PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 18, April 30, 2006, Article 7

UNITED NATIONS STAMP COLLECTION SALE INVESTIGATED

On April 28 Fox News posted a very lengthy article about an
investigation into the 2003 sale of the United Nations' stamp
collection.

"Amid the many scandals at the United Nations, a new mystery
now looms. What happened to the world organization’s unique
and valuable postal archive — in effect, the U.N.’s own stamp
collection, one of the crown jewels of its past and a popular
point of contact with the global public?

Auditors from the U.N.’s investigative arm, the Office of
Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), are currently putting the
last touches on an investigative report that has taken months
to complete, and that aims to determine exactly what happened
— and why — to the U.N.’s rare and much-admired collection of
materials that belong to the United Nations Postal Administration."

"One thing that investigators know for certain about the archive:
In a discreet but historic auction carried out in a quiet suburb
of Geneva, Switzerland, all of it — more than a metric ton of
prized material, dating from as early as 1951 — was sold off to
a single bidder on May 12, 2003.

The collection included original artwork for U.N. stamps, unique
so-called die proofs to test the faithfulness of design reproduction,
printing proofs and other rarities, along with hundreds of thousands
of other stamps, reflecting many of the most colorful aspects of U.N.
history."

"But for the U.N., it was no coup, even though, according to
officials familiar with UNPA finances, the UNPA netted “some $2.5
million” from the Swiss auction deal. The reason: according to U.N.
sources, the archive sale may well have taken place without the
permissions required by the regulations of the U.N. Secretariat
for the disposal of such important U.N. property."

"The sole winner of the Geneva auction bid was Arthur Morowitz,
CEO of a Manhattan-based firm called Champion Stamp Collection.
Morowitz is also secretary of the American Stamp Dealers Association,
an industry group. When contacted by FOX News, Morowitz declined to
comment on the sale, or the subsequent resale of the postal archive.

Even before leaving Geneva, however, Morowitz had been contacted
by another U.S. auctioneer, Greg Manning, head of a New Jersey
auction firm named Greg Manning Auctions, Inc (GMAI)..."

"Six months later, at his auction galleries in West Caldwell, N.J.,
Manning put the rarest and most unique items in the U.N. archive up
for auction once again — more than 2,000 items in all. They ranged
from artists’ drawings for the earliest U.N. stamps in 1951 to
approved models for special anniversary issues to unique rarities
celebrating peacekeeping operations and national member states."

"This auction, however, was only the tip of the UNPA’s archival
iceberg. After the sale, Manning still retained "hundreds of
thousands” of individual items from the archive, less unique than
the top-line items but still in highly limited quantity. These,
he says, he disposed of throughout 2004 to other private customers."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster