Hungarian Hyperinflation

Postal History
Faeroese Postal History 
Hungarian Hyperinflation
Soviet-Lithuania 1947-90
Encased Stamps
Dutch Silver Stamp 
A Jewel on a Stamp
TPG Post 
Azad Hind 
Christmas Island 
Nordic Swans

Kaulbach Island 
Canadian Nat. Symbols
Barcelos Rooster
Private - Personalized 
Swarovski Crystals 
St. Zeno 
St. George
St. Patrick 
St. Valentine 
Mother's Day  
Father's Day  
Seven Wonders 
Four Seasons

Hidden Messages
Gothic Alphabet

Philatelic Art Mews
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
National Portrait Gallery
Bjřrn Wiinblad


Historical Background
Inflation, page 1        Inflation, page 2
Adópengö, page 1        Adópengö, page 2

In a frail attempt to be ahead of the inflation the Hungarian Post Office started issuing the so-called letter surcharges on 14th January 1946, at the same time when the raised postage of Period # 6 took effect.  The letter surcharges showed the class of postage for which they were valid.  Letter surcharge for parcel post Cs. 10 - 1 was issued only on 22nd January.  

Cs. 5 - 1 had a total print run of 60,.000.
Cs. 10 - 1 had a total print run of 48,000. 

Note that the Cs. 5-1 and Cs. 10-1 stamps (overprinted on Scott 613 and 615) were issued on 14th January, along with six other values.  These two stamps were withdrawn on 22nd January, because the St. Stephen crown was an offensive symbol to the communists.  On 28th January the Cs. 5-1 and Cs. 10-1 overprints reappeared on the 70f value of the famous Woman set (Scott 629).

In the 3rd series there is only text on the stamps, except for declaration of weight class (5 or 10) on the parcel post stamps.

The below table gives an overview of the letter surcharges, their values and issuing dates.

Serial Number 1 2 3
Period No.  
(cf. table on page 1)


Any = Nyomtatvány = 
Printed Matters (20 gr)
150 P 500 P 400,000 P
Hlp. = Helyi levelezölap = 
Post card (local rate)
300 P 1,500 P 800,000 P
Hl. = Helyi level = 
Letters (local rate)
400 P 2,000 P 1,200,000 P
Tlp. = Távolsági levelezölap level = 
Post cards (domestic rate)
400 P 2,000 P 1,200,000 P
Tl. = Távolsági level = 
Letters (domestic rate)
600 P 3,000 P 2,000 000 P
Ajl. = Ajánlás = 
Registered mail
1,200 P 6,000 P 4,000,000 P
Cs - 5 = Csomag 5 kg = 
parcels (5 kg)
3,000 P 10,000 P  6,000,000 P
Cs - 10 = Csomag 10 kg = 
parcels (10 kg)
6,000 P 15,000 P 8,000,000 P
  • The scan shows a piece of an address card for a parcel up to 5 kg, sent on 19th January 1946, affixed with a letter surcharge Cs. 5 - 1 from the first series, 3,000 Pengö.  The other stamp is a revenue for the fee (for the card as such) of 10 Pengö. 

The anecdote appearing in some of the popular philatelic literature (Guinness Stamp Book, Dan. Ed.) that these stamps should be bought in the morning to avoid raised prices later during the day, is nonsense.  The stamps were sold and used for the price mentioned in the above table, until they were invalidated on 30th June 1946. 

  • The above address card (front and back) is a good example that the anecdote is untrue.  It was purchased and used on 27th March 1946 (Period 10) and affixed with 40 (forty) stamps of letter surcharge Cs. 10 - 1, each of 6,000 Pengö, corresponding to a total price of 240,000 Pengö, for sending a parcel of 10 kg.  

The scan to the left shows a letter to Hungarian Red Cross, sent registered during Period No. 6 (14th January - 1st February 1946).  

The stamps used are letter surcharges of 1 stamp Tl. 1 = 600 Pengö (letter domestic rate), and 1 stamp Ajl. 1 = 1,200 Pengö (stamp for registered mail), total 1,800 Pengö, cf. the above table.  

The registration label is hand-written. 

The terrible inflation is particularly visible on the address cards, the main part of them concerning food and fruit sent from the rural areas to the urban areas. 

  • The above address card concerns shipment of 8 kg bread, sent on 13th April 1946 (Period 12).  The parcel was sent insured for 19 million pengö.  During the whole inflation period the price in Denmark for a loaf of dark bread was 1.17 DKK, and the price for a loaf of white bread was 1.23 DKK.  In total the sender has paid 720,000 Pengö in postage.  Further to postage there was a fee for the address form (Okirati Illetek = Fee for the form) of 4,000 Pengö.  Hungarian address cards from the inflation period were postal entires with a printed revenue of 10 filler, and supplementary postage to be added. 

The scan to the right shows a letter from Hungary to England, sent on 1st March 1946, the first day of Period 8.  The postage of 80,000 Pengö is correct.  It is a true First Day Letter, gone through the mail.  15,000 Pengö was the highest value on 1st March 1946.  An 80,000 Pengö stamp was issued on 13th March 1946, still within Period 8.

The address card below is for shipment on 21st February 1946 (Period 7) of a parcel containing 9,5 kg of various vegetables and fruits.

Revised 02 nov 2006 
Copyright © by Ann Mette Heindorff
All Rights Reserved 

Homepage Shoebox

Homepage Heindorffhus