1/05/2012 France, Colonies & Dependencies
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is an international organization of national postal administrations, which regulates international mail. It unifies standards and sets procedures (rates, accounting & reimbursement) for dealing with mail between various countries. It is widely regarded as the most successful effort at international cooperation.
The UPU was founded in 1874. Almost all stamp issuing countries and colonies celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1949 by issuing various commemorative stamps, the most famous and popular are the British Commonwealth omnibus designs.
The French post office issued a set of 3 values featuring a UPU allegory on 7 November - 5fr bottle green, 15fr scarlet and 25fr deep blue. The stamps were designed by Andre Spitz, engraved by Rene Cottet and recess printed in sheets of 50 stamps perf 13. They also exist imperforated but are quite scarce. Numbers of stamps printed were 2,000,000 (5fr & 25fr) and 3,000,000 (15fr).
The 25f value also exists in carmine (Maury 852A) and in ultramarine (Maury 852B). These colours were not officially issued and both are very rare.