Owner Biography

Harry Hagendorf

Harry (Sonny) Hagendorf has been a professional stamp dealer since 1975. After receiving a B.A. in Philosophy from York College, City University of New York, he entered the stamp world with the purchase of Jaxon Stamp Company, an approval company that advertised in publications such as Boys Life, Marvel Comics, and Popular Mechanics that had pages devoted to stamp collecting. In a few short years he was attending stamp shows under the name Columbian Stamp Company (formed in 1976) and realized that dealing in rare stamps was more enjoyable and challenging than selling stamps for pennies.

By the late 1980’s Columbian Stamp Company was dealing in United States, Canadian and British rarities. Harry brokered and/or purchased the sale of many of the philatelic world’s greatest rarities. He has worked with many collectors, such as Alan Whitman, Dr. Edward Dauer, and Jay Hoffman, whose collections have sold publicly for a combined value in excess of $20 million. He has also worked with many who wish to remain anonymous and whose collections included some of the greatest rarities in United States philately, such as: blocks of four of the Inverted Jenny (Scott C3a), mint inverts and blocks of the 1869 issue and nearly all the important multiples of the Columbian issue. Many of these items were brokered more than once, with Harry providing the conduit between the two collectors. The quiet, private placement of such rarities is a hallmark of Columbian Stamp Company. Besides selling individual rarities such as these, Harry has purchased intact many great collections ranging in value from a few thousand dollars to several in the millions of dollars; one notable example is the John Boker collection of 1847 Postal History. The value of all the material Harry has handled, owned, sold and brokered far exceeds $100 million.

For many years Harry has given his expertise to the philatelic community, providing information to the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps, assisting in their valuations; as a consultant to the Philatelic Foundation in New York; and as a member of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s Council of Philatelists, serving on the Collections Committee (which helped create the National Collection). He also sits on the boards of several community non-profit organizations.

Positions Owned

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