Inverted Jenny stamp set to sell for at least $450,000

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2015-06-26 11:04:54

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Inverted Jenny stamp set to sell for at least $450,000

13 Jun 2012, 16:04 GMT+01

A legendary stamp among collectors known as the Inverted Jenny stamp will be sold at Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries on June 26th.

The Inverted Jenny, also known as the Upside Down Jenny and the Jenny Invert, is an American postage stamp and was subject to what has become one of the most famous errors in US philately. The Jenny was first issued in 1918. It depicts the Curtiss JN-4 airplane – the plane used in the first regular service carrying mail by air between Washington, Philadelphia and New York. The central image of the plane was printed first, with the frame added afterwards. Therefore it is not the actual plane that is upside down but the frame.

Only one set of 100 stamps was found with this topsy-turvy error, making the stamps hugely sought after by collectors. This sheet was acquired by collector W. T. Robey direct from the post office. After hiding the sheet from authorities attempting to buy it back, he sold it on to Philadelphia stamp dealer Eugene Klein for $15,000, who immediately re-sold it to Colonel H. R. Green for $20,000. The stamps were then sold off at various times in blocks, or as singles.

The Siegel auction, entitled Rarities of the World, follows a long history of successful Robert A. Siegel sales of the Inverted Jenny. Their November 2007 auction sold one of these prized stamps for $977,500, and two months later in December 2007 a mint unhinged example sold for $825,000. A block of four Inverted Jennies was sold for $2.97 million in October 2005, and their recent April sale sold another single Inverted Jenny, for $625,000. While the estimate on this stamp sits conservatively at $450,000, the desire for these rarities means that anything could happen.

Alongside the Jenny, a large selection of rare stamps will be offered on June 26th, including one of the CIA inverts of 1979, depicting a lamp symbolic of America’s Light Fueled by Truth and Reason, valued at $18,000, and the Emancipation Proclamation stamp issued by Abraham Lincoln, estimated at a staggering $2.4 million.

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