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Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
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West Caldwell, NJ, United States
DoneThu, Nov 20, 2003 1:30 PM GMT

United Nations Archives Auction

By anyone’s measure, this is a most unusual philatelic auction. For example, the sale consists entirely of material from 1951 to date, making it one of the very few philatelic auctions ever held that is solely devoted to material from the second half of the twentieth century. In addition it contains, by far, the largest number of original artist’s drawings produced for stamp designs ever offered at one time.


This sale probably includes the highest percentage of unique items ever offered in a single auction. Of over 2,800 lots, more than 2,000 are unique. We don’t normally associate the term ‘rarity’ with United Nations philately, yet within this catalogue there are enough rarities to satisfy the tastes of any connoisseur. In addition to the unique items, the vast majority of the remaining lots in the sale exist in quantities of five or less.


Ironically, the auction does not include even one single regularly issued stamp or cover, yet it offers something else never before seen in a philatelic auction. Look through this catalogue, especially the artwork submitted by artists from more than forty nations, and you’ll get a very compelling glimpse of the world of the early postwar era, with its slow but definite emergence of a global consciousness. Here is a planet devastated by war, trying to find its voice as it seeks a badly needed fresh start. The earnest, almost desperate desire for world peace comes through in the UN art as in nowhere else.