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

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.