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, Hewitt and Hoffman. With 1985 P.F., 2005 and 2012 P.S.E. certificates (OGph, Fine 70). The SMQ value in Fine 70 is $340,000.00, 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.