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H. R. Harmer: Auction House Overview

October 25, 2019

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H.R. Harmer’s image.

This auction house is known to every philatelist be it an experienced collector or a newbie. The company was established back in 1918 in England. The auction house bears the name of its founder - Henry R. Harmer. The company specializes in selling postage stamps and collections solely. Importantly, the founder has put his signature on the "Roll of Distinguished Philatelists", which has perpetuated this person among the most influential philatelists forever. In twenty-two years after the auction house was founded, the company opened a gallery in New York and became a major player in the philatelic market.

Six years later, another important milestone was achieved, which was auctioning the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s philatelic assemblage. After this crucial event, the company was chosen repeatedly to sell some of the most exclusive and valuable stamp collections. In particular, the enterprise has realized Louise Boyd Dale's collection. In addition, it was H. R. Harmer who sold the famous Alfred F. Lichtenstein collection. The company website states the following: “Harmer has also offered many valuable properties and world-renowned rarities including the Princeton University Block of Four of the Inverted U.S. 24¢ Airpost and the Charnley and Whelan find of U.S. St. Louis Postmaster Provisional issues.” Importantly, apart from holding regular stamp auctions, the firm also offers appraisal services and consultations to their clients. In addition, the auctioneer has its agents in some of the European countries, the USA, and Canada. We have checked the upcoming events by H. R. Harmer, especially, one of their online stamp auctions, and we noticed quite a few rare stamps to be sold so you should also check what they have there.

According to the company’s website, the organization was founded back in 1976. It is located in Cheshire, south of Manchester, where fourteen Sandafayre specialists have been selling postage stamps for over forty years, including breaking large collections into smaller pieces. The auctioneer states the following: "We have stamps for sale from Great Britain, The Commonwealth and countries worldwide." Interestingly, the company does not have a separate specialized store. Their main area of activity is conducting regular postal auctions. However, according to the company, Sandafayre is the largest seller in the philatelic world. In specially equipped rooms, protected from humidity, sun, and robbers, fourteen expert philatelists are patiently and carefully looking for and checking stamps and collections. They constantly have $25-30 million worth of rare stamps in their hands. Auctions are held systematically, and the geography of events is always wide. Some experts in the field note that starting prices may be slightly overpriced if one compares those to the prices observed at smaller online stamps auctions, but this is a fee for the name and a guarantee against fakes and fraud.

At the moment, the company's leadership is represented by Mr. Green and Mr. Harlow who have been engaged in stamp collecting, and philately in general, since the teenage years. Curiously, the organization was among the first to join the internet revolution and brought its services to the worldwide web. However, more importantly, at present, Sandafayre has thousands of customers from all over the world


H. R. Harmer