A. J. Sefi

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Not to be confused with the Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection Michael Sefi.

Alexander Joseph Sefi (1889, St. Pancras, London[1][2] – 10 October 1934, Kensington, London[3][4]) was an English philatelist and stamp dealer who signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1933.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sefi was educated at the Merchant Taylors' School. Later he spent three years conducting geological and scientific expeditions in Asia Minor, Syria and Arabia.[2]

Stamp dealing[edit]

Sefi worked in association with David Field who published several of his works. In 1921 he joined P.L. Pemberton and E.L. Pemberton as Sefi, Pemberton & Co. Ltd. Together, they donated the Sefi-Pemberton Cup to The Junior Philatelic Society, now the National Philatelic Society. The firm continued until 1956 when it was acquired by Robson Lowe.[5]


Sefi edited the Philatelic Journal of Great Britain from 1926, and also Philatelic World and The West-End Philatelist. He researched the silk thread issues of Switzerland 1854-62.[2] In philatelic literature his magnum opus was his masterful "An Introduction to Advanced Philately...", re-issued in facsimile form by the Royal Philatelic Society London in 2010. At the time of his death, he was engaged with C.H. Mortimer in preparing a book on Jammu-Kashmir which was eventually published in 1937.[4] He won the Bates Prize at the 1923 Philatelic Congress of Great Britain in London, and the Congress Cup for his paper "Forgeries and Fakes" at the 1929 Birmingham Congress.[4] His philatelic interests were wide and he contributed numerous articles to philatelic periodicals.


Sefi played bridge for England.[2]

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Postage Stamps of Grenada. London: D. Field, 1912.
  • King Edward VII Land. London: D. Field, 1912
  • The Postage Stamps of Malta. London: D. Field, 1913.
  • An Introduction to Advanced Philately, with special reference to typical methods of stamp production. London: Rowley & Rowley, 1926. (2nd edition 1932)
  • The stamps of Jammu-Kashmir: including chapters on postal history, obliterations, post cards and telegraph stamps. London: Sefi, Pemberton & Co. Ltd., 1937. (With C.H. Mortimer)