APS seeks tenders for Kugel collection

The American Philatelic Society (APS) is seeking proposals from U.S. and international firms to sell the collection of noted philatelist, researcher, exhibitor and leader in the hobby, Alfred (Al) F. Kugel.

“We’re grateful to Al and his wife, Dottie, for this incredible gift,” said Scott English, the APS executive director. “This estate is part of a new era for the APS and APRL (American Philatelic Research Library).”

Kugel, of Hinsdale, Ill., died May 11, 2022, at age 91.

According to an APS release, the Kugel Estate comprises 69 boxes of philatelic material and 50 boxes of philatelic literature. The APS will offer the philatelic material for sale through the bid process. The philatelic literature will be transferred to the APRL to be added to circulation or sold to members and the general public.

The APS says an appraisal by Gerald Robbins, of Robbins Stamps in Bellefonte, Pa., estimated the value of the philatelic material at $1.79 million and the literature at $12,000.

The APS outlined three goals for the sale of material:

  1. Highest possible realization of sales of the Alfred F. Kugel Collection to support the mission and objectives of the APS and APRL.
  2. Use the sale to promote the APS and APRL and their service to the international collecting community.
  3. Honour the legacy of Alfred F. Kugel and his contributions to philately as a collector, exhibitor, researcher, writer, and friend.

English added, “For the first time in over two decades, we can finally invest in the APS and the hobby, not debt retirement. We are financially sound and can now aggressively fight for the hobby’s future.”

The APS says bids are due by Oct. 1, 2023. It expects a worldwide marketing campaign and sales to occur within two years to realize the greatest return and promote the APS and APRL worldwide while honouring Kugel.

Kugel was associated with many philatelic organizations, especially Chicagopex, the Military Postal History Society, and the American Philatelic Society. He served as a director of the Chicago Philatelic Society (CPS) and as exhibit chairman and general chairman of Chicagopex. The CPS honored Kugel with its Saul Newbury and Aubrey Berman awards.

A Life Member of the Military Postal History Society, Kugel served as its director, vice president, and president. Kugel had the lowest membership number (434) of any active member at his death.

With his experience in the investment field, Kugel brought financial stability to Chicagopex, considered one of the best World Series of Philately venues. As an American Philatelic Society’s finance committee member, he advised the APS on its investment portfolio.

Kugel was an expert on military postal history and had more than 100 single and multi-frame exhibits in this field. He contributed scores of articles in this area, many of them in the Military Postal History Society Bulletin. He also contributed to The American Philatelist; Collectors Club Philatelist; the Postal History Society journal; Rossica, the journal of Russian philately; and German Postal Specialist, among others. Kugel and co-author Ed Dubin received the United States Stamp Society’s Barbara Mueller award for the best article in the 2017 issues of The American Philatelist.

Kugel was an APS-accredited philatelic judge and served on CANEJ. In 2005, he was awarded the John N. Luff Award for distinguished philatelic research, and in 2011, he was elected to the APS Writers Hall of Fame. He was a council member of the American Philatelic Congress, an officer in the Collectors Club of Chicago, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, and he served on the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s Council of Philatelists.

This year, the APS board of directors voted to induct Kugel into the APS Hall of Fame, and he was honoured at the Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland, Ohio.

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