James Lee Recipient of Inaugural
APS Dealer of the Year Award

James E. Lee, of Oak Brook, Illinois, is the recipient of the first American Philatelic Society’s Dealer of the Year Award.

Jim Lee has been a stamp dealer since 1972, working full-time since 1990. He served on the Board of the American Stamp Dealers Association for eight years, four years as president. Lee stated on his website that 2016 was his 45th “year of my involvement with collecting, studying, writing about and dealing in United States essays and proofs.”

Lee advertises his expert areas as U.S. Essays and Proofs, U.S. 19th Century and Civil War Postal History. His website, includes much more than the rarities and other material he has for sale. Prime among these are his most recent newsletter, which he started in 1997, and copies of some of his “As I See It” columns from the newsletter.

His most recent newsletter (March 2017) includes many bold, colorful images, much of them from the areas of proofs, essays, and postal history that he has for sale. Even if you are not interested in buying such items, the supersized high resolution images and descriptions offer an education.

Lee’s website includes links to a dozen other philatelic sites — including the APS, American Philatelic Research Library, National Postal Museum, Garfield Perry Stamp Club, and ASDA — which are useful and appreciated.

About three dozen of his “As I See It” columns are online. Some offer basic sales and purchase information and advice, while others offer collecting information and some are personal. The casual tone and thoughtful down-to-earth information is appreciated, allowing even those not interested in Lee’s high-quality specialty areas to gain something by reviewing them.

Here is an excerpt from a 2013 “As I See It” column:

“The Internet is the most positive change that has hit our hobby. In the past ten years, I have attracted through my website a new type of collector, who today accounts for about 25% of my client base. They are both male and female, college educated, between 34 and 50 years of age, attracted to the intellectual pursuit of philately and they spend money. …  Our hobby does face challenges but it is not dying.”

The award will be formally presented August 5 at the awards dinner at StampShow in Richmond. The 2017 Dealer Award sub-committee who put forth the nomination was comprised of: Eric Jackson, chairman, along with Mark Reasoner, Trish Kaufmann, Dick Kostka, and Ron Lesher.

If you are at Napex in Virginia Friday through Sunday June 11, stop by Lee’s booth and congratulate him. If you miss him there, his show schedule includes APS StampShow in Richmond in August, and the ASDA show in New York City in October.

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