Herbert J. Bloch

Herbert J. Bloch

Herbert J. Bloch was the leading expert of his time on European stamps—and without doubt, one of the most widely respected scholarly philatelists of all time. In 1936, he emigrated to the United States and became a stamp dealer. In 1943 he joined the H. R. Harmer organization and was the describer for auctions of the famous collections of Alfred H. Caspary and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, among so many others over the following decades.

Bloch later joined the Mercury Stamp Company and, subsequently, was a founding member of the soon-to-be world famous Friedl Expert Committee, specialists in European stamps, along with Otto Friedl and Edwin Mueller. He was with the committee from its inception in the 1940s until it was disbanded in the early 1970s. After it was disbanded, he became chairman of the expert committee of the Philatelic Foundation. This was certainly the pinnacle of Bloch’s career as a renowned philatelic expert. The Foundation presented him its Mortimer L. Neinken Award in 1986.

“Herbie,” as he was known affectionately by his many contemporaries, continued with Edwin Mueller at the Mercury Stamp Company and continued it after Mueller’s death in 1962. He and Mueller sold some of the most important European collections of that period. During his long career, he helped build many famous collections. He received many honors for his long and valuable service to philately. In 1978, Scott Publications presented him its first “Outstanding Philatelist” award.

Bloch signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1968. In that same year he received the Luff Award for Exceptional Contibutions to Philately. Bloch received the Lindenberg Medal in 1986. Her was installed into the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame upon his death in 1987.

One of Bloch’s more unsung roles was that of expert philatelic judge. He served on many national and international juries including SIPEX in 1966, INTERPHIL in 1976, and AMERIPEX in 1986.

We are indebted to the Hall of Fame Committee of the American Philatelic Society for some of the information contained in this presentation. )