Since 1940, the Luff Award has been the most prestigious award that the American Philatelic Society bestows upon living philatelists. The Luff Award was established in memory of John N. Luff, APS president from 1907 to 1909, who was considered the most prominent American philatelist of his era. The award is now in its 80th year.
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 during the American Philatelic Society’s convention and exhibition. Recipients sign the Luff Award Scroll and are presented with engraved rings. The 2020 Luff Award winners will join a distinguished company of 173 prominent philatelists.
For Distinguished Philatelic Research —
James Peter Gough
James Peter Gough (also known as Jamie to his friends in the philatelic world) has been a major contributor to philatelic research for nearly 30 years, especially in support of his groundbreaking exhibits. His work has resulted in a number of public presentations, series of scholarly articles in prestigious journals, and most recently a multi-volume study on the Universal Postal Union.
Jamie first started stamp collecting 60 years ago (1960) and never stopped. As a young man, he found a home in his local stamp club (Annapolis, MD), where he was mentored by a few of the hobby’s leading collectors of the time. Early on, his mentors encouraged him to do research for his exhibits and for articles. Jamie was recruited into the APS by Col. James T. DeVoss after winning the National Youth Championship with his exhibit of Irish postal history. That same year (1973), Jamie published his first article in Linn’s Stamp News. Since then, he has continued to write extensively, including a few of the following noteworthy articles:
- The American Philatelist (April 1995): “Pay Now orPay Later: The Evolution of Postage Due Worldwide, 1789-1954,” which won the 1995 Apfelbaum Best Article of the Year Award published in The American Philatelist.
- The Collectors Club Philatelist (2010): “The Changing Formulas of the GPU/UPU for Postage Due,” [Parts I-IV] which won the Robert P. Odenweller Best Article of the Year Award published in the Collectors Club Philatelist.
- Royal Philatelic Society London (2020): Crawford Medal for Best Book.
- United Postal Stationery Society (2020): Lewandowski Medal for Best Postal Stationery Publication.
Knowledge and research are key parts of exhibit creation and evaluation. Jamie’s exhibits have been notable for illuminating broad swathes of postal history on a scale never before attempted. The degree of success is attested to by the awards received, the most prestigious of which include:
- The Evolution and Use of Adhesives for Postage Due, 1790-1954 was awarded the APS Champion of Champions 1992; the FIP Grand Prix d’Honneur (PhilexFrance 1999); and FIP Felicitations for Research.
- Universal Postal Union and its Impact on Global Postal Service was awarded the APS Champion of Champions 2013; the Grand Prix d’Exposition (Americas 2008); the Grand Prix d’Exposition (Europhilex 2015); and FIP Felicitations for Research.
Both exhibits have also been awarded the APS Research medal numerous times; his other exhibits have been recognized with other special awards for research.
While the Luff Award recognizes achievements in philatelic research, it must be noted that Jamie has also been active in national (WSP/APS) and international (FIP) philatelic judging. He was an early and prolific writer and presenter of philatelic exhibiting techniques, most notably at Pacific’97 and at three international Philatelic Summits in Europe, for which he wrote two extensive monographs on the evolution of exhibiting and its techniques. His public presentations and articles on the national and international judging processes have cemented his reputation as a leading authority and guide on the development of judging practice.
Largely due to his pioneering research as presented in articles and exhibits, Jamie was elected to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2012 and to the Académie de Philatélie (France) in 2000.
Currently, the Royal Philatelic Society London is in the process of publishing the next volumes of Jamie’s landmark series, titled The Postal History of the Universal Postal Union. The first two volumes, subtitled The Postal Card (Worldwide) 1869-1974, were published in January 2020. The next volume, of Jamie’s landmark series, titled The Postal History of the Universal Postal Union. The first two volumes, subtitled The Postal Card (Worldwide) 1869-1974, were published in January 2020. The next volume, Rules, Regulations and Rates, 1874-1974 is underway.