Sale 956 — The Jay Hoffman Collection of United States Stamps
Sale Date — Thursday-Friday, 8-9 May, 2008
Category — Air Post
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.
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
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)
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.
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