Elliott Perry

Elliott Perry

Elliott Perry of Westfield, New Jersey was one of the leading proponents of the dealer-must-be-a-philatelic-expert philosophy and, because of this, every kind of serious collector of United States classic issues of the 19th century—as well as those who pursued the modern issues of the day—beat a path to his door.

Perry was inspired to become a philatelist when he fi rst saw the Columbian commemorative issues of 1893. By 1915, he had also become a full time stamp dealer as well as a self-educated total expert on early United States stamps. Among his many achievements in the latter category is his renowned plating of the U.S. 10-cent stamp of 1847—the results of which were published in a detailed article in the Collectors Club Philatelist published by that club from their headquarters in New York City. The latter was an accomplishment that other experts said could not ever be done.

Perry also designed, wrote up and mounted the exquisite pages for the world famous United States stamp collection owned by Benjamin F. Miller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The latter can be seen today on special display at the National Postal Museum, courtesy of its present owner, the New York Public Library.

Perry was the first dealer to be offered the discovery sheet of the 1918 24-cent inverted “Jenny” airmail stamp by William T. Robey—but not being the consummate student of the then-modern issues, he did not think it would turn out to be a world class rarity.

Among serious U.S. philatelists, Perry may be best known for Pat Paragraphs, the small booklet-size house organ he published for his friends and clients from June 1931 to February 1958. His studies of early U.S. stamps were recounted in each issue of the journal.