Summer 2021: Olympics, Sports & Music

What do Olympics, Sports and Music have in common?

Each requires practice, patience and striving for perfection and ….

They are all depicted on the stamps of Eastern Europe!

Dear Friends & Philatelic collectors,

As we launch into the beginning of summer, we here at Hungaria Stamp Exchange hope you are enjoying your continuing philatelic journey. We extend our appreciation for your support of the many magnificent topical and country stamps of Eastern Europe as part of your stamp collection process. With that in mind we are pleased to offer this newsletter on the Olympics, Sports and Music stamps of Eastern Europe.

Modern Era Olympics are well celebrated on the stamps of Eastern Europe and what could be more fitting than a review of these offerings in light of the most unusual circumstances for the 2020 Summer Olympics. First being scheduled during a global pandemic and now finally being played in 2021. We wish for success for each and every athlete at the Summer Games this year.

Philately and the modern day Olympics have a symbiotic relationship starting with the first modern day Games held in Athens in 1896 when Greece issued a series of stamps to mark the occasion. These stamps actually contributed to the financial success of the event which had been impacted by the financial and political crisis of the times.

Demetrios Sakorafos, the founder of the Greek philatelic association, had the idea of issuing a set of commemorative stamps with a nominal value higher than that of common postage stamps, with the proceeds going toward the fund for holding the Olympic Games. The stamps, with designs featuring ancient Greek athletic competitions, earned a considerable sum of money and the Greek Post became the first sponsor of the Modern Day Olympic Games. Initially only the Olympic host countries issued stamps to commemorate the Olympics. This tradition later ended when other countries alongside France issued stamps for the 1924 Paris Olympics. As the Olympic movement gained in popularity, interest in commemorative stamps grew among philatelic collectors. More stamps were published featuring specific athletes and sports. For more philatelic information on the Modern Day Olympics please refer to an earlier HSE Newsletter on Philately and The Modern Era Olympics.

Soviet stamps issued for the 1980 Moscow Olympics featured various sports and Olympic venues: the Krylatskoye Rowing Canal, the cycling track, and the sailing center, as well as Red Square and the 1980 Olympics mascot, Mishka the Bear. When more than 50 countries boycotted the games, these countries also cancelled their planned postage stamp issues or destroyed the issues printed. (As a trivia question, who can remember why countries including the United States boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics is Moscow?)

Russia began issuing commemorative philately materials dedicated to the Sochi Games in 2011.  A special souvenir sheet was devoted to the Olympic Torch Relay. It was put into circulation on October 7, 2013, on the day the Russian stage of the relay kicked off. The stamp features the relay’s emblem, and on the margins one can see the map of Russia, the Olympic Torch, the Moscow Kremlin, and the Sochi Seaport Terminal building. 

Hungary and the 1956 Olympics

The “Blood in the Water” match was a water polo match between Hungary and the USSR at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The match took place on December 6, 1956 against the background of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and an attempt to overthrow Soviet oppression in Hungary. The matched concluded when Hungarian Olympians defeated the USSR Olympians in the Water Polo match 4–0. Historically, the Revolution of 1956 was less successful.

1956 Olympics Water Polo 4007 Hungary – 1956 Melbourne Olympics 50th Anniversary S/S

Eastern European stamps also celebrate the anniversary of the country Olympic Committee as well as the athletes.

And now, heading into Summer 2021 HSE is pleased to offer the stamp issuances of Eastern Europe depicting the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Sports and Sporting Competitions

Eastern Europe continue to provide exciting philatelic offerings whether it is depicting FIFA World Cup Soccer, FINA Aquatics (such as Swimming, Diving, Water Polo) Basketball, Tennis, Fencing, Kayaking and Rugby. And of course, not to forget the exciting stamps of Bridge Diving.


While Musicians, Composers and Singers may represent a unique type of “athlete”, our view at HSE is that the precision, decisiveness, and passion is the same commitment and is well represented in the stamps of Eastern Europe.

Music Stamp Issuances of Eastern Europe are far ranging and varied: to include classical and contemporary composers, rock musicians, opera and jazz performers and even musical instruments.

Each of us at Hungaria Stamp Exchange wish you a pleasant and peaceful summer holiday and look forward to offering our continued support in your philatelic adventures in the fall.


The Bauer Family

Hungaria Stamp Exchange

Eastern European Philatelic Potpourri of New Issues

It’s finally 2021 and  time for Hungaria Stamp Exchange to share our philatelic celebration of the potpourri of new issues from Eastern Europe. We at HSE hope our philatelic friends both Country and Topical collectors alike will delight in some of the exciting new issues of 2020. 

Our Country collectors will find full 2020 Year Sets available for Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Belarus with a special HSE welcome this year to Armenia.

Topical collectors can find Cats (including “The Terror”), music (from Beethoven to Rock), Covid-19 and first responder philatelic issuances. Not to mention that many of us are delighted to find the continuation of some of our favorite series such as Europa with Ancient Postal Routes, Gastronomy and Viticulture, Saints and Blesseds and Social Action: Climate Change and Children’s World Stop Bullying.

An extremely important offering we can all enjoy this year is the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations from Slovakia. While the adventurer inside all of us can enjoy newly issued Crypto stamps from Croatia, the humorist will enjoy the cartoon stamp from Armenia.

Continue reading “Eastern European Philatelic Potpourri of New Issues”

Eastern European Stamps of Women

Dear Friends and Philatelists,
Summertime is a traditional time for taking a family holiday or perhaps visiting another country or city. The summer of 2020 finds many of us not currently able to do this given these challenging times.  It is, however, an opportune time to reconnect with our stamp collections and continue our philatelic travels, perhaps to new countries or with new topics or themes. And of course, we can continue to connect with family and friends, if even at a distance. Now is certainly time to pay tribute to our many brave front-line workers.

Monarchs, Saints, Performers, & Scientists and Social Activists

Eastern European Stamps of Women span a wide range of topics, from monarchs to saints and scientists, artists and performers, to social activists and heroines. The Hungaria Stamp Exchange hopes you enjoy reading our blog post and viewing some of the stamps in our on-line store.


Two of the most influential female Eastern European monarchs whose combined reigns lasted almost 75 years were Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Teresa, ruling the Hapsburg Empire. Both of these extraordinary rulers are depicted on Eastern European stamps.   

Catherine the Great   (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst;  May 1729 –November 1796) was Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796 and the country’s longest-ruling female leader. She came to power following a coup d’état that she organized, resulting in her husband, Peter III, being overthrown. During her reign Russia was revitalized; it grew larger and stronger and was recognized as one of the great powers of Europe and Asia.

In her accession to power and her rule of the empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favorites, most notably count Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov  and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars. Russia colonized the territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas. In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine’s former lover, King Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started to colonize Alaska, establishing Russian America.

An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernize Russia along Western European lines. The economy and military conscription continued to depend on serfdom; increasing demands of the state and of private landowners intensified the exploitation of serf labor. This was one of the chief reasons inciting several rebellions including the large scale Pugachev Rebellion of Cossacks and peasants. Cossacks were a group of Russian military warriors who established free self-governing communities in exchange for their military service. When their privileges were threatened they revolted, with the most famous being Pugachev.

The period of Catherine the Great’s rule, the Catherinian Era, is considered the Golden Age of Russia. Catherine enthusiastically supported the ideals of the Enlightenment and is often included in the ranks of the enlightened despots. As a patron of the arts, she presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, including the establishment of the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe.

A Joint Philatelic Issue Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Birth Of Maria Teresa was released in cooperation with Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Ukrainian Posts.

Maria Teresa Queen of the Hungarians, the Czechs and the Croatians, and Archduchess of Austria reigned from 1740 to 1780. As the wife of Francis l, Holy Roman Emperor she also had the title Empress and was the only female who reigned the Habsburg Monarch. She was regarded as an enlightened ruler, a great stateswoman and a reformer who also extended the kingdoms she ruled. She sought modernization and formulated reforms in the judiciary, economy, education and military.  Maria Teresa abolished torture and witch hunting and improved the position of the peasants.  In her legacy, Maria Teresa’s lineage impacted many rulers of Europe. Of her 11 daughters and 5 sons, three became famous rulers, including Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and kings Joseph ll and Leopold ll.

Diana, Princess of Wales may be one of the foremost celebrities of her time.  (born July 1, 1961, Sandringham, Norfolk, England died August 31,1997, Paris, France), former wife of Charles, prince of Wales; mother of the heir second in line to the British throne, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge 

Performers & Artists

Stamps of women performers are far ranging from Édith Piaf, a French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress noted as France’s most widely known international star, to internationally renowned classical pianist Annie Fischer and Hungarian Actress Klári Tolnay. And of course, a wonderful stamp tribute to world renown jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald on the Centenary of her birth. Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella.

Stamps of Women Artists include Polish Artists  #405-412 Poland.

The Maximum Card #1900-1907 Hungary – Painting Type of 1967, is a wonderful presentation of women in art in this fantastic format. Paintings include Girl with Pitcher by Goya, Mary Magdalene, by El Greco, The Virgin from The Grinder, by Goya and Portrait of a Girl, by Palma Vecchio. Maximum Card #1820-1826 is an equally magnificent offering.

Europa 1996 Famous Women depicts artists, Poet Marie Under, painter Ivana Kobilca, opera singer Katya Popova, writers Cvijeta Zuzoric (born 1551), Ivana Brlic Mazuranic and of course humanitarian and saint Mother Teresa.

Saints, Scientists and Adventurers

Eastern Europeans offerings of stamps of women saints, scientists and adventurers include Hungaria Saints and Blessed series, Mother Teresa (Albania and Croatia) , Nobel Laureate Madam Marie Curie (Bosnia) and aviator Amelia Earhart (Romania).

Romanian issuance of #3345-Inventors and Adventurers include Aviator Amelia Earhart. The Russian issuances of # 718-720 celebrates aviators Paulina Osipenko and Marina Raskova who completed the first nonstop  record flight from Moscow to the Far East.

Social Causes, Activists and Heroes

Eastern European stamps offer a wonderful issuance in celebration of International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day #1095-1100,

Russian stamp issuance honors “Lady Death”: Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the Greatest Female Sniper of All Time. Pavlichenko wasn’t just any soldier: She was the most successful female sniper in history. As a member of the Soviet Army during World War II, she killed 309 Nazis soldiers and even snipers, earning the nickname “Lady Death.”

She was befriended by Eleanor Roosevelt, becoming the first Soviet citizen to be welcomed at the White House by President Franklin Roosevelt. She spoke candidly about gender equality, prompting Eleanor Roosevelt to ask the Ukranian-born officer to accompany her on a tour of the United States to tell Americans of her experiences as a woman in combat. Pavlichenko was only twenty-five when she had been wounded four times in battle. She also happened to be the most successful and feared female sniper in history. She readily accepted the first lady’s offer.

Eastern European philately offers a wide range of stamp issuances covering social causes, activists and everyday women performing heroic and extraordinary events.

Here at HSE on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, we close by sharing some simple thoughts of summer from the Hungaria Stamp Exchange. We hope you will enjoy this collage of nature, summer holidays and Children’s World Stamps.

With thoughts of a Healthy World,
Hungaria Stamp Exchange
Alan, Diane, Stacie, Andrew & Diana Bauer

Postal Heroes – HSE Spring 2020 Newsletter

Dear Philatelic Friends and Collectors,

Here at the Hungaria Stamp Exchange we hope you are staying safely at home able to enjoy family and friends (even if only remotely) and spend time enjoying your stamp collection which may offer interesting views of far off cultures and geographies.

During these extremely challenging times when many of us may be homebound or not engaging in many journeys, we hope you will enjoy reading about the many connections near and far made by the post in various locations, countries, and geographies around the world. Also please join us in honoring and celebrating the many front line heroes helping us everyday: the medical providers and first responders, food producers and the postal workers.

Continue reading “Postal Heroes – HSE Spring 2020 Newsletter”

April 2020

Dear Philatelic Friends and Colleagues,

As the world around us turns inward to protect itself during this pandemic, our thoughts here at the Hungaria Stamp Exchange are with you and your families. Our thoughts and wishes are for your good health and safety. 

We are here by phone and email to answer any philatelic questions you may have during this time, although our traditional mail response may take longer than usual as we all slow down our travel to and from the postal authorities.


The Bauer Family 

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