Henry Revell Harmer, a signatory of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, founded the auction house that bears his name in London in 1918. By 1940, with the fear of war looming over the United Kingdom, the firm decided to branch out across the Atlantic and open a satellite office in New York City. 

The decision made sense on several levels. Having firmly entrenched themselves in the British philatelic scene, it was natural to look towards the untapped market of North America. Pragmatically, the new office also provided a contingency plan in case England fell. It was a bold move—a move that, if it paid off, would not just change the history of the company, but the shape of the entire American philatelic market. 

H.R. Harmer first rose to prominence in the United States when our firm was selected to sell the collection of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These auctions were front-page news even in the non-philatelic press, as never before had the stamp collection of such a beloved public figure been made available to collectors. 

Over the coming decades, H.R. Harmer would go on to sell two of the most comprehensive and valuable collections ever to cross the auction block. The first was assembled by Alfred H. Caspary, a connoisseur of fine stamps and covers of the entire world. In the introduction to his auction catalogues, it was written that “Perhaps it is not an exaggeration to say that Mr. Caspary was the last of the truly great collectors.” Over half a century later, we still do not believe this to be an exaggeration. 

About a decade later, the collection of Alfred F. Lichtenstein and his daughter Louise Boyd Dale once again captivated collectors the world over. Like Caspary before them, Lichtenstein and Dale pursued rarities from all corners of the globe rather than specializing in any one field. The depth of the Lichtenstein and Dale Collection was such that although the first sale was held in 1966, portions were still being sold into the early 2000s. 

In the decades since H.R. Harmer has handled countless other noteworthy properties, including the Hawaiian collection formed by the famed Maurice Burrus, the collection of matinée idol Adolphe Menjou, and the collections of Consul Alfred Weinberger, Sidney Hessel, William L. Moody III, Sigmund Adler, and Stanley B. Ashbrook. H.R. Harmer is currently in the midst of selling the “Erivan” Collection, one of the most extensive collections of United and Confederate States postal history ever assembled.



President and CEO

Charles Epting

Recently named as one of Linn’s Stamp News’ most influential philatelists, Charles Epting first began collecting stamps while a student at the University of Southern California. An alumnus of the APS’s Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship, he joined the H.R. Harmer team in early 2016. Epting’s articles have appeared in the American Philatelist, Linn’s Stamp News, The Chronicle, The American Stamp Collector & Dealer, and other philatelic publications, and he has given numerous presentations including the Collectors Club of New York and the APS’s Tiffany Talk. Since 2020 he has served as co-host of the podcast Conversations with Philatelists alongside Michael Cortese. Epting also currently serves as a Director of the American Stamp Dealers Association, and has previously served on the board of the United States Philatelic Classics Society. In his free time he can be found restoring his 1857 home in Dutchess County.

Alison Sullivan

Office & Accounts Manager


Alyssa Baumgardner

Marketing & Accounts Manager