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Sale 1185 — 2018 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Wednesday, 27 June, 2018

Leave Absentee Bids
*A buyer’s premium of 18% of the winning bid was added as part of the total purchase price on all lots in this sale. Buyers were responsible for applicable sales tax, customs duty and any other prescribed charges. By placing a bid, bidders agreed to the terms and conditions in effect at the time of the sale.

Category — Inverted Jenny Positions 15 and 6

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
91
og
Sale Number 1185, Lot Number 91, Inverted Jenny Positions 15 and 624c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a). Position 15, the fifth stamp from the left in the second row of the sheet, original gum, deep rich colors, tiny thin spot just below the plane, faint traces of purple ink above the bottom left "24"

FINE-VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE FAMOUS 1918 24-CENT INVERTED "JENNY" ERROR. WITHOUT QUESTION THIS IS THE MOST FAMOUS STAMP IN AMERICAN PHILATELY.

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 15 -- was owned by John H. Clapp, scion of a wealthy Pennsylvania oil family. He passed away in 1940 and shortly afterward his entire stamp collection was sold to dealer Spencer Anderson for $100,000. Soon after, Anderson, whose pencil initials appear on the back, sold the Inverted Jenny to Louise Hoffman for a reported price of $2,500. Hoffman formed an important Air Post collection and held her Inverted Jenny for the next two decades. The stamp was included in the sale of her collection in 1966, where it realized $9,000, selling to Robert A. Siegel, who was likely acting as an agent for collector Dr. Drew B. Meilstrup. It next sold in the 1973 Siegel auction of the Meilstrup collection to an anonymous buyer. It has made only three other auction appearances since 1973, selling in 1997 to dealer Irwin Weinberg. The purple ink marks were not present when it was offered in 1997.

Ex Colonel Edward H. R. Green, John H. Clapp, Spencer Anderson (dealer), Louise Hoffman and Dr. Drew B. Meilstrup. Pencil "15" position number (written by Eugene Klein on all 100 positions) and "SA" (Spencer Anderson) initials on back. With 2010 P.F. certificate

For the complete history and detailed records of every Inverted Jenny and owners’ biographies, go to https://invertedjenny.com

450,000
270,000
92
og
Sale Number 1185, Lot Number 92, Inverted Jenny Positions 15 and 624c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a), 24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a)24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a). Position 6, the sixth stamp from the left in the top row of the sheet, showing full guideline at left, original gum, rich colors, reperfed straight edge at top -- this was done after the 1942 Colonel Green auction and before its appearance in a 1951 Sylvester Colby auction -- tiny thinning at bottom, light gum crease not mentioned on accompanying certificates

FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE FAMOUS 1918 24-CENT INVERTED "JENNY" ERROR. AN ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF THE MOST FAMOUS STAMP IN AMERICAN PHILATELY..

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 6 -- was one of the straight-edge examples from Colonel Green's sheet which he still owned at the time of his death (several straight-edge copies were found in an envelope stuck together and soaked apart, losing their gum -- this was not). It was first offered in Sale 2 in the series of auctions of the Colonel Green collection (Laurence & Stryker, October 5-8, 1942, lot 1324, described with original gum). The catalogue photo shows the straight edge at top, and it was described as having a light 16mm corner crease and thin trace in bottom right corner perforation. It realized $1,350 (a Harvard education cost $420 that year). It next appeared in a 1951 Sylvester Colby auction, with perforations at the top and no mention of the reperfing. Its history for the next 20 years is not documented. In 1972, according to Stamp of the Century, by Kellen Diamanti and Deborah Fisher, Position 6 was sold to coin dealer Steven C. Markoff, of A-Mark Financial Corporation, by another coin dealer named Ray Lundgren, who operated Century Stamp & Coin and founded the Long Beach Coin & Stamp Exposition in 1964. In 1976, after agreeing to testify in two stamp theft cases, Lundgren was shot four times at point blank range by members of Whitey Bulger's Winter Hill Gang, who were behind the thefts and used Lundgren to fence the property.

Ex Colonel Edward H. R. Green and Steven C. Markoff (A-Mark Financial Corporation). With 1979, 1995 and 2010 P.F. certificates.

For the complete history and detailed records of every Inverted Jenny and owners’ biographies, go to https://invertedjenny.com

450,000
210,000
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