Thomas Lera Honored for Distinguished Philatelic Research with 2019 Luff Award

Thomas Lera Honored for Distinguished Philatelic Research with 2019 Luff Award

APS Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research

There is no more prestigious award offered by the American Philatelic Society than the Luff Award, which is presented annually to three living philatelists who are exceptional in their support of and dedication to philately. The 2019 Luff Awards for Outstandidng Service to Philately, Exceptional Contributions to Philately, and Distinguished Philatelic Research will be awarded on Saturday, August 3rd, at the APS annual StampShow / National Topical Stamp Show, at the Celebration Banquet.

Thomas M. Lera - APS Member 145,119 (1987) Tom-Lera-for-IAP-193x300

At the national and international level, Thomas Lera has brought forensic science to a new, expanded level of practical application to philately, adding substantial reinvigoration to the study and verification of stamps and covers. He demonstrated significant initiative and management skill in establishing the Smithsonian National Postal Museum as the world's foremost center for philatelic forensic research. As a result, expertizing services and major philatelic societies worldwide are expanding their analytical capabilities.

Lera helped over 50 researchers in their research resulting in publication of their studies in philatelic journals e.g. The London Philatelist, The USSS Journal, The Chronicle, and The Collectors Club Philatelist. He analyzed the One Cent Magenta British Guiana with results used in the auction catalog. Lera published scientific results of the 14-Cent Columbian Color Error in The Collectors Club Philatelist. He co-chaired the First and Second International Symposiums on Analytical Methods in Philately and published the proceedings. Lera co-chaired, with the APS and APRL, eight Postal History Symposiums and published the proceedings since 2013.

Previous Philatelic Awards

  • 2015 - Inducted in the Writer's Unit Hall of Fame
  • 2013 - Secretary of the Smithsonian Research Prize for "The G.H. Kaestlin Collection of Imperial Russian and Zemstov Stamps" This book has become the bible for Zemstov Stamps.
  • 2012 - Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of London
  • 2003 - Accredited National Philatelic Judge and certified ATA judge
  • 2001 - Confederate Stamp Alliance Writer's Award for the best article published
  • 1998 - "Masters of the Night" multi-frame exhibit received ATA Grand Award, and "Niter and Mining Bureau" single frame exhibit received a Grand Award

The Luff Award

The Luff Award was established in 1940 in memory of John N. Luff, APS president from 1907 to 1909, who was considered the most prominent American philatelist of his era.

The APS Luff Awards are available annually for:

  • Distinguished Philatelic Research
  • Exceptional Contributions to Philately
  • Outstanding Service to the American Philatelic Society

The Luff Awards are presented annually at StampShow, the American Philatelic Society's annual convention and exhibition. Recipients sign the Luff Award Scroll and are presented with engraved rings and individually prepared mementos.

The 2018 winner of the Distinguished Philatelic Research Award was John H. Barwis, of Holland, Michigan. Barwis co-founded and serves as president of the Institute of Analytical Philately. The organization offers research grants and holds symposia. He has studied and researched 19th-century stamps and postal history of Victoria’s first postage stamps. He plated Victoria’s first issue 1-penny stamp of 1850, which had never been done in the 120 years since the stamp’s first printing. Using scientific equipment, his cutting-edge examination of the shades, papers and inks of the U.S. banknotes was landmark.

Learn more about the Luff Awards and read about previous Luff recipients. The full list of this year's award recipients is available in the July issue of the American Philatelist.

StampShow 2019 is the biggest stamp convention of the year. Learn more about this year's show.

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About the APS - With members in more than 110 countries, the APS is the largest, non-profit organization for stamp collectors in the world. Founded in 1886, the APS serves collectors, educators, postal historians and the general public by providing a wide variety of programs and services. Our members enjoy access to the one of the world's largest philatelic libraries, a monthly award-winning magazine and safe avenues for buying and selling philatelic materials.

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Great American Stamp Show

Hartford, Connecticut | August 20-23, 2020