Sale 958 — 2008 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Saturday, 7 June, 2008

Category — Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 21

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
706°
og
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 706, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 2124c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a). Position 21 with selvage at left, single light hinge mark at top left on part of selvage and part of stamp, the rest of the gum is absolutely pristine, brilliant colors, tiny thin speck in selvage only which is not mentioned on accompanying certificate

FRESH AND FINE-VERY 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.

The stamp offered here, Position 21 with the left sheet selvage, is exceptionally fresh and very lightly hinged. The attached selvage immediately identifies it as a stamp from the far left vertical row.

Ex Lehman. With 1977 Robson Lowe certificate of opinion and 2008 P.F. certificate.

400,000
400,000
707
nhbl
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 707, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 216c Orange, 1918 Air Post (C1), 6c Orange, 1918 Air Post (C1)6c Orange, 1918 Air Post (C1). Mint N.H. sheet of 100 with arrow selvage at left and arrow and plate no. 9155 at top, vibrant color as fresh as the day it was printed, few natural inclusions as usually found on these bright stamps, one stamp (Position 58) extraneous ink mark

FINE-VERY FINE MINT NEVER-HINGED SHEET OF 100 OF THE 6-CENT 1918 AIR POST.

Scott Retail as Mint N.H. plate block and Mint N.H. singles

12,800
0
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708
ogbl
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 708, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 2116c Green, 1918 Air Post (C2), 16c Green, 1918 Air Post (C2)16c Green, 1918 Air Post (C2). Sheet of 100 with arrow selvage at left and arrow and plate no. 8900 at top, top right and bottom right stamps and selvage at left corners h.r., all others Mint N.H., bright color

FRESH AND FINE-VERY FINE. A N ATTRACTIVE PANE OF 100 OF THE 16-CENT 1918 AIR POST.

Scott Retail as 92 Mint N.H. singles, Mint N.H. plate block and two hinged singles

15,440
0
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709
ogbl
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 709, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 2124c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3). Sheet of 100, corner blocks of four small h.r., all other 84 stamps Mint N.H. (incl. top double plate block of twelve), deep rich colors

FRESH AND FINE. A BEAUTIFUL COMPLETE SHEET OF 100 OF THE 24-CENT 1918 AIR POST.

This sheet comes from the second state of the plates, where "Top" was added to both plates to prevent errors such as the Inverted "Jenny" from occurring again.

14,020
10,000
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710°
 
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 710, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 2124c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, 1918 Air Post (C3). Block of 20 with arrow, plate nos. 8492 and 8493 and blue "TOP" only, a few minor h.r., selvage to the right of red plate no. is slightly thinned from hinge removal

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE PLATE BLOCK OF THE 24-CENT 1918 AIR POST WITH THE BLUE "TOP" ONLY.

The first sheets of 24c 1918 Air Post stamps were trimmed at the top and right to facilitate distribution. After the Inverted "Jenny" error was discovered, the Bureau engraved the word "Top" at the top of the red and blue plates and stopped trimming the selvage to make it easier to spot invert errors. Some argue that the "Top" was engraved on the blue plate first, then added to the red plate later. Others claim that the sheets with the blue "Top" only were already printed with the red frame (without "Top") and finished with the blue vignette from the modified plate. Either way, very few sheets were issued with the blue "Top" only.

12,500
0
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711
nh
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 711, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 21$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C15), $2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C15)$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C15). Mint N.H. with selvage at right, deep rich color and proof-like impression, perfectly centered with wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $2.60 GRAF ZEPPELIN, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.

With 2007 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $5,950.00). Only one has graded higher to date, which was sold for $57,750 in our Scarsdale sale and was recently sold privately for $100,000

1,275
7,000
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712
nh
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 712, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 2165c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15), 65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15)65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15). Set of matched Mint N.H. top plate no. blocks of six, few tiny natural gum skips are much less evident than on most we have sold

VERY FINE-EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB AND DESIRABLE SET OF MINT NEVER-HINGED TOP PLATE NUMBER BLOCKS OF SIX OF THE GRAF ZEPPELIN ISSUE.

A review of our computerized records indicates we have only offered six other sets of Mint N.H. top plate blocks since keeping computerized records. The top plate blocks are considered the most desirable.

23,250
13,500
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713
ogbl
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 713, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 2165c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15), 65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15)65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15). Matched set of top plate no. blocks of six, barely hinged, usual light natural gum skips and bends not mentioned on accompanying certificates, 65c very light natural gum wrinkles in left vertical pair

VERY FINE AND CHOICE SET OF TOP PLATE BLOCKS OF THE GRAF ZEPPELIN ISSUE.

With 2004 P.S.E. certificates

16,500
12,000
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714
c
Sale Number 958, Lot Number 714, Air Post, including Inverted Jenny Position 2165c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15), 65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15)65c-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15). Rich colors and choice centering, tied by "Washington D.C. Apr. 19 2PM 1930" duplex cancels on flown cover to Washington D.C., usual cachets incl. "Lakehurst N.J. May 31, 1930" backstamp, signed by Postmaster General, also 2nd, 3rd and 4th Assistant Postmaster Generals, also autograph and printed return card of Arch Coleman, 1st Assistant Postmaster General, the cover is addressed to Mrs. Arch Coleman

AN ATTRACTIVE AND RARE FLOWN FIRST DAY COVER WITH A COMPLETE SET OF THE GRAF ZEPPELIN ISSUE. THIS CELEBRATED "COLEMAN" FIRST DAY COVER IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THE GRAF ZEPPELIN FIRST DAY USAGES, BY VIRTUE OF THE SIGNATURES OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL AND OTHER POST OFFICE OFFICIALS.

This remarkable cover was held by the Coleman family until the early 1980's.

15,000
12,500
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