Society Seeks Sale of Award-Winning Collection
The American Philatelic Society released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking firms to sell the Alfred F. Kugel Estate. Kugel, a retired investment counselor and noted philatelist, researcher, exhibitor, and leader in the hobby, died in 2022 at 91. The APS Board of Directors voted to induct Kugel into the APS Hall of Fame, and he was honored at the Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland. The solicitation is open to firms in the United States and worldwide.
“We’re grateful to Al and his wife, Dottie, for this incredible gift,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the APS, “This estate is part of a new era for the APS and APRL.”
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 American Philatelic Research Library to be added to circulation or sold to members and the general public. An appraisal by Gerald Robbins of Robbins Stamps in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, estimated the value of the philatelic material at $1.79 million and the literature at $12,000. The APS believes this is a floor, not the ceiling, for the realization of sales.
The APS outlined three goals for the sale of material:
- Highest possible realization of sales of the Alfred F. Kugel Collection to support the mission and objectives of the APS and APRL.
- Use the sale to promote the APS and APRL and their service to the international collecting community.
- Honor 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.”
As English outlined at the Joint APS/APRL Board meeting on August 9, 2023, the proceeds will go to the Joint Capital Fund established by the APS and APRL Board in November 2022. The JCF will finance the maintenance of the American Philatelic Center and technology investments to serve the membership better and build a younger and larger community of collectors.
Bids are due by October 1, 2023. The APS Board, in consultation with the APRL Board of Trustees and the Joint Finance and Audit Committee, will select one or more bids to begin the sale of the Alfred F. Kugel Estate. The APS expects a worldwide marketing campaign and sales to occur in no less than two years to realize the greatest return, promote the APS and APRL worldwide, and honor Al Kugel.
About Alfred F. Kugel
Alfred F. “Al” Kugel (1930-2022) of Hinsdale, Illinois, died May 11, 2022, at 91.
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 multiframe 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.
Al 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.