough, the three hole punch varieties often catalogue now for more than their unpunched brethren. So defaced, or not, take a look in one's collection for these "gems". ;-)
1924 Scott 392 500k dark gray
Watermarked 133 "Four Double Crosses"
The last "Harvesting" motif stamps was issued in 1924, and has a "Four Double Crosses" watermark. This seven stamp production had six stamps that need to be checked with the preceding issue, which has a "Double Cross" watermark.
Scott 388 100k claret ( Compare with Scott 356 100K claret)
Scott 389 200k yellow green ( Compare with Scott 358 200k green)
Scott 390 300k rose red ( Compare with Scott 359 300k rose red)
Scott 392 500k dark gray ( Compare with Scott 361 dark gray)
Scott 393 600k olive bister ( Compare with Scott 362 600k olive bister)
Scott 394 800k orange yellow ( Compare with Scott 363 orange yellow)
Wmk 133 "Four Double Crosses"
Note the crosses are all oriented
at a 45 degree angle from the horizontal
The "Four Double Crosses", which are all attached by a central circle, are easy to detect, as they are always oriented 45 degrees from the horizontal.
1924 Scott 396 2000k carmine
Watermark "Four Double Crosses": Need to check
The 1924 issue also has two "Parliament Building" design stamps, the 1000k and 2000k denominations. These also must be watermarked compared with the previous issue with the "Double Cross" watermark. Namely...
1924 Scott 395 1000k lilac (Compare with Scott 376 1000k lilac)
1924 Scott 396 2000k carmine (Compare with Scott 377 2000k carmine)
We are now done with the "Magya Kir. Posta" inscribed "Parliament Building" stamps, although we will see a similar design featuring the Palace on the Danube River on more stamps to come.
1921-25 Scott 379 100k olive bister & yellow brown
"Madonna and Child"
In 1921, a ten stamp issue was produced with a bi-colored "Madonna and Child" design. The stamps are rather large and quite attractive in my opinion: This SON example especially so. They have a very modest CV (<$1).
1925 Scott 402 2500k dark blue & black brown
A three stamp set was issued in 1925 for the Hungarian novelist Maurus Jókai (CV <$1-$5+). Born in 1825, he was a "romantic", a combination of Charles Dickens and Walter Scott, with his works infused with Hungarian patriotism.
1927 Scott 417 5p blue "Madonna and Child"
A three stamp set was issued in 1926-27 with another "Madonna and Child" design (CV <$1-$2+). Since the Madonna was considered the Patroness of Hungary, the image is not infrequently found on Hungarian stamps of the era.
1926-27 Scott 403 1f dark gray
"Crown of St. Stephen": wmk "Four double crosses"
A new definitive series was begun in 1926, with the lower denominations having the "Crown of St. Stephen" design. This is found on six stamps. (All of the definitive stamp issues through 1931 are CV <$1, unless noted otherwise.)
Notice something peculiar about the design? No King, as there isn't one. ;-)
1926-27 Scott 412 25f light brown "Matthias Cathedral"
The middle denominations (four stamps) had the above design. Note that this issue had the "four double crosses" watermark, which is shown earlier in the post.
1926-27 Scott 413 32f deep violet & bright violet
"Palace at Budapest"
The 32f and 40f denominations had the "Palace at Budapest" design, which bears a superficial resemblance to the previous "Parliament Building" stamp issues, except for the "Magyarorszag" inscription, the different scene, and the vessel on the water. ;-)
1926-27 Scott 421 70f scarlet "Palace at Budapest"
Four more denominations were issued (30f-70f): this time with no vessel on the water!
1928-29 Scott 424 16f orange red "St. Stephen"
For the 890th death anniversary of St. Stephen, a six stamp set was issued, as illustrated above. Two of the higher values are CV $1+.
1928-30 Scott 433 8f lilac rose
The definitives stamp designs from 1926-27 were re-issued in 1928-30 with the same or (minor) color changes, and a new watermark: wmk 210-"Double Cross on Pyramid". Get out the watermarking tray! ;-)
wmk 210 "Double Cross on Pyramid"
Note the "Double Cross on Pyramid" almost looks like a Chess pawn piece (with an attached double cross), and the images are at 90 degrees to each other.
wmk 210 "Double Cross on Pyramid"
Here is another example with the "Double Cross Chess pieces" at 90 degrees to each other.
1928-31 Scott 438 32f red violet
"Palace at Budapest"
The "Palace at Budapest" design was again changed as shown above. Note the many vessels on the Danube!
This nine stamp issue has a minimum CV of 20 cents.
1930 Scott 446 16f purple "Admiral Horthy"
For the tenth year anniversary of the election of Nicholaus Horthy as Regent, a five stamp set was issued (CV <$1-$3+). In truth, for the twenty-four years he was the leader of the Kingdom of Hungary, there are not many stamp issues with his image.
1932 Scott 458 10f ultramarine "St. Elizabeth"
For the 700th anniversary of the death of St. Elizabeth, a four stamp issue was produced (CV <$1-$2+).
1932 Scott 463 2p carmine
"Madonna, Patroness of Hungary"
Invoking the Madonna motif again,a four stamp set was issued in 1932 (CV $1+-$50+). The 10p olive bister @ $50+ is clearly one of the more expensive Hungarian commemoratives.
1931 Scott 452 10f on 16f violet
1931 Scott 454 6f on 8f magenta
1932 Scott 466 2f on 6f on 8f magenta
In 1931-32, nine stamps were issued with surcharges applied (CV <$1-$40). All of the above illustrated stamps have either the "Double Cross on Pyramid", or the "Four Double Crosses". The watermarking tray needs to be used again, ;-)
1932 SCott 479 70f cerise "Farkas Bolyai"
A "Famous Hungarians" issue was produced in 1932 on twelve stamps (CV <$1). Farkas Bolyai was a 19th century Hungarian mathematician specializing in geometry.
1933 Scott 484 32f yellow
"Leaping Stag and Double Cross"
For the Boy Scout Jamboree in 1933, this five stamp set was issued (CV $1+-$10+). Quite attractive.
1935 Scott 489 20f dark carmine
"Francis Rákóczy, Prince of Transylvania"
This five stamp set (CV <$1-$4+) was issued in 1935 for Francis Rákócsy, a leader of the Hungarian uprising in 1703-11 against the House of Habsburgs. He is considered a Hungarian national hero, and it is not unusual to find many streets and squares named after him.
1936 Scott 495 20f magenta "Cardinal Pázmány"
A five stamp issue was produced in 1935 to honor Cardinal Pázmány, founder of the University of Budapest in 1635. CV is <$1-$6+.
1936 Scott 499 16f deep violet
"Guardian Angel over Buda"
A five stamp issue was produced in 1936 on the 250th anniversary of the recapture of Budapest from the Turks. CV is <$1-$2+. The design and execution are breathtaking. Légrády Alexander, painter and goldsmith, is one of the great designers of Hungarian stamps. He was active between 1932-1980.
1937 Scott 507 32f dark violet
"Budapest International Fair"
A five stamp set for the International Fair was issued in 1937 (CV <$1).
1938 Scott 518 20f carmine lake
"Stephen the Church Builder"
1938 saw the fourteen stamp series for the 900th anniversary of the death of St. Stephen. The stamps in this iconic set by Légrády Alexander can be found for <$1.
1938 Scott 531 16f brown carmine "Three Students"
For the 400th anniversary of the founding of Debrecen college, a six stamp issue was produced (CV <$1). The University of Debrecen is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in Hungary.
1938 Scott 536 70f brown/greenish
Overprinted in Carmine
Two stamps were issued in celebration for the restoration of the territory ceded by Czechoslovakia (Actually Slovakia). This lovingly crafted stamp belies the power politics that was occurring at the time. Hungary had befriended Nazi Germany, with the hope that some of the territory ceded after WWI would be returned. Here are some of the spoils. Germany and Italy demanded that southern Slovakia (one third of Slovak territory) be returned to Hungary. And the Sudetenland (so called by the Germans), a territory of Czechoslovakia with a German majority, was also "returned" to Germany.
The dismemberment of Czechoslovakia
Hungary hitching it's star to Nazi Germany looked good- for the moment. ;-)
1939 Scott 546 30f red violet
"Coronation Church, Budapest"
In 1939, a new issue with fourteen stamps was produced featuring mostly churches (CV <$1). I wonder if the populace knew they would be plunged back into war -and soon.
1916-17 Scott B53 10f + 2f rose red
Scott B54 15f + 2f dull violet "Soldiers Fighting"
On the eve of WWII, it might be instructive to take a look at some semi-postals during and after WWI. Here are some scenes of "Soldiers fighting": Heroic, no doubt.
1917 Scott B57 15f + 2f dull violet "Harvesting"
1918 Scott B60 40f + 2f brown carmine "Eagle with Sword"
The 1917 semi-postal 15f +2f dull violet was issued in conjunction with the War Exhibition of Archduke Josef. The 1918 40f + 2f brown carmine with "Koztarsasag" overprint was the first semi-postal output for the new (and short lived) republic.
1920 Scott 70 60f + 2k gray brown
"Prisoners of War"
The surtax for this three stamp issue (CV $3+-$5) was used to help return prisoners of war home from Siberia. The true cost of war. Another example of these powerfully designed stamps is the post header "Released Prisoner Walking Home". Extraordinary and sobering.
1939 Scott 102 B102 40f + 20f dark blue gray
"Girl offering Flowers to Soldier"
And, as a final presentation for the semi-postals, we have a five stamp set (CV <$1) whose surtax is to give aid to the patriotic movement "Hungary for the Hungarians". Hungary has attached itself to the Nazi engine in hopes of recovering former Hungarian territories ceded after WWI.
Deep Blue (Steiner) has, from 1916-1940 for regular and semi-postal categories, 38 pages.
1926-27 definitive issue; wmk "Four Double crosses"
All the major varieties, naturally, have spaces. As Hungary is inexpensive, many of the spaces can be filled without trouble by the WW classical collector. Yet the design and execution are second to none.
The "Three Hole Punch" varieties, found among issues from 1916-1924, are minor numbers, and Deep Blue provides no spaces. One does accumulate many of these varieties as a matter of course, so having some quadrilled pages handy is a good idea. ;-)
1939 Scott B107 40f + 20f chalky blue
"Susanna Lórántffy"Big Blue
Big Blue "69, on 13 pages, has spaces for 305 regular and 70 semi-postal stamps for the years 1916-1940. (Counting the 3 spaces for 1919 Szeged semi-postal stamps that BB provides in the semi-postal section.)
Coverage is 78% for regular and 90% for semi-postal stamps. Clearly, overall coverage by BB for these years is good.
There were only three stamps that barely crossed the $10 threshold; all semi-postals. They are listed in the "comment" section after the checklist.
One peculiar note: BB does not provide space or cover the "occupation" issues after WWI. In the 2011 Scott catalogue, the "occupation" issues (France, Romania, and Serbia) cover four pages. Many stamps are inexpensive, so clearly that is not the problem.
But, of interest, BB does have three Szeged semi-postal issues listed in the Hungarian semi-postals! Perhaps because of Szeged's significance to Hungarian history? Recall the anti-Bolshevist National forces under Admiral Horthy were there while the Communists were in power the summer of 1919 until the Romanian Forces (under French support) removed the Marxist government.
356* or 388, 357,358*, 360,374,375,
359 or 390, 361 or 392,362 or 393,363 or 394, 376 or 395, 377 or 396,
403*,404*,405* or 430, 406 or 431,407*,408 or 433,409 or 434,430 or 435,
446,447,448,449, 450 or 453, 451 or 454,
(Skipping 1913-16 Semi-Postals covered in previous post)
1919 (Actually Szeged semi-postal issue)
A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
Szeged issue: 1919 Scott 11NB3 40f + 2f brown carmine ($10)
1925 Semi-postal Scott B86 2000k brown violet ($10)
1925 Semi-postal Scott B87 2500k olive brown ($10+)
B) *356 or 388 - the choices for 1923 & 1924 are for wmk 137 or wmk 133.
C) *358 200k green- 389 200k yellow green is excluded by BB for color.
D) *403,*404,*407,*411,: same denomination 428, 429,432,436 excluded for BB's color requirements.
E) *405 or 430: the 1926-30 choices, and the 1929-31 choices are for wmk 133 or wmk 210.
F) *438: no place for 437 30f emerald which begins the set.
G) Note: There are occasionally some minor color descriptive differences between BB and the 2011 Scott catalogue. I do not comment unless there could be confusion.
H) *452 violet: 455 is excluded by BB (dark violet).
I) ( ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
1940 Scott 555 6f green-On the Eve of WWII
Heroic imagery of Admiral Horthy at Szeged-1919Out of the Blue
If you read every section before this one, then you deserve a medal. There are 62 posted images in this post, perhaps a new record.
In fact, I think I deserve a medal. ;-)
Note: Map images appear to be in the public domain.
I would like some comments!