World Stamps

Denise McCarty

Extremely popular stamp subject gets second United Nations set

March 11, 2017 09:00 AM

  • The United Nations Postal Administration is celebrating international dance on stamps being issued March 23. Polynesian dance is featured on the pane of 49¢ stamps for use from the U.N. headquarters in New York City.
  • A second pane of International Dance stamps for use from U.N. headquarters shows Pascal Campion’s illustrations of native American dance.
  • Venetian dancers at a masquarade ball are pictured on the pane of 1-franc stamps for use from the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The Japanese fan dance is represented on the pane of 1.50-franc stamps saluting international dance.
  • The colors and festive atmosphere of the samba and Carnival in Brazil is captured on this pane of €0.68 stamps for use from the U.N. post office at the Vienna International Center in Austria.
  • The pane of €0.80 stamps in the U.N. International Dance issue reveals the beauty of ballet.

By Denise McCarty

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue a second set of stamps devoted to international dance March 23.

The first set was issued April 29, 2016, in conjunction with International Dance Day (Scott U.N./New York 1132-1333, Geneva 617-618 and Vienna 583-584).

According to Thanawat Amnajanan, UNPA chief, the International Dance series is being continued because of the extreme popularity of the first issue with collectors.

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Also, in announcing the new stamps, UNPA said: “According to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), dance promotes a lively manner, reciprocal knowledge and respect of diversity. Dance is both an art form and a method of communication in cultures around the world.”

Like the first set, the second International Dance issue includes six panes of six stamps each forming a single continuous design. Three artists created the illustrations for the stamp panes.

The illustrations on the 49¢ and $1.15 stamps for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City are by French-American illustrator and animator Pascal Campion.

The pane with six 49¢ stamps represents three traditional Polynesian dances. A blue sky, palm trees and brightly colored birds are pictured in the selvage.

Native American tribal dance is portrayed on the $1.15 pane.

Depictions of the quadrille and the Japanese fan dance by French illustrator Jean Francois Martin are featured on the 1-franc and 1.50fr stamp panes, respectively. These stamps are for use from the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

A dance with four couples, the quadrille originated in in France in the late 18th century and soon spread across Europe and to other parts of the world. 

The dance on the 1fr pane appears to be part of a Venetian costumed ball. All six dancers shown on the stamps are wearing masks, and one is wearing a chequered Harlequin costume. Symbolic images of Venice’s gondolas and red and white striped mooring poles are pictured in the selvage.

Fans have long been a part of traditional Japanese dance. Umbrellas, or parasols, have been used as well, and one of the dancers shown on the pane of 1.50fr stamps is holding an umbrella instead of a fan.

The €0.68 and €0.80 stamps for use from the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria, portray the samba and ballet. Victo Ngai, a Los Angeles-based illustrator from Hong Kong, created the illustrations.

Samba, associated with Brazilian Carnival parades and festivals, evolved from the dances of African slaves in that South American country. In addition to samba dancers, the stamp pane depicts drummers, a large parade float, and what looks like fireworks and confetti.

Beginning with court dances during the Renaissance, ballet moved to the stage in the late 17th century. The stamp pane pictures a group of ballerinas performing what appears to be Swan Lake, composed by Tchaikovsky.

Sergio Baradat designed the stamps. Cartor Security Printers printed them by offset lithography plus hexacrome in the following quantities: 22,000 each of the 49¢, $1.15, 1fr, and 1.50fr panes; and 28,000 each of the 0.68 and 0.80 panes.

Each stamp measures 30 millimeters by 40mm and is perforated gauge 13 by 13¼; the pane is 140mm by 170mm.

For ordering information for the U.N. International Dance stamps,­ visit the UNPA website; send an email; telephone 800-234-8672; fax 212-963-9854; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.