Herman "Toasty" Toaspern

Herman "Toasty" Toaspern

Herman Toaspern, known to all as “Toasty,” was a native New Yorker born in 1893, who went on to became one of Nassau Street’s leading auctioneers and stamp dealers by the time he reached the age of thirty. At age twenty, he was an active participant in the 1913 New York International Exhibition (IPEX) and was apprenticing with J. Murray Bartels during the show. By this time, he was already writing for various philatelic publications. For the 1926 IPEX he was a member of the show’s Board of Directors and played a key role in the event’s success.

He conducted stamp auctions, starting in 1924, using the offices of the Collectors Club. By 1930, he had held 18 auctions, each with very active participation from well-known collectors. He had developed a reputation for being accurate and honest and had come to be well respected. Many classic covers are still seen with his “Herman Toaspern” rubber stamp on the reverse. The caricature cartoons of “Toasty” were a major feature of his advertising in philatelic publications in the 1920s and 1930s.

He was an early member, and officer of the ASDA, which had recently been formed. He was an associate editor of the recently developed Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue.

In 1934 he relocated to 116 Nassau Street where his business enjoyed great popularity. Sadly, he passed away at age forty-three in 1936 from pneumonia. Prior to his passing, he penned numerous articles in The American Philatelist and STAMPS. His obituary in STAMPS recalls his great sense of humor and passion for the hobby, and his founding of the Hot Stove League, a group of Collectors Club members who gathered regularly to talk philately.

His everlasting legacy to our hobby is that stamp collecting is fun, and that auctions conducted with great integrity help build and grow the hobby.

Thanks to the APS Hall of Fame Committee for this special writeup.