American Philatelic Society


Julius (John) Murray Bartels

(1872 – October 5, 1944) New York City

Bartels was a famous dealer and auctioneer. He was also an expert, student and writer on the postal stationery of the United States and its possessions. He began his career in Washington, D.C., spent a few years in Boston, and then moved to New York City.

Bartels built important collections of Philippines, Canal Zone, Danish West Indies and Virgin Islands. He wrote the books: The Postage Stamps of the Philippines (with F.A. Foster and F.L. Palmer) (1904); Bartel's Checklist of Canal Zone Stamps (1906, 2nd ed. 1908); and United States Virgin Islands (Mekeel Booklet No. 21) (with Bertram W.H. Poole) (1917).

Bartels was an expert and authority on U.S. postal stationery. He was one of the “three Bs” of postal stationery, along with Dr. Daniel D. Berolzheimer and Dr. Victor M. Berthold. His first book, published in 1897, J.M. Bartels and Co.'s Catalogue and Reference List of the Stamped Envelopes, Wrappers and Letter Sheets, had three subsequent editions through 1911. He also wrote Envelopes of the United States with several editions published from 1930 to 1938. Prescott H. Thorp succeeded Bartels in this field, publishing subsequent catalogs as “Thorp-Bartels” editions.

Bartels held 337 auctions from 1898 to 1944. Among his many important sales were portions of the Clarence Eagle and Arthur Hind collections. From 1939 to 1941 Bartels and Edwin Mueller collaborated in a series of auctions, including the “Bartels Special Rarity Sales” containing portions of the famous European collection of Baron Alphonse de Rothschild.


Percy Gray Doane

(1877 – March 28, 1945) New York City

Doane was a leading dealer and auctioneer for almost half a century, who was highly respected for his integrity and generosity. He formed his auction house in 1897 and almost immediately it became a popular meeting place for his customers and his peers.

Doane held 348 auctions, selling portions of many important collections he helped build. Among the names were Col. E.H.R. Green, Judge Robert Emerson, Clarence Eagle and Benno Loewy.


William Carlos Stone

(October 9, 1859 – February 23, 1939) Springfield, Massachusetts

Stone was a pioneer collector of U.S. revenues and postal stationery. He was a founding member of the American Philatelic Association (now the APS), and served in some official capacity from his joining until his death. “Uncle Billy” rarely missed an APS convention, and was called “sine die Stone” because he so often made the motion to close the conventions.

Stone was active in philatelic scholarship and was a long time member of the Literary Committee of the APS. In this capacity he strongly supported William R. Ricketts in the preparation and publication of his famous index. Stone built a large philatelic library, specializing in revenue publications. It was purchased by George Turner in 1939 and was the beginning of Turner's famous library.

Alfred F. Lichtenstein

(August 6, 1876 – February 24, 1947) New York City

Lichtenstein was one of America's most famous philatelists. In 1996 the Collectors Club of New York named him the Outstanding American Philatelist for the first half of the 20th century, an honor much applauded by the philatelic world. During his lifetime Lichtenstein built some of the greatest collections ever formed: Canada and the Provinces, Switzerland, Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Uruguay, Argentina, and U.S. Western franks.

For three decades Lichtenstein was an international judge. He was chairman of the 1926 and 1936 international philatelic exhibitions held in New York City. He was also named chairman of the 1947 Centenary International Stamp Exhibition (CIPEX), but died less than three months before it opened. A special exhibit of part of his collection was displayed there in his honor.

Lichtenstein was a strong supporter of the Collectors Club of New York, and was instrumental in its growth and prominence in world philately. He and Theodore Steinway led the drive for funds to acquire its permanent home. In 1952, in his honor, the Collectors Club established the Alfred F. Lichtenstein Memorial Award, given annually for distinguished service to philately. The first recipient was Steinway, his personal friend and devoted coworker.

He was a founder, in 1945, and first chairman of the Philatelic Foundation, and throughout his life strongly supported its activities. Lichtenstein's daughter, Louise Boyd Dale continued the support of the PF. He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1927.

Edward Haven Mason

(June 8, 1849 – March 21, 1917) Boston

Mason was the first philatelist to extensively study and write on the essays and proofs of U.S. stamps and postal stationery. He built an outstanding collection, comparable to that of J. L. Lindsay, Earl of Crawford. Mason published a series of seminal books: Essays for United States Postage Stamps (1911), The Proofs and Essays for U.S. Envelopes (1911), and More Essays for United States Postage Stamps (1912).

His pioneering work was the basis of the listing of proofs and essays in the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue of Stamps, and Clarence W. Brazer acknowledged Mason's influence on all subsequent work on essays and proofs.

Because photographs of U.S. stamps and their likenesses were forbidden by law, Mason's published books have no illustrations. The New England Stamp Company prepared and sold ten copies of his first book with interleaved pages on which photographs of items from Mason's collection were attached. These special editions are located in the Collectors Club library and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries branch at the National Postal Museum. The Collectors Club Library also contains an interleaved copy of his book The Proofs and Essays for U.S. Envelopes with photographs pasted in.


Major James Starr

( 1870 – March 13, 1948)   Philadelphia

Starr was one of the first important students of Chinese stamps in the United States. He built famous and highly specialized collections of Chinese stamps, ranging from the large Dragons of 1878-1883 to the airmails of 1921-1946.

These collections won numerous international awards from the 1920s to the 1940s. With Samuel J. Mills, Starr co-authored The Chinese Air-Post, 1920-1935, (c. 1937) based on his collection of stamps and covers. His China collection remained intact after his death until its sale at a Sotheby's auction in 1991. Starr participated in the activities of the China Stamp Society and was president at the time of his death. He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1947.

Return to top of page

check out   continue shopping