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Posted Nov 30, 21 11:31 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

LG's Photograph

It's A & D, probably five or so years ago at Westpex, and on that occasion, a triple booth. Remember music producer Phil Spector's wall of sound? Visualize a wall of stamps.

Just like Stanley, A & D participated in last month's San Diego show. They were one of three Red Box dealers there, greatly increasing the chance of a show attendee actually finding something they would want to buy.

Posted Nov 30, 21 10:17 by Paul Dessau (paulorgantech)

Red Box

Thanks for all of this info! I store most of my loose stamps on 102 cards, only putting very fine or better in my album. I keep the cards in green index card boxes with the built in sliding clamps.

Posted Nov 30, 21 10:00 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Red Box

Here is a random internet picture of a 'red box' dealer. Some collectors bring their notebooks, and want lists, and stock albums and sit down spread out and spend the day searching the red boxes for stamps they don't have. Those red box dealers do a lot of work to keep their inventory sorted and organized and neat and somehow transportable from show to show. Unfortunately hardly any of them have covers.


Posted Nov 30, 21 9:33 by Richard Debney (capetriangle)

'Red Box' stamp dealers

These are the characteristically red boxes dealers use to store '102' cards - small 4¼ x 2¾ inch stock cards that dealers place generally cheaper stamps on/in - there is a see-through front with a space for Scott number and price at top. Collectors generally love these since it allows them to buy stamps individually, often stamps with varieties and/or unusual postmarks and often stamps in the 50c - $50 range.

"A & D" is the name of a famous dealership from California, a husband and wife team (sadly I believe one of them, maybe the wife, has recently died), who always attended A.P.S. Stampshows with a mountain of this kind of material, some in '102' cards, the more costly items in larger books. The dealership was so popular with collectors that you often had to wait in line for a chair to sit at their huge double booth at the shows.

I hope the above helps.

Richard Debney

Posted Nov 30, 21 9:21 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Last Aspen Net Price Sale

Today is the last day for my "Last Aspen" net price sale.

Thank you to the board participants who purchased items from the sale already and thereby helped support the board (without resorting to third party advertising).

Posted Nov 30, 21 8:57 by Paul Dessau (paulorgantech)

The Changing Face of Shows

Being a recent returnee to philately after 45 years, can some one explain what A & D inventory and 'Red Box' stamp dealers refer to? Thanks in advance.

Posted Nov 29, 21 16:16 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

The Changing Face of Shows

The website for this weekend's Florex show lists 28 dealers, only 11 of whom are ASDA members. Nearly half are based in Florida. Two auction companies have tables.

And, depending on one's meaurement standard: Between three and five cover dealers. None of the usual 'Red Box' stamp dealers, but one miniature version of the A & D inventory, and this one hasn't been seen outside the region in several years. At least four significant US stamp inventories will be there.

Six regional society meetings, but zero to three presentations.

Apparently no official show hotel, maybe little or even no food options at the show venue, but plenty of free parking.

Weather forecast partly cloudy but no rain, daytime highs around 80, nighttime lows mid-50s.

All this just might work out very well.

Posted Nov 29, 21 12:29 by Mark Rogers (markrogers)

Ken Stach - that Langton & Co express cover you got from Stanley is a fabulous usage.

If he only charged you 3X his cost, it sounds like he was discounting that day. Grin. Nice item !

Posted Nov 29, 21 12:06 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

USPCS Tik Tok videos

I viewed the videos.

I am trying to think of something nice to write about them.

Posted Nov 29, 21 6:40 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Stanley Piller - TikTok Influencer

Stanley was always a strong supporter of the USPCS.  One of our current outreach efforts is an attempt to use social media.  At the APS show in August of this year, Ryan Wellmaker and Jessica Rodriguex recorded a few TikTok videos.  Here is link to the first video featuring Stanley  you can access the other parts of the video through this link

If you are interested in adding a video of a favorite stamp or cover to the USPCS TikTok channel please contact me.

Posted Nov 28, 21 19:39 by Ken Stach (kenstach)


Cover front.


Posted Nov 28, 21 19:37 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

Stanley Piller

Just back from visiting our oldest daughter in Nashville over Thanksgiving and see the news that Stanley Piller has passed. Nothing I can say can add to what already has been written here. However, I would like to share one of my acquisitions from him. Like others have noted, there was no such thing as a great deal from Stanley. This cover, carried by Langton & Co.'s Express to Marysville, then by post office to Corsica, was acquired some years back at Westpex just minutes after Stanley had bought it. I paid 3x what he had bought it for and gave him a bad time about the markup, which paid for his booth. We'll miss you, Stanley!


Posted Nov 28, 21 17:49 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Stanley Piller

    Stan did me a good turn once.  I bought one of the most beautiful of used 90 cent 1860s and the Foundation gave it a goofy cert.  Some how we got talking at a show and I may have mentioned it  --- I think I had the stamp with me.  It turned out he was doing an article for the Foundation on used 90 centers and was well aware that my stamp was postally used. He offered to run it back past the Foundation.  (Who charged me for the correction -- and interesting policy).  That was a big help.
    I remember when he had that spectacular cover Gordon just put up.  Stanley was very excited about the cover and his analysis.
    Ed Siskin once explained that he was not to upset about any bad items he may have bought, but remembered the ones he did not bid enough for.   Stanley had a 1799 that cover that was worth $75 on a good day priced at $200.  I knew it had a good date, but couldn't bring myself to squeeze the trigger at that excessive price.  I have never seen it since, and it would be a very nice addition to my first day covers.


Posted Nov 28, 21 13:17 by Mark Rogers (markrogers)

Stanley Piller

This is from 1999, I think. Stanley in his natural habitat. Me with my Neinken 1c book open, going through his stock for hours as usual.


Posted Nov 28, 21 8:36 by Rob Faux (robfaux)


For those who have interest, the newest installment of Postal History Sunday is available.


Posted Nov 28, 21 8:08 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

Stamp Shows Without Stanley

Morning all,

Stanley was one of the last old school old time dealers. Not sure there are any left of his generation active on the show circut. I had the pleasure of selling some covers to him over the years. I found him very knowledgeable and fair to deal with. At some point his wonderful stock will reappear on the market as we are all only the temporary stewards of our treasures.

The major factor behind the changes we have seen over time in marketing philatelic items has always been and still is changes in society beyond our albums. Small local dealers some with store front shops sold both in person and by mail. Shows emerged in major market areas where you could gather a significant number of collectors willing to spend big dollars gave birth to smaller regional and local shows catering to less healed collectors. The internet has seen the economics of doing business, cost of doing business, favor this new technology.

The one thing certain about the future will be change. It will be nothing like the past. We are seeing the demise of the use of stamps themselves on mail. Mail today is mostly electronic with no postage required. Our grandchildren will never have the appreciation for physical mail and stamps we do. Next time you attend a show take a look around to see how many younger folks than you are there and how many older friends are missing.

Posted Nov 28, 21 3:11 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)

Stamp Shows


Stamp shows have been declining in the sheer number of quality exhibits and dealers. I believe the pandemic has accelerated changes like an increase in material being sold direct (via email, websites, auctions) verse holding for some future show. Anyways, I am not sure who is disappearing quicker, the collectors buying at shows or the dealers doing shows. It seems a large number of dealers have left the circuit over the past couple years. Jim Lee for example is down to a single stamp show, Chicagopex.

I won't go into the exhibit issues, that is another ball of wax.

Posted Nov 28, 21 1:47 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Stamp Shows Without Stanley

Am not sure anything will accelerate the decline of national stamp exhibitions, which were already headed that way long before the pandemic.

Early on Wednesday morning, shortly before the first Philamercury posting about Stanley's passing, Linns Online had a short article headlined "Are Stamp Shows Making a Comeback or Changing?" Actually this wasn't an article, more like a plaintive wail or even a lame form of apology for many months of pretending everything was peachy keen, when it really wasn't.

The future of stamp shows was discussed right here on the board about a year ago. Linns may have a calendar indicating that after 12 months, it's okay to broach an old subject and pretend it's all new.

Plenty of time to think about Stanley during this long holiday weekend, which seems longer than usual. One might think that without him, all sorts of old-time cover dealers may rise in stature by default, many of whom are still doing things the same old way. When we see their inventories at a stamp show, more often than not those consist of items they've failed to sell on ebay. Those dealers who don't sell on ebay and don't have items put up on their own website rarely have the array of important and/or expensive covers that Stanley had. For a dealer to obtain such covers in the first place, they usually have to know what they're doing. I can't imagine most show dealers being capable of this.

To look at it another way, it's hard to picture anyone walking into any stamp show determined to start collecting covers, and plunk down a significant chunk of money with any of the aforementioned dealers, who often simply cannot explain why an item is important and its price can be justified. And having all manner of fancy, neatly typed descriptions won't necessarily cut it, unless real information is conveyed. All hat, no cattle.

I don't want to pat Steve Taylor on the back so hard that he falls on the floor and someone trips over him and gets hurt, but the future of serious cover dealers at shows is largely about guys like him, Philip Newby, and a few others. The vast majority of younger cover dealers we see at shows are little more than enhanced picture postcard dealers. Sure, one can occasionally buy nice items from them, but it's hard to imagine going to a show, confident that something they have will be worth buying, even after spending an hour or more looking through their stock.

And we regularly see evidence here on the board of how bargain hunting on ebay rarely turns up any actual bargains. I suppose more of these ebay sellers will start taking booths at stamp shows, but will mainly bring their Unsolds.

For important covers, regardless of price, we'll be relying more on public auctions, but not all auction companies will be able to benefit from this. The real advantage of auctions is that there's usually plenty of time between when a potential buyer is attracted by an item and the time comes to bid on it. I've known too many collectors who stopped going to shows because they'd bought misdescribed items once too often with no effective recourse.

Stanley was one of 14 dealers who signed up for last month's San Diego show; I assume he did in fact attend. He certainly didn't need to. For many years, he was ASDA's point man on the West Coast. When he ran unopposed for ASDA president, I can't believe it was for some form of personal gratification. Didn't need that either. And as I'm sure most boarders will agree, the more covers you handle, the more you run across items you (and no one else) has ever seen before. Stanley probably handled many more of these than we can imagine. After awhile, he must have developed a finely honed instinct of when he was out of his depth in terms of coming up with the correct price. That's nearly impossible to do with a great specialist piece, cover or stamp. You have to know who to ask, and he did.

At least for the foreseeable future, stamp shows will surely be worse of without Stanley.

Incidentally, at 2019 Westpex, I went to see him on Sunday, and looked only at his worldwide covers; presumably, the "best" of these had already been sold. I departed a few hundred dollars later, feeling that I'd bought some of the best foreign covers at the show. No need to negotiate price. Prices were clearly marked. Stanley Piller, underrated purveyor of fine worldwide covers. Makes perfect sense.

[Sorry for the long tirade]

Posted Nov 27, 21 20:58 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Ken's Post

I want to respond to the comments about the future of shows, but first would like to get the following out of the way, regarding the last sentence:

Its sequencing of the words, and its cadence, reminded me of Churchill's statement about the planners, ground staff, and pilots who won the Battle of Britain.

I believe Stanley would have loved it.

Posted Nov 27, 21 17:23 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Stan Piller

I'm one of those guys Stan would summon to explain a cover to a skeptical but interested prospect. But he also would call me over just to start an argument, usually about politics. I will miss him. His passing might also accelerate the decline of national stamp exhibitions. Not many other dealers drew so many deep-pocket buyers to so many unpleasant places.

Posted Nov 27, 21 14:27 by Bob Watson (neopanax)

Stanley Piller

I made only one purchase from Stan. I had emailed him to see whether he had any cover from US to New Zealand (where I live). He promptly sent me a scan of the only cover he had in stock. But was more than I had expected - a 10 cent blanket rate cover. I immediately met his price, as I never thought I had the remotest chance of finding one of those. This turned out to be an additional blanket rate cover to New Zealand to those listed in Michael Lawrence's Ten-Cent 1869 Covers. I did make the effort to meet Stan when I visited New York 2016. Although he didn't have anything else that met my narrow criterion, he did pause to chat with me for several minutes. I have seen what people have posted about Stan, but in the briefest taste. (He had other customers at his stand.)


Posted Nov 27, 21 5:36 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Another Stanley cover and story

Stanley was persistent in trying to get you to see the value in a cover that he saw.

One show he eagerly showed me the cover below. Most unusual in that it bore a New York postmaster provisional which had not been posted in NY, but Philadelphia. This was a new discovery and Stanley knew I would want it for my collection. He then asked me how much I thought it was worth, and I responded based on knowing how much similar rarities with that stamp had been sold for. He said he had to get a PF cert and would get back to me.

At the next show, he had gotten the cert and showed me the cover again, but this time it had a price on it a good deal more than I had recommended. I said I thought it was too expensive and he told me he had a couple of customers he thought might be interested in it. The next morning, I got an email from one of them, telling me that Stan had offered it to them at much too high a price.

Evidently, the other customer also did not take Stanley up on it, because as I was eating breakfast with a friend at the show, Stanley runs into the restaurant and says he has to talk to me. We went out into an adjacent seating area, where Stanley tells me he still has the cover and again asks me what I thought it was worth. Buoyed by the fact that two other customers turned him down, I sai that I had already given him my view on what it was worth. He then asked “well, what are you willing to pay for it?” :-) I repeated my price and Stanley agreed to it saying “it really does belong in your collection”. We shared a drink later that day and I said “Stanley, this is the first time I got you to move in my direction, rather than me moving in yours” and we clinked our glasses.

I will definitely miss sitting at Stan’s booth, “arguing” back and forth about the price of an item, and learning a lot about one subject or another from him. Rest In Peace, my friend.


Posted Nov 27, 21 3:59 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Stanley Piller

Herewith a delightful freebie from Stanley (yes, a freebie).


Posted Nov 26, 21 22:36 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

One of my favorite covers from Stanley

This is really an amazing cover. Below is the write-up and image from Siegel. Stanley found the cover and put together what happened and wrote this up for the Chronicle 234.

... carried on New York & Havre Line Union, a non-contract sailing departing Jan. 16, 1856, and arriving New York Feb. 7, bold black "New-York Ship 5cts. Feb. 8" circular datestamp with "5" crossed out (probably after postal clerk noticed the address to California) and re-rated with manuscript "12" for 10c domestic postage and 2c ship fee, carried by steamers via Panama, upon arrival in San Francisco on Mar. 22 a postal clerk applied the strip of four (stamps possibly left by the recipient) and crossed out the "12" marking, another 3c stamp, Position 66L3, contiguous to the strip, applied to the front over French stamps for forwarding postage to "Parks Bar, Yuba Co.", tied by "San Francisco Cal. 22 Mar." circular datestamp,


Posted Nov 26, 21 21:25 by Rick Mingee (ramingee)

Piller Cover Purchase

I see a few of you have shared some covers purchased from Stanley over the years. While I can say I never felt the word "bargain" was in play, this was a nice item (Westpex 2010), especially for those who like cogwheels, LOL. Still feel a little numb about the news.

Boots and shoes, advertiser 2 cent rate.


Posted Nov 26, 21 20:12 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Stan Piller - my first cover

Shown below. China to Wisconsin. Stanley let me put it on layaway, accepting a down payment with an agreed upon amount due monthly. Never a problem with me paying in increments with Stanley - we used the honor system several times. I researched the cover, found other covers from this correspondence, one of which is the "mate" to this cover, which then led to a magazine article.


Posted Nov 26, 21 19:44 by Jeff Brahin (brahin)


I am truly saddened to hear about Stanley. Just spent some time with him at NAPEX. Don’t need to repeat what has already been posted, but I did want to add a couple of comments. As we all know, Stanley was certainly enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about postal history. At WESTPEX, I sat at his table for an hour discussing covers. When there was a question about a particular topic, he flagged down an expert in the area and we all talked. And of course, he was adamant about the value of his covers. He just wouldn’t sell them if he didn’t get what he thought was fair. Many years ago, he had a cover that I wanted, but I simply didn’t think it was worth what he was asking. StAnley held on to that cover for about 12 years until he got what he thought it was worth.And I was in the middle of a working on a potential article from a client of Stanley’s who passed away. Stanley gave me all of his research material so I could attempt to finish the article-but convinced me, with a well thought out arguments (and of course, plenty of enthusiasm) that his client’s theory was incorrect.

Shows will simply never be the same without him. RIP Stanley..

Posted Nov 26, 21 17:46 by Steve Walske (steve w)


In honor of our friend, I post one of the few covers about which I was able to agree price-wise with Stanley - there was always a spirited and informative conversation about his offerings, but he was very "enthusiastic" about value and justifiably so since he had an incredible eye for really interesting postal history. I always enjoyed stopping by his booth. I will miss that.


Posted Nov 26, 21 13:27 by Eric Jackson (ericjackson)

Stanley Piller

Tami and I received a phone call on Tuesday night informing us of his passing. What a shock. I had dinner with him on both Thursday and Friday nights at Chicagopex, did some business with him at the show, and he called me on Monday afternoon. I will miss the loud "Hello Eric" I heard when answering his calls.

Stanley was a great friend and colleague for for the past 45 years or so. He was truly a unique and colorful character and extremely knowledgeable in U.S. philately. He will be missed.

I am writing an obituary for him that will appear in the January issue of The American Stamp Collector and Dealer.

Posted Nov 26, 21 10:01 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Stanley Piller

I was very sorry to learn of Stanley's passing. He always welcomed me to his booth at WESTPEX and I was regaled by the stories he told; he was happy to share his extensive knowledge about U.S. classics. When I first met him in 2002 I was struck by his strong New York accent; turns out that we were both originally from Long Island; Stanley from Oceanside, and I from Bethpage, both towns in Nassau County. He asked me what I collected; when I replied carriers, locals and Independent mails he handed me several groups of covers in plastic sleeves carefully held togther with rubber bands, which I happily examined.

In honor of Stanley I am posting the first cover that I bought from him in 2002. See Cover ID 29250. What makes this 1844 Hale & Co. folded letter special to me is that it originated in Manhasset, Queens County, Long Island, N.Y., now part of Nassau County. To my knowledge it is the only Hale & Co. folded letter originating in Manhasset, Long Island. See link for info. on recipient, George P. Barker.

My condolences to Stanley's family. He will be missed.


Posted Nov 26, 21 8:57 by Stephen T. Taylor (stevetayloruk)

Stan Piller

I’ll miss Stan – he was a good friend and colleague. We had dinner together at most shows which, depending on the wine and food quality and the level of service, could result in one heck of a memorable evening - and he would always try to pay the bill.

My wife, a good judge of character, met Stan at a London show many years ago and declared that he was her favorite dealer - he had recently promised her a personal tour of Israel as soon as travel restrictions lifted.

Stan was a very generous and long-time financial supporter of diabetes research and every year donated a significant amount to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure in London.

A great loss to his family, friends and clients

Posted Nov 25, 21 23:19 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Stanley Piller

Even though Stanley focused more on the classics he always took the time to show me what he had in stock. I always enjoyed talking with him at every show I attended. Our last talk was at Chicagopex just this last weekend. He will certainly be missed by many, many people.

Posted Nov 25, 21 21:01 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Stanley Piller

Living in Berkeley in the 90s, Stanley's Oakland shop was my "neighborhood stamp dealer." If I was having a tough day, "lunch" would be spend hanging out in his store - a real throwback to old-time. Stuff piled everywhere. Oakland Raiders banners on the wall. Odd treasures brought out and hyped on occasion. Numerous "I want you to look at this and tell me what you think it is, only to then hear a (possibly) outlandish story of how it might have come about. That's one thing I'll always associate with Stanley - Not always right, but always passionate.

That same passion applied when he'd pull out his phone and show a picture of his daughter dancing or of his grandchildren (one or more - I couldn't tell - he'd blow through the pictures so fast with a story for each one).

I do remember that there were a number of "projects" he had that were left uncompleted - among the ones I remember included possibly plating the 30c 1857 (He had multiple cards of black proofs of that stamp that he'd accumulated over 40 years), a cover with a possible large banknote special printing, a confederate postmaster provisional candidate that seemed plausible to me, and so on....

Someone will have to pick those projects up, though I can't imagine that anyone else will bring that passion and vigor to the projects.

Bye Stanley. May your memory be a blessing.


Posted Nov 25, 21 14:13 by Richard Debney (capetriangle)

Stanley Piller's Passing

I first met Stanley in New York City at Gibbons Philatelists Ltd in 1979. He came in with Robert G. Kaufman and ended up asking me to wash the hinges off a set of 1869 card proofs Gibbons had in stock. For me, then, this was a first (hence memorable), I was much younger then. It was far easier to let him wash the proofs himself, certainly easier than saying no to Stanley. He ended up not buying the proofs but they were all placed neatly back and dry on the black card.

In the 1980s he bought a Cape of Good Hope 4d error of color at the "Isleham" Christie's Robson Lowe sale. The stamp ended up as being part of the 'trunk robbery' and I promised him a look-out for the lost stamp. It has never turned up to the best of my knowledge but I am still looking.

For the 2014 Anniversary of the ASDA he was amazingly helpful encouraging me to exhibit at the show.

When he was in graduate school in Los Angeles in the 1960s he even worked for a short time for an old boss of mine, Jay Tell.

He will be missed by all. My condolences to his family.

Richard Debney

Posted Nov 25, 21 13:47 by Mike Ellingson (mikeellingson)

Thanksgiving celebration

My usual contribution..


Posted Nov 25, 21 12:53 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)


OK, not quite Thanksgiving but of the period, Plymouth copy of a 1664 Edward Holdman deed on land transfer, i think the copy related to the settlement of his estate.

He arrived at Plymouth Colony in 1623 and there are many records relating to him, I am sure others can extract more information

The image is a bit large for the board, i reduced it to 200 dpi and hope tht works


Posted Nov 25, 21 12:07 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Stanley Piller's Passing

As shocking as it is the thought of a stamp show without Stanley is nearly impossible to comprehend..............

We all have lost a friend and a true legend in our hobby. Your knowledge was vast and your heart truly encompassing.

I am honoured that, over the span of 49 years, you and I had some pretty amazing encounters ... THANKS! You will be missed by all.

Posted Nov 25, 21 11:46 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Stanley Piller

Big shock and most of what I would like to say has been said. But he had the kind of humour that I loved. I would alway josh him that he cared more about his rubber bands than the contents. That his decimal points on price tags were in the wrong place. That I remember most of his stock from 2008 Washington so it was always easy to catch up. I loved the way he said coffee. Ironically he preferred  Earl Grey tea (no sugar). His was always the booth to go to to rest weary legs. His sparkling eyes were always full of naughtiness. A big hole in the next show I go to. NMK

Posted Nov 25, 21 10:57 by Vince King (entechpres)

Stanley Piller

RIP Stanley


Posted Nov 25, 21 10:04 by George Tyson (gtyson)

Stanley Piller

About 40 years ago when I first started collecting again as an adult, Stanley was the first dealer who I bought something from at my first stamp show. Over the years, I think that I've sold off all of the other covers that I bought in my very early days of collecting, but I still have the cover that I bought from Stanley. I recall that his stock often included the truly unusual cover that could really spice up a collection. And I should also note that although the 3 cent 1851-57 stamp has been studied and collected by plenty of illustrious philatelists, it's unlikely that any of Stanley's contemporaries knew more about it than he did. As others have already said, shows - and philately in general - won't be the same without him.

Posted Nov 25, 21 9:57 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Stanley Piller

I am shocked to learn that Stanley is no longer with us. Certainly a loss to philately and to every show in which he routinely participated. I enjoyed his company several times over the years, mostly during lulls on stamp show Sundays on the rare occassions that I visited a show.

Last time I saw him was probably in Scottsdale, AZ a couple years ago. He noticed a screen saver on my phone of the statue of Einstein at Vail (below). He spend the next half-hour relating stories of his ties to Einstein. I don't recall the specifics but he was more animated than usual. It was his animation and passion I will miss the most. I will miss less his late night calls to ask my opinion on his newest cover purchase.


Posted Nov 25, 21 9:35 by Scott Steward (steward1815)

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Contents of the circular


Posted Nov 25, 21 9:34 by Scott Steward (steward1815)

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Being Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to share the attached folded circular. It is an undated circular but based upon the contents, it was most likely mailed in 1844 from Concord, NH to Newport, NH. This circular is a proclamation from the New Hampshire Governor John H. Steel (1844-1846) declaring the upcoming Thursday November 14 as a Thanksgiving holiday. The circular is postmarked with a blue “PAID” and a manuscript 1 1/2 ¢ rate. This was the periodic magazine and pamphlet rate in effect at the time for a sheet going up to 100 miles. While not a magazine or pamphlet, this qualified for the rate as an Executive Message under the 1843 PL&R section 177: “Periodical pamphlet postage will be charged on … either House of a State Legislature, including Reports of Committees and Executive Messages,”.


Posted Nov 25, 21 9:13 by John Barwis (jbarwis)


Stanley's degree was in Chemical Engineering. He worked for a short time in the refinery business, but told me he found it both boring and nerve-wracking.

He was an unique character and always enjoyed a good argument about almost any subject - testy but never really angry. He was happy to sit and talk at length even after I stopped collecting U.S. classics. I will miss his conversation and his wry sense of humor.

Posted Nov 24, 21 19:59 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Stan Piller

Another old time dealer has passed, I will miss Stan and his extensive stock of covers. I first met Stan shortly after moving up to northern California, and visited many times his retail store in Oakland and after his move, his office in Walnut Creek. He usually greeted me with "You need this cover", and produced a beautiful piece that set me drooling. I have to confess that I often caved in when he showed me a choice Confederate item.

My daughter and I had a tradition that we would go to an A's game at the Coliseum for father's day. This particular year she bought us lower deck seats, behind the A's dugout. Before the game started, I gaze around the stands and say to her "That's Stan Piller and his wife" in the row in front of us, about 15 feet to the right. I excused myself and walked over to him, and we chatted for about ten minutes. He had season tickets that year.

Rest in peace Stan, you will be missed.

Posted Nov 24, 21 15:19 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Stanley Piller

Yes, Stanley was in fact from Brooklyn. At some point in his youth, the family moved out to Oceanside, in Long Island's Nassau County. I never got around to asking him if he attended the November 1961 ASDA show, held at NYC's Park Ave. Armory, but suspect he did. Ironically, 60 years later, Stanley became president of ASDA.

We know that Stanley was collecting stamps when he was age 8. This probably meant that he spent lot of time on Nassau Street, which was still very active in the 1950s.

Stanley was one of at least three stamp dealers who graduated from Cooper Union with a degree in engineering. Extremely difficult school to get into, and with a correspondingly difficult academic regimen. From there he got a masters degree in Southern California, after which he went to work at Bechtel Corp. in San Francisco. Occasionally, on his lunch hour, he would take the elevator up to old man Bechtel's office and sell him stamps, but this may have lasted only a year or so. Somewhere in there Stanley worked for Richard Wolffers, then established his full-time business in 1968.

One of longtime UCLA basketball coach John Wooden's famous quotations is "Never mistake activity for achievement." Had he met Stanley before that, the quote might instead have ended up as "Never mistake abrasiveness for enthusiasm." Stanley had a combination of love of the work backed by technical competence that kept growing. This is rapidly becoming very rare in the stamp trade. If a family member provides an obituary to the vernacular media, I doubt it will say very much about him. Those who knew him best are right here on this board.

I was able to stop in at his shop in Oakland's Grandlake District back in the 80s, but never made it to his Walnut Creek office to take him to lunch. Did, however, once get to sit with him on a flight from San Francisco to Cleveland or Boston, and we talked about many things, happily bouncing around from one topic to another. I recall telling him about the then-current philatelic version of the One Billion Chinese Theory, which he found very exciting.

We both reveled in our use of what I refer to as Traditional New Jersey Dialect, though neither of us ever lived there. One time when I ran into him at a show, we were both walking somewhere, and he was in a hurry. I said something like: "Don't say hello or nothing" and extended my hand. Rather than shake hands, he put his little finger in my palm and said "I'm giving you the finger."

If support of philately can be measured by taking tables at shows, Stanley was right up there. I think he averaged 15 WSP shows per year. His website includes his show schedule, but that hasn't been updated since 2015. Didn't feel a need to. I don't believe he ever displayed his stock online; didn't have time to do that. Stanley was all about in-person work.

On the third day of 2019 Orcoexpo, I had some time and went to Stanley's table. He let me go to his back table, select the rubberbanded cover groups I wanted to look at, hand them to him, then go back to the customer side and sit down. He then told me to keep an eye on things; he'd be right back. I stupidly guessed that this was a short bathroom break, but he was gone for half an hour, returning with a small stack of things he'd just bought. Have you ever had the same thing happen with him?

R.I.P. Stanley Piller! We're all better off for having known you.

Posted Nov 24, 21 14:05 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Stan Piller

I got a text early this morning, telling me that Stan had died last night in his sleep. I was shocked and saddened. A bit eccentric, Stan was one of the true “characters” in our hobby, and loved it as much as any of us. I suspect we all have a story or two about Stan. Maybe we can share them over a drink at an upcoming stamp show.

I think Stan may have been from Brooklyn (Wade could tell us) and if so exemplified the saying, you can take the boy out of Brooklyn (or any other place) but you cannot take Brooklyn out of the boy. Fast talking and irascible, Stan was unique and had a big heart. I will miss him.

Posted Nov 24, 21 12:29 by Andrew Kupersmit (andy kupersmit)

Stanley Piller

I always enjoyed conversing with Stanley on both personal and especially on philatelic matters over the years, mostly at dinners during both Westpex and NOJEX. It was at one of those dinners that we first discussed the very successful NOJEX-ASDA Fall Mega Show merger. I will miss him very much.

Posted Nov 24, 21 11:52 by Daniel M. Knowles (eastendfan)

Stanley Piller

It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Stanley Piller. He was a fixture at nearly every philatelic show for as long as I can remember. What a character....and I mean that in a good way. I always found time to spend with Stanley at every show I attended. I loved his high energy and his animated conversations. I even enjoyed his trying to sell me the same cover year after year, sometimes at a lower price and sometimes at a higher price than at the previous show. I spent a couple of hours chatting with him last weekend at CHICAGOPEX. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to spend that time with him. I will miss Stanley. The philatelic shows will not be quite as entertaining for me without Stanley. Rest in peace, my friend. My condolences to his family.

Posted Nov 24, 21 11:28 by Chad Snee (atgpac)

Stanley Piller

I am saddened to learn of Mr. Piller's death. If a board member has a good point of contact for additional details, please contact me at [email protected]

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