A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hungary-Air Post, Postage Due, Official, Occupation Stamps

1924-25 Scott C6 100k red brown & red  "Icarus"
Quick History
This blog post will review the so called Hungarian "Back of the Book" issues as found in the Scott catalogue, which includes Air Post (1918-1936), Special Delivery (1916-1919), Postage Due (1903-1934), Official (1921-1924), and Newspaper (1871-1922) stamps. In addition, a review of the myriad Occupation issues after WWI will be attempted.

Three comments....

•  Hungary issued some 139 Scott recognized major number Postage Due stamps,a large number. Along with their neighbor, Austria, they took collecting the proper postage quite seriously.

• Newspaper stamps were likewise issued, much like their neighbor Austria. These were special rates for newspaper periodicals in the mail. It is generally a reflection of a literate, educated, and intellectually curious population when one finds Newspaper stamps as part of the stamp production.

• Most astounding are the large number of Occupation stamps overprinted on Hungarian stamps by the occupying forces in Hungary after WWI. This is a reflection of the dismemberment of Hungary and it's lands, that occurred following the Great War. Let us take a closer "Quick History" now...

After the defeat of the Germans in WWI, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy collapsed. Charles IV gave up his powers as King of Hungary. Mihály Károlyi was named President of the newly formed Hungarian People's Republic, and he ordered a full disarmament of the Hungarian Army. Hungary could no longer defend itself.

Dissolution of Austria-Hungry after WWI
Circled are some of the occupation issues locations
With French support, The Czechoslovak army occupied northern Hungary, the Romanian Army occupied eastern Hungary and Transylvania, and the Serbian army occupied southern Hungary.

The Romanians in Transylvania produced the First Transylvanian issue from Kolozsvar (Now Cluj), and the Second Transylavania issue from Nagyvarad (Now Oradea). Transylvania eventually became absorbed into the Kingdom of Romania.

There was a Temesvar issue under Romanian occupation, and another Temesvar issue under Serbian occupation.

The so-called Banat and Bacska issue were overprints applied by postal authorities in Temesvar under Serbian occupation.

Meanwhile the pacifist Hungarian People's Republic lost public support as a result of the concessions, and a Marxist Soviet Republic came to power in Budapest.

The Szeged postal issue was not actually an "occupation", but a stronghold of the "Hungarian National Government",who opposed the Bolshevist government  in Budapest. When the Romanians, with the support of the French, drove out the Bolshevist government, Admiral Horthy and his Nationalist forces returned to reestablish the Kingdom of Hungary (sans King).

Map of Hungary with location of Szeged (National Forces) circled
Location of more Occupation Issues: Baranya (Serbia), Arad (French), and Debrecen (Romania)
The French occupation produced the so called "Arad" issue.

There was, in addition, the first and second issues from Debrecen, a Romanian occupation area.

Under Serbian occupation, a first issue from Baranya, and then a second  issue was produced.

When we begin reviewing the occupation issues, one might want to refer to the maps here for location information.

1915 Scott J127 20f on 100f green & black
Surcharged in Red
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue, has 44 Air Post, 3 Special Delivery, 139 Postage Due, 31 Official, 10 Newspaper, and 5 Newspaper Tax stamp major descriptions. Of the total 232 stamps, 195 ( 84%) are CV <$1-$1+. Many of the Postage Due and Officials are the minimum 20 cents.

Reviewing the 1919 Occupation Stamps
1N (French occupation) Arad issue: 55 stamps
2N (Romanian occupation) First Debreceen issue: 90 stamps
3N (Romanian occupation) Second Debrecen issue: 46 stamps
4N (Romanian occupation) Temesvar issue: 8 stamps
5N (Romanian occupation) First Transylvanian issue: 46 stamps
6N (Romanian occupation) Second Transylvanian issue: 76 stamps
7N (Serbian occupation) First Baranya issue: 50 stamps
8N (Serbian occupation) Second Baranya issue: 15 stamps
9N (Serbian occupation) Temesvar issue: 8 stamps
10N (Serbian occupation) Banat, Bacska issue: 54 stamps
11N ("Hungarian National Government") Szeged issue: 49 stamps
Total: 497 stamps

The categories include regular, semi-postal, special delivery, postage due, and newspaper stamps.

Of the 497 stamps, 177 are CV <$1-$1+ ( 36%). Although clearly more expensive than the regular Hungary issues on average, the WW classical collector could accumulate a nice representative selection.

Of note, Big Blue ignores these stamps entirely except for three Szeged semi-postals, and a Newspaper stamp..

One major problem with these overprinted stamps: Many forgeries exist.

A closer look at the stamps and issues

Air Post 1920 Scott C3 3k on 10 k, green surcharge
The first 5 Air post stamps were surcharged regular issues. The Scott C3 is an example. The CV ranges from $1+-$20+.

1933 Scott C28 20f carmine 
"Worker Welcoming Plane, Double Cross and Sun Rays"
This lovely SON copy is part of a nine stamp set with CV ranging from <$1-$70+.  The "Double Cross" is part of the Coat of Arms of Hungary.

1936 Scott C35 10f bright green 
"Fokker F VII over Mail Coach"
Part of a 10 stamps design, the CV ranges from <$1-$2. Great image. I'm tempted at times to consider developing a WW classic Air Post collection, as the stamps are almost always interesting.

Special Delivery 1916 Scott E1 2f gray green & red
1919 Scott E3 2f gray green & red
Only three Special Delivery stamps issued by Hungary, all inexpensive (CV <$1). Sürgös means "urgent".

Postage Due Scott J33 1915-22 12f green & red
J35a 20f green & red "Three Hole Punch"
Recall in the early 1920s, that the Hungarian postal authorities has many issue sheets punched with three holes through the two middle rows. If one wanted a pristine sheet, one would have to pay a 10% premium. Ironically, these specimens, which are given minor numbers in Scott, are often worth a modest premium, as the 20f green & red here. Most Hungarian Postage Dues have a minimum CV.

1918-19 Scott J45 2f green & red
Issue of the new Republic, overprinted "Republic"
The new Republic formed after the collapse of the Monarchy following WW I issued a number of stamps, including these postage dues, with an overprint meaning 'Republic". This 7 stamp set is all at minimum CV.

1919-20 Scott 68 40f green & black
The next series, with black numerals, had 5 stamps, all CV <$1. By the time this postage due set was issued, the "Republic" government was no more, and this is a 'Kingdom of Hungary" government stamp.

Of interest, the short lived Marxist government overprinted this postage due series with their own overprint, but they had no time to issue the stamps. So the Kingdom of Hungary, the government that replaced them, had a "Heads of Wheat" overprint applied that blocked the original overprint, and used them. ;-)

1921-25 Scott J88 40k on 2 1/2k green
Regular issues, surcharged for Postage Due
The inflation that was besetting Central Europe after WWI affected Hungary also. Here, regular issues were surcharged for postage due duties with values up to 5000k on 5k brown. The 24 stamp set has CV <$1 for all values.

1926 Scott J105 8f rose red, wmk 133
1928-32 Scott J120 10f rose red, wmk 210
Beginning in 1926, the design for the postage due was changed. The 1926 issue had 12 stamps, all save one @ <$1 CV. The watermark was the "Four Double Crosses".

Between 1928-32, a 7 stamp set was issued ( CV <$1), this time with the "Double cross on Pyramid" watermark. Since 6 out of 7 are identical values with the first series, these stamps will need to be watermarked. I have pics of the watermarks in the "Hungary 1916-1940" post.

1934 Scott J137 20f ultramarine "Figures of Value"
In 1934, a new design was issued on 10 stamps, all CV <$1.The inscription used by the  Kingdom of Hungary government on their postage means "Hungary".

Official 1923 Scott O9a 5k brown "Three Hole Punch"
1923 Scott O12 25k orange; 1922 Scott O20 1000k blue & red
Official stamps were introduced in 1921, and the inscription translates as "Official". The 20 stamp set is virtually at minimum CV. "Three Hole Punch" stamps are easily found in collections. The values go up to 1000k, reflecting he inflation at the time.

1922 Scott O21 15k on 20f  olive brown & black
1923 Scott O23 350k gray & black
Five surcharged stamps were issued between 1922-23. They all have CV <$1.

The "Korona" was the replacement currency for the Krone/korona used during the Austro-Hungarian Empire era. But with serious inflation, it was replaced by the pengö in 1925.

1923 Scott O26 500k orange & red 
1923 Scott O27a 1000 blue & red "Three Hole Punch"
In 1923-24, 6 values were re-issued with a gray moiré on the face of the stamp.

Let's take a closer look....

1923 Scott O26a 500k orange & red "Three Hole Punch"
Note gray moiré covering the stamp?
A "moiré" is a wavy pattern on a fabric, but can also be a ripple pattern on a stamp. Another anti-counterfeiting printing technique. The term "Burelage" is also used.

Newspaper 1872 Scott P2 (1k) rose red
"St. Stephen's Crown and Post Horn"
A two stamp issue (CV $2-$20), these were the first "Newspaper Stamps" for the Hungarian Monarchy. Classic design.

1898 Scott P5 1k orange (wmk 135)
"Letter with Crown and Post Horn"
This design, issued in 1874, 1881, and 1898, comes unwatermarked, wmk "Kr" in Oval (wmk 132), and wmk Crown in Oval or Circle (wmk 135). CV is <$1 for all varieties. I have examples of these watermarks in the Hungary 1916-1940 post.

1900 Scott P6 (2f) red orange (wmk 135)
Likewise, the 2f Newspaper stamp was issued in 1900, 1905, and 1914, with wmk 135, wmk 136a (St. Stephen's crown-view from side), and wmk 137 (Double Cross). CV is minimum catalogue value for all varieties. You will find these watermarks illustrated in the Hungary 1916-1940 post.

1920 Scott P9 (10f) deep blue
Since the color here is "Deep Blue", I had to show it. ;-) This stamp is part of a three stamp set issued between 1914-22 with Double Cross watermarks. CV is at the minimum. The set also appears to be the last of the Newspaper stamps issued by Hungary.

Changing focus, we will now enter into the myriad Occupation stamps issued during 1919. All these stamps have overprints on Hungarian stamps. Scott has a note about the French Arad issue, but the warning applies to all the occupation stamps:

"The overprints of this issue have been extensively forged. Even the inexpensive values are difficult to find with genuine overprints."

So what should a general WW classical collector do with this information?  For me, I'm happy to have a representative collection of inexpensive Occupation stamps, as they are a significant part of Hungarian philatelic history. The stamps I have might have some forgery overprints, but I don't have the expertise ( or energy) to determine that. And that is O.K. ;-)

And a reminder: I posted some maps showing the Occupation locations for these issues earlier. One might want to review a map when that Occupation issue is being reviewed.

1919 Scott 1N4 6f greenish blue (Red overprint)
French Occupation: Arad Issue
The French occupations issues ( some 55 stamps) tend to have a more expensive CV than most of the other occupation issues. This particular stamp is CV $1+, but the 17 stamp series ranges from <$1-$70. 

One can imagine how tempting it was for a Forger to take a cheap Hungarian stamp, and apply this simple overprint. ;-)

Nevertheless, having a few French occupation stamp examples in the collection is nice, as France was the main backbone support for the occupations.

1919 Scott 1N36 1k red brown & claret (Blue overprint)
French Occupation: Arad Issue
The "Köztársasag" issue had 12 stamps, with CV <$1-$60. This 1k red brown & claret is CV $3+. Of interest, the "Köztárasag" overprint appears to be applied on top of the French Occupation overprint here. Is that correct? (I've read that it is often actually difficult to tell which overprint is on top.)

1919 Scott 2N8 5f green
Hungarian stamps of 1913-19 overprinted in Blue, Red, or Black
Romanian Occupation: First Debrecen Issue
There was no love lost between the Hungarians and Romanians after WWI. Supported by France after being defeated in WWI, the Romanians occupied the Former Hungarian Kingdom with enthusiasm. The Hungarians accused the Romanians of stealing everything that was not nailed down. The Romanians said the removed goods were war reparations. And Romania ended up with Transylvania.

Some 90 stamps were overprinted like the above example. CV can range from <$1- $500! Forgeries are rife.

1919 Scott 2NJ13 10f red & green (Black overprint)
Romanian Occupation: First Debrecen Issue
Postage Dues were part of the Occupation issues. Of the 16 postage dues issued with this overprint, only 4 are inexpensive ( CV <$1-$4+), while the rest vary from CV 10+-$200+. Here the occupation overprint is clearly applied on top of the "Köztársasag" overprint. (Or so it seems ;-)

There was also a "Second Debrecen Issue" for the Romanian occupation. Scott gives a 3N prefix to these 46 stamps. Although 12 are <$1, I don't have any. ;-) The overprint looks quite similar to the First Debrecen Issue, but is round in shape, rather than oval.

There was also a Romanian occupation "Termesvar Issue". Scott gives a 4N prefix to these 8 stamps. Although 5 stamps are CV <$1, again my album pages are empty.

1919 Scott 5NB13 40b = 2b brown carmine
Hungarian semi-postal stamps 1913-17 Overprinted
Romanian Occupation: First Transylvania Issue
Some 46 stamps are found for the First Transylvania Issue. Twenty-three are regular issues, but 13 are found on semi-postal stamps, as shown here. The CV for the semi-postals can range from <$1- $70.

Scott  states the common values are more easily found genuine for the First Transylvania Issue.

1919 Scott 5NE1 2b gray green & red
Romanian Occupation: First Transylvania Issue
A Special Delivery stamp is also found among the First Transylvania Issue. CV is <$1.

1919 Scott 6N8  3b red lilac
Romanian Occupation: Second Transylvania Issue
A second Transylvania issue came from Nagyvarad (Oradea).

First Transylvania Issue: From Kolozsvar (Cluj)
Second Transylvania Issue: From Nagyvarad (Oradea, Odorhei)
A problem with the maps is finding the Romanian name for the former Hungarian named town. ;-)

The Second Transylvania Issue consisted of 76 stamps. Again, Scott states that the common stamps are more easily found genuine.  Some 24 stamps are CV <$1.

1919 Scott 6N31 , Overprinted
Romanian Occupation: Second Transylvania Issue
Some 15 stamps are found with the "Köztársasag" overprint on them. The CV is <$1-$4+ for 13 stamps. It appears to me that the occupation overprint here is on top of the "Köztársasag" overprint. ( Again, I've been told, it is actually difficult to determine.)

1919 Scott 6NJ2 2b green 7 red
Romanian Occupation: Second Transylvania Issue
There are 10 Postage Due stamps found for the Second Transylvania Issue. CV is <$1-$9+ for 8 stamps. I note in many cases, Scott values the Occupation issues the same for used and unused.

1919 Scott 7N15 15f violet
Overprinted in Black or Red
Serbian Occupation: First Baranya Issue
The Serbians also have stamp issues from their occupation, and the First Baranya Issue consists of 50 stamps. Scott states that the common stamps are more easily found genuine. The first 27 stamps have an overprint design, as illustrated above, with 15 stamps having a CV of <$1.

1919 Scott 7N30 45f on 15f violet
Serbian occupation: First Baranya Issue
A three stamp surcharged design is found, as shown above. CV is <$1.

1919 Scott 7N31 10f scarlet (Black overprint)
Serbian Occupation: First Baranya Issue
Using the Hungarian issues of 1918, six stamps were overprinted as shown. CV is <$1-$4+. A bit humiliating, as King Charles IV had given up his powers as King of Hungary, and here he is on an occupation stamp.
(Note: Confusion can "reign", as Charles IV of Hungary is Charles I of Austria!)

1919 Scott 8N6 20f on 2f brown orange
Serbian Occupation: Second Baranya Issue
The Serbian occupation created a second issue as shown. Fifteen stamps were produced with a CV of <$1 for 10 stamps. Less expensive stamps for this issue are more easily found genuine.

The Serbians also had a Temesvar Issue (Scott 9N prefix), consisting of 8 stamps. Although the CV is <$1 for all of them, I don't have any. ;-)

 1919 Scott 10N2 2f brown orange 
Hungarian Stamps of 1913-19 overprinted in Black or Red
Serbian Occupation: Banat, Bacska Issue
The Banat, Bacska Issues had overprints applied by the postal authorities at Temesvar. According to Scott, the stamps were available for postage, but mainly used to pay postal workers salaries. ! The 54 stamps are more costly than most occupation issues, with 33 stamps @ $3+-$4 being the least expensive. All these stamps have been copiously forged.

1919 Scott 10NJ2  10f green & red 
Serbian Occupation: Banat, Bacska Issue
Of the six postage due stamps in this occupation issue, the CV ranges from $4-$30+.

1919 Scott 11N3 5f green
"Hungarian National Government": Szeged Issue
The Bolshevist Government, which had assumed power after the Republic collapsed, was centered in Budapest.  Meanwhile, the hold-out anti-Bolshevist Hungarian Forces under Admiral Horthy headquartered themselves in Szeged.

The Bolshevist forces began to re-take territory the Romanians had seized.  As retaliation, the Romanians, with the support of the French, entered Budapest, and the Bolshevist government collapsed.

When the Romanian Forces withdrew, Admiral Horthy's "National Government" Forces  reentered Budapest, and assumed power.

So the Szeged Issue is really a Hungarian issue, and not an occupation stamp issue.

The 49 stamps for the Szeged Issue have a higher CV, but 6 of them are <$1, while 13 more are $1-$4.

The overprint on the stamp translates as "Hungarian National Government".

As one would expect, the Szeged issue has been forged extensively.

1919 Scott 11NB2
"Hungarian National Government": Szeged Issue
Three semi-postal stamps are among the Szeged issues, and the CV is <$1-$10. Of interest, these, besides a Newspaper stamp. are the only stamps that are found in Big Blue of the "Occupation" issues; although the Szeged stamps are not really occupation issues. ;-)

Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has 4 pages for Air post, 1 page for Special Delivery, 7 pages for Postage Due, 2 pages for Official, 2 pages for Newspaper and Newspaper tax stamps, and 46 pages for the "Occupation" issues.

  Deep Blue's Postage Due Section
As usual, the Steiner follows the Scott catalogue in design with space for all the major numbers.

Even with the generous coverage, quadrilled pages may be needed for the minor number 1903, 1905, 1906, and 1914 different perforations or watermarked Postage Due stamps.

And one may need more quadrilled pages for the minor number "Three Holed Punched" Postage Due and Official stamps.

Unless one has a particularly large collection of Hungary, or one has a particular interest, the more than generous 46 pages in Steiner for the "Occupation" issues will alas remain sparsely populated for most WW classical collectors. I know mine are. ;-)

1919 Scott 2NP1 (2f) orange (Blue overprint)
Romanian Occupation: First Debrecen Issue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on four pages, has 31 spaces for Air Post, 3 spaces for Special Delivery, 84 spaces for Postage Due, 29 spaces for Official, 5 spaces for Newspaper, 2 spaces for Newspaper Tax, and three spaces for the 1919 "Szeged" semi-postal stamps, actually housed in BB's Hungary semi-postal section.

There is also a Szeged Newspaper stamp.

Total (not including the Szeged stamps) is 155 stamp spaces. Coverage is a good 67%.

As mentioned, except for the 4 Szeged stamps, there is no coverage in BB for the Occupation stamps. Since 177 are CV <$1-$1+, that is an opportunity lost by BB.

• BB is fairly complete with the categories covered with this post other than occupation issues.
• The not unusual (for BB) of having one space for two or three issues of Postage Dues with different issue dates and watermarks occurs here.
• Inexplicably, the PD 1919-20 "Black numerals" J65-69 are left out.
• There are only two stamps ( Air post C1, C2) that cross the $20 mark. No other stamps cross the $10 mark. Good job BB!
• If one want to add stamps, the 177 Occupation stamps that are CV <$1-$1+ would be good candidates.


Newspaper Stamps

P2,P4 or P5,

P6 or P7 or P8



Newspaper Tax Stamps


Special Delivery




Official Stamps



O13,O14,O18, O20,,O21,O22,



O26 or O30, O19, O27 or O31, O28, O29,

Next Page

Air Post






Next Page

Postage Due

J1* or J10 or J19, J2 or J11 or J20, J3 or J12 or J21, J4 or J13 or J22, J5 or J14 or J23, J6 or J15 or J24,

J7 or J16 or J25, J8 or J17 or J26,






Next Page


J100, J101 or J117, J102, J103 or J118, J104, J105 or J119, J106 or J120, J107 or J121,
J122,J108,J109 or J122, J110,J111,





A) Expensive Stamps ($10 threshold):
1918 Scott C1 50f on 75f ($20+)
1918 Scott C2 50f on 2k ($20+)

B) *11NP1 is a Szeged Newspaper stamp.

C) *J1- Three PD series are choices: 1903 J1-J8 (wmk 135), 1908-09 J10-J17 (wmk 136), 1914 J19-J26 (wmk 137 horz.)

1919 Scott 6N45 10b red, Overprinted
Inscribed "Magyar Posta"
Romanian Occupation: Second Transylvania Issue
Out of the Blue
I am fascinated with the occupation issues, but a serious attempt at filling the pages would require becoming sharp at detecting forgeries. Not sure that is going to happen. C'est la vie.

Note: Maps  appear to be in the public domain.

Like Hungary?
Would like to hear from you!


  1. I think that technically the watermark would best be called a "double-barred cross." The cross is not doubled, only the bar of the cross.

    Also, it might be worth pointing out that Legrady Sandor (can't do the diacritical marks) as the engraver? on the bottom of some of the stamps would be, by our nomenclature, Sandor Legrady (Alexander Legrady). The Hungarians customarily put the surname first.


  2. Thanks Dennis for the Hungarian surname placement- I didn't know that. ;-)

    No doubt you are correct about the double barred cross. Scott merely calls it the "Double Cross".

  3. The 1997 has 155 spaces, including the Szeged newspaper stamp. The thre Szeged semi-postals do not appear in this section.


  4. Joe - I will edit the totals. Thanks so much!

  5. Thank you for all the effort you put into this web page. It has been very helpful for me to look at your photographs and compare them against my collection. I would have never been able to get all of this information on my own. Thanks again.

    1. Thank you for the nice comments, kgantz. Actually, it is helpful for me also!