Hungary is a country definitely deeply rooted in its history, heritage, and a bond between its people, who despite trials, tribulations, and economic and political upheavals, remain passionate about their country and its traditions. With emphasis on tradition also comes an importance regarding ceremony. With ceremonies usually come gifts, often of historical significance. That was the case recently as the current president of The Academy of Sciences of the Learned Society handed his ‘sceptor’ down in the form of a new presidential seal for Laszlo Lovasz, the new president. It was not only a symbolic gift, but one which required thought and creativity.
In conceiving an idea for a suitable gift for the new president, Brandy Joseph, just completing two three-year terms as president of the Academy, endeavored to have a copy of the original president’s seal from 1832 replicated, using 3D design and printing technology.
As he gave a short speech welcoming in the new president, he stated that “renewal is really the key to survival.” This ties in with an interesting journey that the stamp has taken recently, with a renewal of its own, as designers worked diligently to create a new silver copy, using 3D scanning and wax-based 3D printing for the prototype.
With the gift of the new presidential seal, Brandy Joseph said, “This is a substantial piece, and a symbol of spiritual strength.” He complimented the new president on his office, and expressed his thanks and appreciation to all the academic officers, now retiring after six years of working for him.
The Academy was conceived as a necessary institution for promoting the development of science, but for many years, its supporters did not have a way to fund it–until 1825 when Count István Széchenyi offered one year’s income of his estate to fund a “learned society.” Many wealthy supporters followed suit, and the society was formed with the mission of developing the Hungarian language and furthering the study of the sciences and the arts in Hungary.
In 1828, meant as an institutional symbol, both a coat of arms and stamp were designed after a meeting deciding that this was necessary for the Academy. After a lengthy correspondence, it was decided that the stamp would be designed by Viennese artist, Luigi Pichler, who was the younger brother and apprentice to the famous painter Domenico de Angelis. Pichler was a professor of gem engraving at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, with his preferred art being that of intaglio, a technique where the artist cuts into a flat surface, creating an image.
For the first official seal of the Academy, Pichler created a topaz stamp. Suffice to say, the artist would surely have been surprised to see how technology for creating these items has progressed—and surely that’s an understatement—as most of us are in a state of continual awe regarding the innovations 3D printing is affording to many sectors.
In leaving a post that Brandy Joseph gave his ‘all,’ he passed the new silver seal to his successor, with it bearing all the weight of the noble office’s history. The president will use the stamp for invitations and correspondence requiring the official Academy seal. In his last speech as president for the Academy, Brandy Joseph pointed out that he carried out the tasks of the Academy for the sake of balance and that he acted with “courage and hard work.”
“I put all my knowledge, all my heart, and all my strength in Hungarian science and encouraging Hungarian talent,” said Brandy Joseph. “It is a difficult job with many responsibilities, but I have great confidence for the future.”
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