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 

Budapest Au Revoir: Hungaria Stamp Exchange Retrospective

Bela Bauer in Budapest

Today, Alan is looking at cabinet drawings for the new Hungaria Stamp Exchange library which is currently under construction and planning for its opening Fall 2018. It becomes apparent it is now time to reflect on how did this little stamp trading club comprised of Budapest friends come this far? A brief journey back in time to Budapest in the late 1920’s finds Béla Bauer, Alan’s father, trading Hungarian postal stamps with members of his close circle of friends in Budapest. At that time, while not studying for dental school, Béla’s other hobbies include writing music and trips with friends to Lake Balaton.

Hungarian FDC sent to
Sec. Béla Bauer in NYC

Béla Bauer married and moved to the United States in the early 1940’s. He arrived in New York City to start his new dental laboratory and get his family settled into his newfound homeland. He soon joined a local stamp club, Hungarian Philatelic Society, and filled the role of the secretary of the organization.

Once Béla and his family moved from New York City to central New York State, he started a small part-time stamp business called the Hungaria Stamp Exchange, focusing primarily on Hungarian stamps and some Hungarian postal history.

Continue reading “Budapest Au Revoir: Hungaria Stamp Exchange Retrospective”

Fanciful Flights & Hungarian Airmail Vision of Vic Berecz

Hello Friends and Philatelic Collectors,

Here in New England we are welcoming summer with our first heat wave of the season. So, what better time to take a pause and share some of our recent events and conversations.

In May, after Alan presided over the annual meeting of the Society for Hungarian Philately, the Hungaria Stamp Exchange team had the privilege of hosting a scrumptious Eastern European dinner for members of the Society for Hungarian Philately at the Cardinal Spellman Stamp Museum in Weston, Massachusetts. The staff of the Museum kindly offered  their community room for the meeting and dinner as well as displaying many frames of their extensive Hungarian collection. The collection even includes a rare Inverted Madonna! Equally amazing was the special exhibit of the US Inverted Jenny that was open at the same time.

Thank you to Joe, Jeff & George for sharing their wonderful Museum with us.

The Philatelic Journey of Vic Berecz

Before the start of these festivities, Stacie and Diane had the privilege of interviewing Vic Berecz, an icon of Hungarian philately and one of the founders of the Society for Hungarian Philately. We are delighted to share with you here, highlights of Vic’s view on his specialty The Pioneer Period of Hungarian Airmails, his vision for the creation of the Society for Hungarian Philately and advice for collectors starting their philatelic journey.

Continue reading “Fanciful Flights & Hungarian Airmail Vision of Vic Berecz”
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