Walter (Wally) Mader
Wally Mader was a towering figure, physically and professionally, during his 43-year career in the world of stamp auctions. Wally’s boyhood love of philately was instilled by his grandfather, an avid stamp collector, and nurtured by the famous New Orleans stamp dealers, Raymond and Roger Weill, whose Royal Street shop was the Mecca of serious stamp collectors worldwide.
For years as a young man, Wally was an active participant in and director of the prestigious Crescent City Stamp Club of New Orleans. After military service during the Vietnam War and a brief career in the naval shipbuilding business, Wally ventured to New York City for an interview with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, one of the world’s largest stamp auction companies.
Raymond Weill had known that Wally had a burning desire to become a professional philatelist and he had offered to contact his good friend, Robert A. Siegel, to see if he had a position open in the auction business. Bob Siegel met with Wally and offered him a position immediately. That was the start of Wally’s fulltime career in philately, beginning at the top of the auction world in New York City.
He began working for the Siegel firm in 1972 and participated in cataloguing many of the world’s most valuable stamp collections during the next eighteen years. In 1980, he stood beside Robert Siegel at the podium when the unique British Guiana One-Cent Magenta was hammered down to John E. du Pont for the winning bid of $850,000, which was communicated to the auctioneer through a pre-arranged secret signal—and meant that DuPont was still bidding.
Wally left the Siegel firm in 1990 and continued working in the stamp auction business. Wally later joined with Steve Ivy and Charles Shreve to form the auction company Ivy Shreve and Mader which eventually became Ivy and Mader. By 1997, Wally and Ivy and Mader Auctions were part of Greg Manning Auctions and, working together, they held the exclusive auctions at Pacific “97” which were quite successful at that huge international exhibition held in San Francisco.
In 2004, he began a consulting relationship with Siegel Auction Galleries and continued performing work for the company until just a few weeks before he passed.
For the last four years he was coowner of Louisiana Art Supply, which provided art related materials to the Painting with a Twist franchise system.