World Stamps

APS picks Cherrystone to sell massive Kugel estate

Mar 12, 2024, 1 PM
Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers has been chosen to sell the extensive philatelic estate of Alfred F. “Al” Kugel, which was donated to the American Philatelic Society following his death. Kugel is shown with his wife, Dottie. Photo courtesy of the APS.

By Charles Snee

The American Philatelic Society has selected Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers of Teaneck, N.J., to sell the $1.9 million philatelic estate of Alfred F. “Al” Kugel (1930-2022) on behalf of the APS. Kugel’s massive holdings were donated to the APS following his death.

“Cherrystone was selected from a field of seven firms from the United States and Europe, vying for the honor of bringing the Kugel Estate to market,” the APS said in a news release published Feb. 28 on the society’s website.

“Now the real work begins for the APS and Cherrystone,” said Scott English, executive director of the APS. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our Society, the APRL [American Philatelic Research Library], and the hobby.”

Following the completion of a rigorous appraisal on Aug. 1, 2023, Kugel’s philatelic material and literature were released to the APS.

Invitations to bid on the sale of the Kugel estate were sent following the completion of the Aug. 10-13, 2023, Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland.

Probable bidders at the time included (but were not limited to) Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions, the Global Philatelic Network and Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers, the APS said.

Requests for proposals were sent out Aug. 28, 2023, and the APS received seven responses, English said.

According to English, proceeds from the sale of the Kugel estate will support the APS Joint Capital Fund, maintenance of the American Philatelic Center and investment to close technology gaps.

As part of the requests for proposals process, the APS identified three objectives:

“The highest possible realization of sales of the Alfred F. Kugel Collection to support the mission and objectives of the APS and APRL.

“Promote the APS and APRL and their combined service to the international philatelic community.

“Honor the legacy of Alfred F. Kugel and his contributions to philately as a collector, exhibitor, researcher, writer, and friend.”

Over time, a fourth goal was realized when the pages of 100 military mail exhibits that Kugel assembled were scanned and added to the Robert A. Mason Digital Library.

“Al Kugel was a client of ours for over 50 years, where he was a frequent visitor at both our store and auctions,” the APS quoted Cherrystone president and CEO Paul Buchsbayew as saying.

“Al acquired many rarer items via Cherrystone, and we are honored to offer them again on behalf of the APS,” Buchsbayew said.

The Kugel estate is expected to be sold through a series of Cherrystone sales during the next two years, the APS said.

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