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General Philatelic/Gen. Discussion : Stanley Piller

24 Nov 2021

Learned today long-time Bay Area stamp dealer Stanley Piller has passed away.

My daughter (and fellow collector) would make periodic visits to Mr. Piller's Walnut Creek shop during her time at nearby Cal.
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APS #213005
24 Nov 2021
re: Stanley Piller

Sad to hear...

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
24 Nov 2021
re: Stanley Piller

Stanley M. Piller:
A New York native, Stanley Piller was bitten by the philatelic bug when he was 10 years old. He began dealing in stamps on an informal basis at age 13. His cousin, Abe Gittler, who was about his fathers age at the time, and a dealer on Nassau Street, gave him his first covers to sell.
Stanley graduated from Cooper Union in NY with a Bachelor of Engineering (BE). He then went on to the University of Southern California for his masters in chemical engineering.
In 1976, Stanley took the plunge and purchased the stamp store business of O. Jack Taylor in Oakland.
His philatelic endeavors in the area of US Classics are well known. In 1991, Stanley authored the book New York Postmaster's Provisional . A specialized study of this rare stamp, including proofs, plating, the paper, covers and forgeries. Considered the definative work by all students of this specialty.
For several years he contributed articles to Scott's Monthly Journal. And back when The Stamp Collector was a young magazine based in Oregon, Piller was one of the first dealers to be profiled.
(Stanley M. Piller and AssociatesHappy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
But wait, There's MORE !

SFGate, Bay Area & State
Kelly St. John,
Chronicle Staff Writer
Feb. 9, 2003
The biggest theft in stamp-collecting history appears on the verge of being solved. And the Oakland stamp dealer who was its victim couldn't be happier.

Four years ago, a thief swiped a $2 million collection of rare 19th century stamps from Stanley Piller's rental car in Florida. This weekend, Piller learned the FBI had arrested two men who tried to sell part of the collection to a New York gallery.

Piller hasn't been told how much of the collection has been recovered or when he might get the stamps back.

But Piller said he has always suspected the collection -- which includes New York State 5-cent stamps issued in 1845 and Confederate State rarities valued at $400,000 -- would turn up when the thief tried to cash in.

"These stamps are like fingerprints. No two were alike," Piller said yesterday at the Grand Avenue shop he has run since 1978. "This type of material is almost impossible to sell."

Ulysses Cheda and Jose Palmer were charged Friday in U.S. District Court with transporting stolen goods. They were arrested Thursday by FBI agents after they sold some stamps to a Manhattan gallery owner for $50,000, federal agents said.

"A good portion of the stolen stamps were recovered," said Joe Valiquette, a spokesman for the FBI's New York field office.

Authorities were tipped off to Cheda and Palmer about a month ago, said federal prosecutors in Manhattan, when they tried to sell $100,000 worth of stamps to a gallery owner who recognized them as part of Piller's stolen collection.

The gallery owner told authorities, and a special squad of FBI agents who investigate cases of stolen art, antiquities and other artifacts of high value took over the case, Valiquette said.

Piller, 60, said yesterday that he has not yet been contacted by authorities, and learned of the men's arrests only when a New York reporter phoned him Friday evening.

"I was surprised. I was overjoyed," he said. "What more can I say?"

Piller said he did not know the suspects and could not talk about the details of the FBI investigation, which dates back to Feb. 7, 1999.

It was on that day that Piller left a national stamp exhibition in Sarasota, Forida. He was driving toward a hotel in Tampa when he got lost and stopped to ask for directions.

Minutes later, he returned to discover that someone had popped the trunk and taken the black case containing his best stock, which he kept in a bank vault and took out only for shows. Two other bags containing stamps of lesser value were untouched.

At the time, Piller speculated that someone had watched him pack up the collection at the show and then followed him, according to articles in Linns Stamp News.

The caper -- once featured on the Fox television show "Million Dollar Mysteries" -- made headlines in the normally staid world of stamp collecting.

"This was a major story," said Michael DuBasso, director of the American Philatelic Foundation, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles, on Saturday. "He is one of the biggest dealers of classic stamps, and a reputable one."

The crime was the biggest stamp theft since 1998, when San Jose lawyer Jeffrey Forster had a million-dollar collection of stamps and envelopes from 1869 snatched on a New York street.

Forster's collection -- insured by the same company that insured Piller's collection, the Hugh Wood Agency -- was recovered in 2000.

If the Hugh Wood Agency already had compensated Piller for the total value of the collection, DuBasso said, the insurer would take possession of the recovered stamps, and it would be up to Piller to negotiate with the company if he wants the stamps back. Piller declined to discuss any settlement with Hugh Wood.
( Kelly St. John,
Chronicle Staff Writer )

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24 Nov 2021
re: Stanley Piller

Sad news indeed, one of those names that goes way back in our hobby.

Not his obituary, but I snipped this from his website:


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