Carl Pelander, during what many called the Golden Age of Stamp Dealing in New York City, was a world-respected expert on the stamps of the Scandinavian countries, having collected and studied them since his youth. He became a stamp dealer and auctioneer in 1937 and held 130 auctions from 1940 to 1963. These were mainly of Scandinavia, and included a part of the world famous Agathon Fabergé Finland and the Caroline P. Cromwell Scandinavia collections. Cromwell was considered by some to be the most important female philatelist of her time He also sold the famous collection of United States possessions and dependencies of Ferrars H. Tows, a dealer/consultant who once brokered the sale of the 1856 British Guiana one-cent magenta, the World’s Rarest Stamp.
Carl Pelander’s expertise in Scandinavian countries led to his publication of scores and scores of articles, most notably on Finland. Some of these led to the publication of his book, The Postal Issues of Finland (1940). He also produced a Scandinavian Check List of the stamps of Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Danish West Indies, Finland, Norway, Sweden that went through many editions between 1937 and 1948. It is notable that Pelander was among a tiny handful of asture stamp dealers who build a reputation as both a dealer and philatelic scholar and writer.
Pelander was active in the formation of the Finnish-American Stamp Club in 1935, and in 1937 was the first person named as Honorary Life Member of the organization. In February 1942, the FASC became the Scandinavian Collectors Club of New York (now the Scandinavian Collectors Club). Pelander edited its journal, The Posthorn, from November 1943 to January 1949, and financially supported SCC during crucial times for well over two decades.
In 1960, Pelander received the Fieandt Memorial medal, given by the Finnish Philatelic Society “for his original research in the stamps of Finland and for his promotion of Finnish philately.” He was the first foreign recipient. In 1968, the Scandinavian Collectors Club established the Carl E. Pelander Award in his memory “to recognize his willingness to assist fellow collectors in all phases of Scandinavian philately.”
In 1968, the SCC initiated the Carl Pelander Award to perpetuate his memory as one of its founding members. His outstanding characteristic was his willingness to assist fellow philatelists in all phases of Scandinavian philately.
[Editor’s Note: We are indebted to the Hall of Fame Committee of the American Philatelic Society for the above information.]