The first Hungarian banknotes

The period from 1847 to 1925!

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Historical context

In the 19th century, Hungary was under Austrian rule from the House of Habsburg and did not yet have a central bank. The issue of Empire banknotes has been entrusted since 1816 to the Austrian National Bank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank). During the Hungarian revolution of 1848, the independentist government entrusted the Hungarian Commercial Bank of Pest (Pesti Magyar Kereskedelmi Bank) with carrying out central banking missions.

Less than two decades after the crushing of their revolt, the Hungarians obtain from the monarchy the "compromise" of 1867. The Austrian National Bank is transformed and gives birth to the Austro-Hungarian Bank (Oesterreichisch-ungarische Bank, Osztrák-Magyar Bank) in 1878. From 1880, the bank put into circulation its first banknotes with one side printed in Hungarian and the other side printed in German. The financial institute then becomes the regulator of the cash flows of the “Danubian monarchy”. But this monopoly came to an abrupt end after the First World War and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1921, the Royal Hungarian State Institute was then created and was responsible for preparing banknotes for the new Kingdom of Hungary.

Between 1920 and 1926, government notes were issued by the Ministry of Finance. First, small notes of low value (from 50 Fillér to 20 korona) were printed in 1920 in Budapest by different printers. Then a series of larger format banknotes (from 50 korona to 25,000 korona) designed by the artist Ferenc Helbing, were printed in 1920 and 1922 by the Swiss printer Orell Füslli in Zurich. A second series of banknotes (from 100 korona to 1,000,000 korona) but this time in a smaller format, were printed in 1923 by Orell Füslli and by the new Hungarian printing institute, Magyar Pénzjegynyomda Rt. Located in Budapest.


Above: front of 100,000 korona Type 1923. Dimensions: 165 x 105 mm.

Hungarian banknotes in the Numizon catalog

The banknotes of Hungary are very numerous and we have decided to present them in the catalog in two distinct periods ranging from 1847 to 1925 and from 1926 to the present day. The 109 banknotes that you are going to discover correspond to the first period and are classified by the following categories:

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