Bolaffi is an Italian stamp dealer founded in 1890 by Alberto Bolaffi.
Today, Bolaffi is a joint-stock company, operating in the field of philately and numismatics.
The company is primarily based in Turin, Italy. In addition to administrative, managerial and business offices, the headquarters also contain a large exhibition hall that hosts two annual auctions.
Bolaffi have stores in four locations: Turin, Milan, Verona and Rome.
Alberto Bolaffi was born in 1874 in Livorno, Italy. Though his family were important precious stone and ostrich feather merchants, Alberto Bolaffi decided to abandon his family tradition to embark upon the business of philately.
1940-1945 proved very difficult years for the Bolaffi family who are of Jewish origin. During these years the business was closed and the family were forced to leave Switzerland. Alberto Bolaffi Senior died on 26th September 1944. In 1945, Alberto’s son Guilio Bolaffi succeeded his father as owner of the company.
In 1956 the company published its first National Catalogue of Italian Stamps. In 1962, the company published the first Bolaffi Catalogue of Modern Art. The Bolaffi Collector Club, a division of Bolaffi that dealt with mail order sales, was founded in 1986 and now has over 500,000 members.
Guilio Bolaffi died on 28th October 1987 and was succeeded in the company by his nephew, Alberto Bolaffi Jr. 2010 saw Bolaffi celebrate their one hundred and twentieth anniversary.
On November 25th 2010, a Bolaffi auction broke a new record for the most money paid for 1842 four gold crown coins depicting the Dowager Duchess Christine of France and the young Duke Carlo Emanuele II. With a base price of €2000, the coins sold for a record breaking €45,600.
In 1993, a message of congratulations from Nikita Khrushchev to Yuri Gagarin – the first person in space – sold at a Bolaffi auction for over $68,000.