The Errors, Freaks and Oddities Collectors’ Club (EFOCC) recently announced retired auctioneer Jacques Schiff, Jr., of Hackensack, N.J., as the newest member of the club’s Hall of Fame.
Schiff was considered a pioneer in the realm of EFO philately, featuring this collecting area in his auctions since he began in the business in the 1960s. Spanning half a century, his nearly 340 auction catalogs are a “virtual chronicle of what exists in U.S. EFOs,” according to the EFOCC’s press release. Schiff also wrote long-running columns on EFOs in the philatelic press and was a frequent visitor to the security printing plants that produced U.S. stamps to assure he knew the cause of errors as well as ensure he could determine their genuineness.
His firm made a specialty of bringing newly discovered errors to market, getting them certified, and making sure – when justified – they received catalogue listings. The $1 Candleholder “CIA” Invert (U.S. Scott #1610c) is a good example.
Schiff was and remains a scholar in printing technology, and counted among his friends and contacts many principals in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the late George Brett. He served as a mentor to Steven Datz, John Hotchner, and Jim Kloetzel, among others, and he continues in retirement to be a consultant for the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue.
For many years, he was well-known on the show scene as a sometimes retail dealer, but more often a booth-holder to be available to current and potential customers, and as a popular lecturer on how auctions work, and “How to protect yourself from buying doctored stamps.”
“In summary, the collectors of EFO material owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jacques Schiff, and the EFOCC is delighted to recognize his contributions by induction into its Hall of Fame.”