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Sale 956 — The Jay Hoffman Collection of United States Stamps

Sale Date — Thursday-Friday, 8-9 May, 2008

Category — Air Post

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
534
og
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 534, Air Post24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a). Position 24, rich colors on bright paper, fresh original gum, single hinge mark

FRESH AND FINE. A RARE SOUND EXAMPLE OF THE 1918 24-CENT INVERTED "JENNY" ERROR. WITHOUT QUESTION THIS IS THE MOST FAMOUS STAMP IN AMERICAN PHILATELY.

According to Jenny by George Amick (Amos Press, 1986), the original sheet of 100 Inverted "Jenny" stamps was purchased for $24 by William T. Robey at the New York Avenue Branch Post Office window in Washington D.C., on May 14, 1918, one day after the stamp was first placed on sale at the main post office. On May 20, Robey sold his sheet for $15,000 to Eugene Klein, a Philadelphia stamp dealer. Klein had already arranged to sell the sheet to Col. Edward H. R. Green for $20,000. Colonel Green instructed Klein to divide the Inverted "Jenny" sheet 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 the Inverted "Jenny" 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. Hinge removal has caused thins and creases in numerous stamps, and a few have been "lost" to philately -- or nearly so, as in the case of the copy swept up in a vacuum cleaner.

Ex Frank B. Allen and Hewitt. With 1985 P.F. and 2005 P.S.E. certificates (Fine 70). The SMQ value in Fine 70 is $380,000.00, but it jumps to $650,000.00 in VF 80 (F-VF 75 is not priced). Based on recent market activity and the attractiveness of this sound example of the Inverted "Jenny", we think it will probably outperform its current SMQ value.

400,000
300,000
535
ogbl
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 535, Air Post24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post, Grounded Plane Variety (C3 var), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post, Grounded Plane Variety (C3 var)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post, Grounded Plane Variety (C3 var). Bottom selvage block of four, vignette shifted down exceeding the standard amount for classification as the Grounded Plane variety, pristine gum described by the P.F. as "previously hinged", an opinion with which both the P.S.E. and we (vehemently) disagree, bright fresh colors on brilliant paper, bottom left stamp with small light internal wrinkle harshly described by the P.F. as a crease

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A STUNNING BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE RARE GROUNDED PLANE VARIETY -- EXTRAORDINARY BOTH FOR ITS CONDITION AND THE EXTREME DOWNWARD SHIFT OF THE PLANE VIGNETTE.

The true Grounded Plane stamps, in which the wheels of the plane break thru the top of "Cents", come from portions of three sheets. The discovery sheet was owned and broken up by J. Klemann of Nassau Stamp Company. A second sheet was discovered in 1946 and sold in the Thomas A. Matthews sale (H.R. Harmer, Nov. 4, 1964), where it was purchased by Georges A. Medawar, publisher of Sanabria Airmail Catalogue. In Linn's Stamp News of April 21, 1986, specialist Joseph R. Kirker Jr. published his research revealing a third source of this variety.

Ex Saddleback. With 2003 P.F. and P.S.E. certificates

E. 20,000-30,000
62,500
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536
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 536, Air Post6c Orange, 1918 Air Post (C1), 6c Orange, 1918 Air Post (C1)6c Orange, 1918 Air Post (C1). Mint N.H., vibrant color as fresh as the day it was printed, well-balanced margins, fresh and Extremely Fine, with 2004 P.F. and 2006 P.S.E. certificates (XF 90; SMQ $260.00)

125
225
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537
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 537, Air Post16c Green, 1918 Air Post (C2), 16c Green, 1918 Air Post (C2)16c Green, 1918 Air Post (C2). Mint N.H., rich color and proof-like impression, wide and balanced margins, Extremely Fine, with 2005 P.S.E. certificate (XF 90; SMQ $260.00)

150
225
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538
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 538, Air Post24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3). Mint N.H. with part arrow at top, bright colors, Jumbo margins, Extremely Fine, with 2001 P.S.E. certificate

150
200
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539
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 539, Air Post8c Dark Green, 1923 Air Post (C4), 8c Dark Green, 1923 Air Post (C4)8c Dark Green, 1923 Air Post (C4). Mint N.H., brilliant color, crisp impression, wide and balanced margins, Extremely Fine Gem, with 2006 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $225.00)

45
160
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540
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 540, Air Post16c Dark Blue, 1923 Air Post (C5), 16c Dark Blue, 1923 Air Post (C5)16c Dark Blue, 1923 Air Post (C5). Mint N.H., intense shade on bright paper, beautiful centering with wide margins, Extremely Fine Gem, with 2005 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $670.00)

150
475
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541
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 541, Air Post24c Carmine, 1923 Air Post (C6), 24c Carmine, 1923 Air Post (C6)24c Carmine, 1923 Air Post (C6). Mint N.H., brilliant color, beautiful centering, Extremely Fine Gem, with 2007 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $700.00)

170
500
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542
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 542, Air Post65c Graf Zeppelin (C13), 65c Graf Zeppelin (C13)65c Graf Zeppelin (C13). Mint N.H., rich color, essentially perfectly centered, Extremely Fine Gem, with 2006 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $930.00)

425
750
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543
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 543, Air Post$1.30 Graf Zeppelin (C14), $1.30 Graf Zeppelin (C14)$1.30 Graf Zeppelin (C14). Mint N.H., bright color, beautiful centering with wide and balanced margins, Extremely Fine, a pretty stamp, with 2005 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $1,800.00)

900
1,200
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544
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 544, Air Post$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C15), $2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C15)$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C15). Mint N.H., perfectly centered with wide and balanced margins, brilliant color

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $2.60 GRAF ZEPPELIN ISSUE.

With 2005 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,800.00)

1,275
2,000
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545
nh
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 545, Air Post50c Chicago Zeppelin (C18), 50c Chicago Zeppelin (C18)50c Chicago Zeppelin (C18). Mint N.H., bright color, beautiful centering, Extremely Fine Gem, with 2000 P.S.E. certificate

100
60
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546
og
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 546, Air Post5c Deep Blue, Buffalo Balloon, Tete-Beche Pair (CL1a), 5c Deep Blue, Buffalo Balloon, Tete-Beche Pair (CL1a)5c Deep Blue, Buffalo Balloon, Tete-Beche Pair (CL1a). One Schoendorf Type II, other Schoendorf Type III, large margins, one stamp Mint N.H., other with natural fiber inclusion at upper right and usual margin thin spot

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. AN ATTRACTIVE AND FRESH TETE-BECHE PAIR OF THE BUFFALO BALLOON POST ISSUE.

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

Approximately a dozen tete-beche pairs have been certified as genuine by the Philatelic Foundation. Of these, most have some slight thinning in the margin, leading us to believe that at some point these were stacked for sale and exposed to mild moisture.

With 2006 P.F. certificate. This is the first tete-beche pair we have offered since our Rudy sale in 2004.

21,500
15,500
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547
 
Sale Number 956, Lot Number 547, Air Post1911, 25c Black, Rodgers "Vin Fiz", Unofficial Air Post (CL2), 1911, 25c Black, Rodgers "Vin Fiz", Unofficial Air Post (CL2)1911, 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 tears and corner crease

VERY FINE APPEARANCE AND EXTREMELY RARE. ONLY FOUR OF THE TWELVE 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.

Our updated census of the Vin Fiz can be viewed at our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/CL2

Census No. CL2-UNC-03. Ex Matthews, Lettick and Zoellner. With 2005 P.F. certificate

35,000
47,500
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