100 years since the sinking of the Titanic
The main motif of this unusual philatelic product is the Titanic heading towards the iceberg, while the stamps show parts of the liner. In the top right corner there is a portrait of Dr Lengyel and the outline of RMS Carpathia. The unusual feature of this release is that, in addition to offset printing and embossing, iridescent spot-varnish screenprinting, usually a security device, has been used and the particles scattered across the surface sparkle icily. The first day cover for the block features a portrait of Dr Árpád Lengyel, while the silhouette of a lifeboat has been used for the special postmark. Forty thousand copies of the stamp block designed by the graphic artist Arnold Feke have been made by the banknote printing company Pénzjegynyomda. The Titanic was built in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and when she was launched, she was the world’s largest steam-powered passenger liner. She left Southampton at noon on 10 April 1912 with 2207 passengers on board. Several ice warnings were received on the evening before the disaster, but the high volume of telegrams prevented some from reaching the bridge. Although the Titanic was the largest and most elegant vessel on the transatlantic route, it was not the fastest, which jeopardised the planned arrival in New York on 16 April 1912. For this reason it steamed full ahead and did not try to avoid the potentially dangerous area of drifting ice. At 11.40 pm on 14 April the watch spotted a floating iceberg. The officer on duty ordered the ship to be steered to the left and the port propeller to be put into reverse. A long time passed before the gigantic vessel slowly began to turn, and so the iceberg punctured a series of fatal holes below the waterline on the starboard side of the ship. The captain immediately sent distress signals and gave the order to abandon ship. RMS Carpathia heard the Mayday but was too far from the scene to offer immediate help. The Titanic sank at 2.20 am on 15 April. The people in the lifeboats were picked up by the Carpathia about 75 minutes later. A few of the Hungarian passengers on the Titanic survived, such as Mátyás Reischl, a waiter in one of the first class restaurants, and the Hungarian emigrants Lujza Hoffer, and Antal Kisik and his wife. The ship’s doctor of the Carpathia, which hurried to the Titanic’s aid, was Dr Árpád Lengyel, who did all within his power to save the survivors, endangered by hypothermia. The survivors gave him a medallion in gratitude. His grave is in the Kerepesi Cemetery in Budapest.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 13.04.2012
Values: 800, 800