By Dr. Cheryl R. Ganz, Chief Curator of Philately
Raymond Gaillaguet (1920-2011) died in June 2011, and he left his philatelic estate to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. His award-winning exhibit of French Sower postal stationery has become part of the museum’s permanent collection, and his library of specialized French literature added over fifty volumes to the museum library. Daniel Piazza, Curator of Philately, explains that “Ray’s enthusiam for the postal stationery of his homeland is evident on every page of his collection. Besides adding considerable depth to our holdings in this area, his gift will make it possible for the National Postal Museum to share his passion with others.” The balance of his philatelic estate will be returned to the marketplace via auction, with the proceeds used to benefit philatelic initiatives and collection care at the museum in his memory.
Ray and his late wife Denise were born in France and came to the United States after World War II. He had served in the OSS. Both were active in philately and exhibited at local shows, nationals, and internationals. Ray won grands and major awards for his exhibits of Bordeaux: Birth of the Third Republic and Early Sower Issues. He served as president and treasurer of the Rhode Island Philatelic Society, president of the Philatelic Group of Boston, trustee of the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum, show chair of RIPEX, board member of France and Colonies Philatelic Society, and U.S. Commissioner to PhilaFrance 82, Bangkok 83, Ameripex 86, and PhilaFrance 89. He was an APS judge emeritus in addition to owning a business, singing in glee club, and enjoying good food, wine, and good friends.