Hungary – Christmas 2022

Magyar Posta is issuing a self-adhesive definitive stamp marked Domestic as the indication of value in standard and special editions for sending seasonal greetings at Christmas in 2022. The standard edition is in sheets of fifty stamps, while the special edition is a miniature sheet of five stamps. Carlo Maratta’s painting The Holy Night appears on the stamp this Yuletide. The new issue was designed by the graphic artist Attila André Elekes and produced by Codex Értékpapírnyomda Zrt. The new releases will be available at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary from 25 October 2022, and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store.

The painter Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) is considered the principal master of Late Baroque Roman Classicism. He fashioned the art of the Eternal City in the second half of the 17th century, especially with his large altarpieces. Early in his career, between 1651 and 1656, he was commissioned by Flavio Alaleona to paint the chapel of St Joseph in the church of San Isidoro in Rome. This included a lunette fresco depicting the Adoration of the Shepherds. Maratta copied the central scene from this fresco, which is the Nativity of Jesus shown on the stamp and the accompanying first day cover (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden). The Mother of God and her Child and the outer two angel heads are exact replicas of the fresco in Rome.

The press sheet of 50 stamps is enlivened by visual elements on the barcode and festive greetings in Hungarian, English, German and French on the selvedge. A grid, which was previously removed during printing, aids separating the stamps from the sheet. The flexo printing process is complemented with gold-coloured ink for the sheets of 50 stamps and gold-coloured foil for the miniature sheets.

Hungary – Coats of arms of the kings of the House of Árpád

Magyar Posta is issuing a souvenir sheet containing six stamps that present the coats of arms of the kings of the House of Árpád. The souvenir sheet designed by the graphic artist Attila André Elekes was produced in cooperation with the Hungarian National Archives by the banknote printing company Pénzjegynyomda. The new issue will be released on 25 October 2022. It will be on sale at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store from the date of issue.

Coats of arms began to be used in Europe in the mid-12th century, and the earliest royal coat of arms to have survived in Hungary dates from 1202. Six royal coats of arms from the period prior to the House of Árpád becoming extinct are presented. The designs of the sheet’s stamps show the coats of arms of kings through their extant seals, while a detail of their char-ters appears in the background printing. On the first day cover for the souvenir sheet, the seal of the first royal bearer of a coat of arms, King Emeric, is in the foreground against a backdrop featuring the elaborate initial of King Stephen V. The special postmark is a drawing of an escutcheon.

King Emeric (1196-1204): the reverse of this monarch’s gold seal shows the first depiction of a red and silver striped shield. Lions passant looking to the dexter can be seen in the uneven stripes. • Andrew II (1205-1235): on the reverse of the golden bull of this king, there is a triangular shield with eight stripes, with a small shield in the middle of the second, fourth and sixth stripe and a pair of lions passant facing the small shield from the right and left, and in the eighth stripe a lion passant regardant moving to the sinister, making a total of seven lions on the coat of arms. • Béla IV (1235-1270): on the reverse of Béla IV’s gold seal, there is a triangular shield with a double cross, which can be traced back to the special veneration of the relic of Christ in the 13th century. • Stephen V (1270-1272): this seal features a double cross with parallel sides standing on a mound in a triangular shield with a pointed tip and curved sides. At the foot of the cross, two leaves sprout from branches indicating that the wood of the cross is alive and able to produce shoots. Around the lower crossbeam of the cross is a ring symbolising the crown of thorns. • Ladislaus IV (1272-1290): on the reverse of this double seal, there is a double cross with parallel sides and a ring representing the crown of thorns around the lower crossbeam. • Andrew III (1290-1301): the reverse of this sover-eign’s double seal shows a triangular shield with curved sides in which a parallel-sided double cross with a thin upright can be seen. In the segments of the field, there is a fine, undulating leafy vine and the intersection of the lower crossbeam and the upright is intertwined by a crown of thorns in the form of a ring.

Hungary – Tibor Benedek was born 50 years ago

Magyar Posta is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the birth of the three-time Olympic, European and World champion water polo player, Tibor Benedek, who was the coach of the Hungarian men’s water polo team between 2013 and 2016, by issuing a special stamp.

The new issue, designed by the graphic artist Orsolya Kara based on photographs by Márk Viszlay and József Szaka, was produced by ANY Security Printing Company, and will be available at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store from 12 October 2022.

Tibor Benedek (1972-2020) began playing water polo at the KSI Central School of Sport. Between 1989 and 1996, he played for Újpest, winning the LEN Euro Cup, Supercup and European Cup. In 1996 he went to Italy, enjoying success first with Roma and then Pro Recco. He returned to Hungary in 2004, before re-signing with Pro Recco in 2007, where he won the Champions League and Euroleague. He won both the Hungarian and the Italian championships six times. He was the Youth European champion (1989) and the bronze medallist in the Junior World and European Championships. For a long time, his finger flick goal technique, the envy of so many, was unrivalled.

He played in the Hungarian team at five Olympics. In 1992 he was the top goal scorer and he won three gold medals, in 2000, 2004 and 2008. He was world champion in 2003, and at the World Championships he won two silver medals (1998 and 2005) and one bronze (1991). He was a European champion in 1997 and won two silver and three bronze medals in the continental competition. He was a World Cup and twice World League winner. He was capped 437 times. From 2013 to 2016 he coached the Hungarian men’s water polo team. Under his guidance, Hungary won the World Championship in 2013, came second in the European Championship in 2014 and fifth at the 2016 Olympics. In 2016 he was elected to the Governing Board of the Hungarian Water Polo Federation. From 2017, he was the professional director of UVSE Water Polo Sport Club, and acted as head coach from the 2018/19 season. He was elected the best Hungarian water polo player of the year on four occasions.

In 2000, he was included in the Hungarian water polo team of the century and, in 2013, he was chosen the best Hungarian national team coach of the year. In 2000, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic, followed by the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic in 2004 and, in 2008, he received the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. In 2008, he was granted the freedom of the city of Budapest. In 2015, he was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and, in 2016, he impressed his handprint on the Wall of Hungarian Sports Stars. In May 2020, he announced that he was retiring from his water polo activities.

He was the father of three children. (Source: The design of the stamp features a portrait of Tibor Benedek, and the first day cover shows him about to throw. The motif of the special postmark is his legendary left arm with a wrist band clutching a water polo ball.