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.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
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.