Sale 1224 — 2020 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 30 June-1 July, 2020
Category — Air Post, including Upright Jenny Error
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS WAS THE FIRST NON-INVERTED JENNY SHEET TO APPEAR AT AUCTION, IN OUR 2014 RARITIES OF THE WORLD SALE, AFTER IT WAS DISCOVERED BY DAVID AND GAIL ROBINSON OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA. ONLY 100 WERE DISTRIBUTED TO RANDOM POST OFFICES AROUND THE COUNTRY, AND ONLY 32 HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED. A PHENOMENAL MODERN RARITY.
According to the U.S. Postal Service's website (https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2013/pb22371/html/info_003.htm ) and other sources, the $2.00 Inverted Jenny souvenir sheet went on sale nationwide September 22, 2013, and a ceremony was held on that day at the National Postal Museum. The souvenir sheet was printed using the intaglio printing process and plates made from the original dies used to produce the 1918 24c Air Post stamp (Scott C3). The denomination was changed to make it easily distinguishable from the original. The souvenir sheet background depicts the original airmail route, the National Postal Museum, and aviation pioneer Reuben H. Fleet.
A special automatic distribution was done to all post offices. Pre-orders and re-orders through stamp distribution offices or centers were not allowed once original automatic distribution quantities were sold. A total of 13,200,600 stamps were printed, which translates into 2,200,100 souvenir sheets of six. They were printed six souvenir sheets at a time, and their position on the plate is noted on back of each. The sheets were sold individually wrapped in cellophane, which collectors questioned at the time of issue.
The reason for the odd quantity and cellophane wrapping was revealed shortly after the release of the souvenir sheets, when an upright example was discovered by a collector in Ontario, Canada. The USPS then revealed that 100 had been created and randomly seeded throughout their distribution system. The cellophane wrappers were used to prevent searching through stocks for the upright designs -- souvenir sheets with opened cellophane were not returnable. As of June 2017, only 32 have been discovered.
The souvenir sheet offered here was originally discovered by David and Gail Robinson in Virginia. It was acquired by the present owner in our 2014 Rarities of the World sale.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE SET OF LARGE DIE PROOFS OF THE 1923 AIR POST ISSUE, SCOTT C4-C6. VERY FEW SETS ARE KNOWN.
According to the American Air Mail Catalogue only five sets of large die proofs are known. Ex Hennig. Scott value as unsigned
A PRESENTABLE EXAMPLE OF THE LARGE DIE PROOF OF THE 65-CENT GRAF ZEPPELIN ISSUE. VERY FEW ARE KNOWN.
Only two complete sets are believed to exist on India paper. One was given to President Roosevelt and the other set was given to Dr. Hugo Eckener, head of the German Zeppelin Transport Company. The example offered here, on wove paper, is the only other we are aware of. Scott value $15,000.00
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 65-CENT GRAF ZEPPELIN, WITH THE PERFECT P.S.E. GRADE OF GEM 100.
The Graf Zeppelin issue is extremely difficult to obtain in Gem 100 grade. For the 65c, four are graded 100 and two are graded 100 Jumbo. For the $1.30, nine are graded 100 with none graded 100 Jumbo. For the $2.60, only one is graded 100 and one is graded 100 Jumbo.
With 2019 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; SMQ $4,450.00)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN OUTSTANDING USED EXAMPLE OF THE $2.60 GRAF ZEPPELIN, GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.
With 2020 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $2,850.00). Only one used C15 grades higher (at 100).
VERY FINE AND RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE BLOCK OF THE 1938 6-CENT ULTRAMARINE AND CARMINE AIR POST ISSUE.
Apart from a complete pane of 50 (which contained one plate block), we have offered only two other plate blocks of Scott C23c since keeping computerized records.
With 2018 P.S.E. certificate (VF 80). Scott value is out of date as a similar example we offered in Sale 1192 (lot 702) realized $7,500 hammer, versus Scott value of $1,500.00
VERY FINE. A DRAMATIC AND EXTREMELY RARE POSITION STRIP OF THE 15-CENT STATUE OF LIBERTY AIR POST ISSUE, WITH A PAIR IMPERFORATE VERTICALLY.
The Datz book lists only three examples of this error rarity -- each in a slightly different format. This is the only example we have offered at auction since keeping computerized records.
With 1996 P.F. certificate.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE RARE BUFFALO BALLOON AIR POST ISSUE. THIS SUPERB STAMP IS GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY THE PHILATELIC FOUNDATION.
The Buffalo Balloon stamp, designed by John F. B. Lillard and engraved by John H. Snively, was printed by Wheeler Brothers Printers in Nashville, Tennessee, The stamps were intended for use on a balloon flight from Nashville to Gallatin, which took place on June 18, 1877. Of the 300 printed, only 23 were used.
Based on previous examples we have handled, at least some of the Buffalo Balloon stamps were exposed to moisture around the time they were printed and were probably stuck together. This accounts for the no gum, disturbed gum or thinned examples sometimes encountered. This lightly hinged stamp with huge margins is a true condition rarity.
With 2017 P.F. certificate (XF-Superb 95)