Three examples of the famous Inverted Jenny, the 1918 24¢ airmail stamp with the biplane in the center printed upside down in error (United States Scott C3a), crossed the auction block over the course of 10 days.
The most notorious one of these is the so-called “Locket Copy,” whose story was told at length by George Amick in a front-page feature in the May 5 issue of Linn’s. It was offered May 15 by H.R. Harmer in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Encased back-to-back with a regular example of the stamp as a keepsake for his wife Mabel by the eccentric Col. E.H.R. Green, the last owner of the full sheet of 100 Jenny Invert stamps, the Locket Copy is position 9 from that sheet. It has a straight edge at top, but is otherwise in relatively good shape, possessing never-hinged gum and “bright fresh colors.”
After spending decades hidden away by Mabel’s heir, the locket was offered at auction for the first time in 2002, but failed to reach its reserve price. It was later sold privately for $90,000 and subsequently traded again for an undisclosed sum.
This time, it brought $212,400, including the 18 percent buyer’s premium charged by H.R. Harmer.
[Editor's note: Linn's learned in 2015 that the "Locket Copy" did not sell at the May 15, 2014, sale.]
Matthew Bennett International offered U.S. and Canadian stamps on May 12-13 in New York City. The sale, filled with superlative items, was previewed in Linn’s issue of May 12.
As expected, the high realization of the sale went to an unusually well-centered example of the Jenny Invert.
Like many of its kind, the example in the Bennett sale shows some wear and tear: a “small thin spot and light crease,” as well as a slight disturbance of the gum where the stamp was once hinged into an album.
Nevertheless the stamp, position 89 from the original sheet, went for $264,500, including the 15 percent buyer’s premium Bennett adds to all lots.
Another well-centered example of the airmail error was offered by Spink USA in a single-item presentation in New York City on the morning of May 21.
Spink had promoted this stamp, position 77, as “extraordinarily choice” and the finest of five recorded mint never-hinged examples. The stamp was authenticated earlier this year by the Philatelic Foundation, which assigned it a grade of very fine-extremely fine 85.
With a buyer’s premium equal to 20 percent of the bid up to $2,000 and 15 percent for the remaining amount, the stamp sold for $575,100.
Prior to this sale, the position 77 stamp was owned by J.E. Safra, who purchased it two decades ago for $173,000 as part of the 1994 Christie’s auction of the Westport collection.
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
September 28, 2015 03:30 AMAfter the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, postal workers not only saved the mail, they saved the new post office building. Read More ›
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Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.