Warren Howard Colson

Warren Howard Colson

Warren Colson was a world famous specialist dealer in classic stamps, mainly United States, Confederate States and Hawaii— buy he was also a major market maker in some of the great foreign specialized treasures as well.

For over half a century Colson bought and sold great rarities for his clientele consisting of the most famous collectors of his time—names like Charles Lathrop Pack, George Worthington, Senator Ernest Ackerman, Col. E.H.R. Green, and Arthur Hind were numberted among his clients. Colson began in the late 1890s as a partner in the New England Stamp Co. in Boston, Mass., one of the largest and most influential stamp companies of the period. He left in 1906, forming his own company, Colson of Boston, and from the start bought and sold the great rarities.

In October 1906, Colson began publishing a private monthly newsletter, Postage Stamps for Advanced Collectors, consisting of a dated calendar illustrating a rarity and a letter describing rarities for sale or items of interest about the state of philately. The newslettert—now considered a major rarity among philatelic literature enthusiasts—continued for more than 50 years (Vol. 51 carries a 1956 date) He was, as might be imagine, active in stamp dealing almost until the very day he passed away..

Warren Colson wrote three books. They were Postage Stamps and Their Collection: Handbook No. 1, The Bowers Collection (1907), Colson of Boston - His Stamps (1926), and Colson of Boston and the Duckwall Collection (1919). Each one described and illustrated collections of U.S rarities he offered for sale. He helped form the outstanding U. S. collections of  his time, most notably those of Caspary, Hind, Gibson, Ackerman, Lapham, and Boker.

Following his death, renowned philatelist John R. Boker, Jr., of Scarsdale, New York, directed the disposal of Colson’s vast philatelic holdings. It created such a stir in the hobby that Boker wrote the story of the Colson stock disposal for the American Philatelic Congress Book.

“Colson of Boston” made a permanent impact on American philately. The mark “W.H.C.” on an item, or the statement “ex-Colson,” carries, even to this day, special meaning to advanced collectors.