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Stamp Auctions: Personalities

January 08, 2019

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Stamp auctions have a rich history, which dates back to the middle of the 19th century. It should be noted that the first events immediately attracted the attention of hundreds of people, and eventually, holding regular philatelic auctions became a great tradition for many countries of the world. In this part, you will find the names of the “founding fathers” of the contemporary auction business in philately.


John Walter Scott

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John Walter Scott.

The person you see in the photo above is familiar to every philatelist across the globe since this is the famous John Walter Scott. Since youth, he was an adventurous entrepreneur, and therefore he was able to turn his interest in philately into a real, prosperous business. In 1870, he held the first ever US auction for the sale of postage stamps, which was a great success among collectors. After he had held the first event, he began to organize auctions not only in the USA but also in Europe. Twelve years later, he released the first auction catalog, which presented full-color images of lots put up for auction.

Jan van Dieten

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Jan van Dieten (the son of Jan van Dieten).

In 1886, a 12-year-old boy (Jan van Dieten) bought a sheet with foreign postal stamps at some local post office. He immediately got interested in stamp collecting, and his growing interest turned him into one of the first auctioneers of the world. In 1892, he decided to organize a stamp auction, which was highly appreciated by not only stamp collectors but also the general public as well. After that year, he was able to hold hundreds of successful events within more than 30 years. After his death in 1931, the son of the famous auctioneer, who inherited the best traits of his father, took his place at the auction house. More than 300 hundred auctions were held by these two men from the van Dieten family.

John Harry Robson Lowe

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Robson Lowe.

John Harry Robson Lowe is another person familiar to stamp collectors from all over the world. Initially, he was just someone fond of stamp collecting; however, gradually, he engaged in trading and became an influential auctioneer. In 1945, he held his first stamp auction. Interestingly, many philatelists consider him the father of postal history due to the contribution he has made to the enrichment of this industry. He has written multiple works, which expanded the body of knowledge and allowed building a solid foundation for the industry development.

David Feldman

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Kanai Hiroyuki and David Feldman.

David Feldman is another auctioneer, whose name is forever inscribed in the history of philately. Despite the fact that his activities are related to the contemporary period, he is rightly considered one of the most influential people in this field. His first auction, David organized in 1967 and since then, his auction company continues to hold events that offer the most interesting lots. Over the entire history of this house, it has achieved record prices for some well-known stamps, including the "Treskilling Yellow".