Friday, September 2, 2011

To be or not to be : CTO - The difficult ones 04 g

I doubted a while before posting this article under the title : 'the difficult ones'...
maybe it should have been posted later, under : 'the dangerous ones'...
but since there is a similarity with the CTO stamps of the UN, I decided to give them the benifit of the doubt :-)

I'm talking about some Dutch stamps, issued by the International Court of Justice, and the Swiss stamps previous to the UN seat in Geneva.

In both cases they are Service stamps, emitted by  a country that hosts an international organisation.
The stamps were in fact only used for internal usage (by the organisation):
the League of Nations (before UN), court of Justice, ILO (international Labour Organisation), the WHO (world health organisation), European office of UN (before UN Geneva), WMO (world meteorologic organisation), IBE (international bureau of education), UPU (Universal Postal Union) ....
even the Internationa Olympic Comitee

Except for the International Court of Justice in The Hague (the Netherlands), all other stamps are Swiss.

The Netherlands - Court of Justice - CTO cancel

Because those stamps are so rare in postally used condition, the catalogues give them the same value as MNH. Really postally used stamps are rated higher, especially when on a letter.

CTO, 1st day of issue, Switserland ILO
CTO, 1st day of issue, Switserland ILO
CTO, 1st day of issue, Switserland ITU
CTO, 1st day of issue, Switserland WHO

CTO, 1st day of issue, Switserland WHO
CTO, 1st day of issue, Switserland UNO
The United Nations, is not really a country, but due to their state of independency, they are allowed to have their own stamps.
UN issues stamps in 3 headquarters, New York (in USD), Vienna (before in Austrian shillings, now in Euro) and in Geneva (Swiss Francs). There have been offices in the former republic of Yugoslavia as well. But the stamps that are most common, are those shown beneath.

No one goes to the UN for a holiday, so very few letters are actually used for sending mail.
Only employees of UN departments use the stamps. In a way you can say, all UN stamps are service stamps.
They do exist postally used, but they are scarce.

Because of the topics on the stamps, and undoubtably the high quality of the items, they are searched.
In Europe, they are not really 'hot' but many collectors have UN nearly complete. Mint of course.
Mint can still be found nearly anywhere. I dare you to try to make a postally used collection of the UN !

So to fill the need of cancelled stamps, almost all issues I've seen are CTO.

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