Robert A. Siegel to sell Inverted Jenny stamp in New York
A rare and iconic Inverted Jenny stamp will be sold in New York later this month – the second example of its kind to hit the market in a matter of days.
With Leslie Hindman Auctioneers set to sell a long-lost Inverted Jenny on February 25 in Chicago, collectors will also have another chance to acquire this icon of U.S postal history just three days later.
Robert A. Siegel in New York will offer another Inverted Jenny on February 28, as the star lot of the Don David Price Collection of the U.S. 1918 24c Jenny Air Post Issue sale.
The Inverted Jenny is by far the most famous American postage stamp ever issued, although with its misprinted, upside-down airplane it should never have existed at all.
In May 1918, the single sheet of 100 inverted stamps was accidentally sold to collector William T. Robey in a Washington D.C post office for $24 – and within less than a week he had resold them to dealer Eugene Klein for $15,000.
They were then acquired by renowned collector Colonel Edward H. R. Green, who numbered each of the stamps in the sheet before breaking it up and selling them in smaller blocks or as individual stamps.
In total, ninety two of the original 100 stamps have survived to this day – but several are in less-than-pristine condition.
Over the years, many have been affected by moisture and temperature due to improper storage by collectors. Colonel Green himself kept several in a safe where they became stuck together, and were only saved when they were soaked and separated, leaving them with no gum.
A block of four was famously stolen from a New York exhibition in 1955, with three having been recovered over the past seven decades, and one Inverted Jenny was accidentally sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.
The stamp offered at Robert A. Siegel occupied Position 28 on the original sheet of 100, and was sold at auction three times in the 1940s before landing in the collection of avid philatelist Milton Price.
When Price passed away in 1961 his collection was placed in a bank vault for more than 30 years, before being dispersed and sold by his family. However, Milton's son retained five individual stamps from the collection – including the Inverted Jenny.
Lightly hinged and still featuring its original gum, the stamp is now expected to sell for more than $400,000.
Robert A. Siegel has conducted many of the most notable inverted Jenny sales of recent years.
In May 2016, they set a new world record price for a single Inverted Jenny, when a well-centered example graded XF-superb 95 sold for $1.35 million. And back in 2007, the company sold a complete block of four stamps for $2.7 million.
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