Sale 804 — The Robert Zoellner Collection of United States

Sale Date — Thursday-Saturday, 8-10 October, 1998

Category — Air Post

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
722
og
Sale 804, Lot 722, Air Post24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a). Position 58, very well-centered, fresh and bright colors, full original gum which is only barely hinged at bottom left

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STAMP IS ONE OF THE FINEST POSITIONS, IN TERMS OF CENTERING AND OVERALL CONDITION, THAT EXISTS FROM THE ORIGINAL SHEET OF 100.

According to Jenny by George Amick (Amos Press, 1986), the original sheet of 100 inverted "Jenny" stamps was purchased by William T. Robey on May 14, 1918, one day after the stamp was placed on sale. Robey bought the sheet at the New York Avenue Post Office window in Washington, D.C. Soon after, the sheet was sold to Col. Edward H. R. Green through Eugene Klein, a Philadelphia stamp dealer. Green paid $20,000 for the sheet, then instructed Klein to divide it into singles and blocks, and to sell all but a few key position blocks.

It is well-known among stamp specialists and professionals that examples of this stamp come in different grades of freshness and condition. Many of the original 100 stamps were mistreated by collectors during the years, despite the stamps' rarity and value. Colonel Green himself allowed moisture to affect some of the stamps he retained. Other examples have become slightly toned from improper storage and climactic conditions. Hinging has caused thins and creases in numerous stamps, and at least seven have been "lost" to philately--or nearly so as in the case of the copy swept up in a vacuum cleaner. This example is remarkable for its pristine state of preservation.

This stamp was originally part of a block of four owned by stamp dealer Eugene Klein. It was inherited by Klein's daughter who sold it to Robert A. Siegel. Mr. Siegel sold it to Raymond H. Weill, who placed it with two different anonymous collectors before being asked to break it into singles. This single was sold by Mr. Weill to a Mr. Hoover in 1975, who sold it at auction in 1985 to West Coast collector Bruce McNall. Mr. McNall partly paid for it with an exchange for Position 3.

With 1985 P.F. certificate

150,000
175,000
723
og
Sale 804, Lot 723, Air Post65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15). $1.30 and $2.60 Mint N.H., 65c barest faint trace of what may be either hinging or a natural gum skip, all have deep rich colors and are Extremely Fine, a surprisingly difficult set to find this well-centered

2,225
2,100
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724
ogbl
Sale 804, Lot 724, Air Post65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15). Blocks of four, all have fresh and bright colors, 65c light corner crease and small adherence at bottom, $1.30 bottom right stamp small corner perf crease, $2.60 usual flat plate printing diagonal crease, still a Fine-Very Fine set of blocks

7,400
4,250
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725
og
Sale 804, Lot 725, Air Post6c Carmine, Horizontal Pair, Imperforate Between (C25b). Imperforate pair in horizontal strip of five showing selvage at left, top and right, the error pair previously hinged, other stamps Mint N.H., characteristic crayon mark, Extremely Fine and extremely rare, approximately ten pairs are known and this position piece is unique

1,750
2,000
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726
og
Air Post and Back-of-Book Balance Lot. 1911-57, 84 unused stamps, incl. Air Post with Nos. C1-C6 and C18, Special Delivery incl. Nos. E8-end, Special Handling, Registration, Certified Mail, many Mint N.H., all have fresh color and all are Very Fine-Extremely Fine, some are Gems and qualify as superb stamps, Scott Retail for all hinged

1,391
1,800
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727
og
Sale 804, Lot 727, Air Post1877, 5c Deep Blue, Buffalo Balloon Air Post Semi-Official (CL1). Large margins all around, full original gum, some gum skips, lightly hinged, some slight toning and light overall soiling

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THE FINEST SINGLES IN EXISTENCE.

The Buffalo Balloon stamp, designed by John F. B. Lillard and engraved by John H. Snively, was printed by Wheeler Brothers Printers in Nashville, Tennessee. Only 300 were printed, from a tete-beche plate of two. The stamps were intended for use on a balloon flight from Nashville to Gallatin, Tennessee, which took place on June 18, 1877. Of the 300 that were printed, only 23 were used.

With 1987 P.F. certificate

6,000
6,000
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728
og
Sale 804, Lot 728, Air Post1911, 25c Black, Rodgers "Vin Fiz", Unofficial Air Post (CL2). Clear margins to just in as are almost all of the known examples, slight nick at bottom right, few small faults including small tear and corner crease

VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE. ONLY FOUR OF THE TEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE 25-CENT RODGERS "VIN FIZ" STAMP ARE UNUSED. A GREAT AIR POST RARITY.

The Vin Fiz stamp was issued by Pilot Calbraith Rodgers' wife for his attempted transcontinental flight in October 1911. Rodgers was competing for a $50,000 prize offered by publisher William Randolph Hearst to the first person to complete the trip within 30 days. Vin Fiz refers to the popular soft drink maker who was a sponsor of Rodgers' flight.

Ex Lettick

30,000
30,000
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