EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE WIDEST-MARGINED AND FRESHEST EXAMPLES OF THE FAMOUS INVERTED JENNY.
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 climatic 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 stamp is in an extraordinary state of freshness, with excellent color and brightness.
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE LOWER LEFT STAMP FROM THE FAMOUS McCOY BLOCK. A WONDERFUL STAMP WITH A FASCINATING STORY.
The Inverted Jenny offered here was originally the lower left stamp in the famous McCoy block. The block was once owned by Arthur Hind, and sold at the 1933 auction of his stamps to Scott Stamp & Coin Co. It was then sold in 1936 by Spencer Anderson to Ethel B. Stewart (later Ethel McCoy). Early in the morning on September 23, 1955, at the APS annual convention in Norfolk Va., a thief broke into a protective case housing the block of four of the Inverted Jenny that belonged to Ethel B. McCoy. A scrap of mounting paper and the blank album page were all that remained in the exhibit frame when the theft was noticed. The block would never be found intact.
Three years later, the position offered here, the lower left stamp of the block, was offered by a Chicago dealer to the Weills of New Orleans. Recognizing the stamp as part of the stolen McCoy block, the Weills notified the FBI, but the single stamp's value fell below the minimum necessary for the law-enforcement agency's involvement. With no other option, the Weills returned the stamp to the dealer, who claimed that he bought it prior to the 1955 theft.
The stamp resurfaced briefly in 1970 and then again in 1977, when the Philatelic Foundation positively identified it as Position 75 from the McCoy block. By then, it was of sufficient value to warrant an FBI investigation. After its recovery and a protracted custody battle, the stamp was donated by Mrs. McCoy to the American Philatelic Research Library and was sold on their behalf in 1981, realizing $115,000. Only one other stamp (Position 65) has been recovered since the 1955 theft.
Ex Hind and McCoy (as part of a block of four). Illustrated on front cover of 1981 American Philatelist. With 1982 P.F. certificate and accompanied by letter from curator of the Philatelic Foundation