VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A BEAUTIFUL SOUND EXAMPLE OF THE 1918 24-CENT INVERTED JENNY. OFFERED TO THE MARKET FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1974.
The original sheet of one hundred Inverted Jenny errors was purchased by William T. Robey on May 14, 1918, the first day the stamps went on sale in all three principal airmail route cities: Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia. Robey bought the sheet for its $24 face value at the New York Avenue Post Office window in the District of Columbia. On Sunday, May 19, Robey agreed to give Eugene Klein, a prominent Philadelphia stamp dealer, a one-day option to buy the sheet for $15,000. Klein exercised his option on Monday, May 20, in a late afternoon phone call, and he confirmed it with a registered letter to Robey sent in the evening mail. The sheet was delivered to Klein’s office by Robey and his father-in-law on the following day, Tuesday, May 21, 1918.
No later than Monday, May 20, the day Klein exercised his option, he had arranged to sell the sheet for $20,000 to Colonel Edward H. R. Green. Half of the $5,000 profit went to Klein’s partners, Percy McGraw Mann and Joseph A. Steinmetz. Klein was then authorized by Colonel Green to divide the sheet into singles and blocks, and to sell all but a few key position blocks.
Despite the great rarity and value of Inverted Jenny stamps, many of the original hundred have been mistreated by collectors over the years. Colonel Green himself allowed moisture to affect some of the stamps he retained. Eight straight-edge copies that Klein was unable to sell and returned to Colonel Green were found in Green’s estate stuck together in an envelope (they were soaked and lost their gum). Other examples have become slightly toned from improper storage and climatic conditions. Hinge removal has caused thins and creases in numerous stamps, and one was physically Scotch-taped to an exhibit page. Another was nearly lost to philately forever when it was swept up in a vacuum cleaner.
The stamp offered here -- Position 60 -- was first offered at auction in an April 1946 sale of the Colonel Green collection as part of a pair with the stamp above, Position 50. It was purchased by noted dealer Warren H. Colson. The pair next appeared in a 1960 Daniel F. Kelleher sale, where it was purchased by Stanley J. Richmond, who then sold it privately to Robert A. Siegel.
Position 60 made its first appearance as a single in a 1968 Siegel auction. It was subsequently offered in the 1970 Siegel auction of the A. T. Seymour collection, where it was purchased by Greg Manning, who sold it to a California dealer. It was then offered in an April 1972 Corinphila auction in Switzerland (Sale 55, lot 5290), and later in the same year made another auction appearance at a Simmy’s Stamp Company sale in Boston. It was acquired by the current owner in a 1974 Siegel sale (Sale 459, lot 1196, realized $25,000 hammer versus $35,000 Scott Catalogue value).
Ex Colonel Edward H. R. Green and A. T. Seymour. With 1974 P.F. certificate.
For the complete history and detailed records of every Inverted Jenny and owners’ biographies, go to https://invertedjenny.com/
For a pdf of expanded description of Inverted Jenny go to https://siegelauctions.com/2017/1159/Pos60.pdf