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.
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
August 17, 2015 12:19 AMFrom 1967 to 2006, Royal Mail (Great Britain’s post office) advertised all new issues with posters displayed in post offices. Most of these posters had pictures of the stamps along with basic information such as the date of issue, instructions for first-day covers, etc. Some were a little more elaborate. Read More ›
August 14, 2015 09:46 AMWill the United States Postal Service issue a Christmas stamp this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic television musical special A Charlie Brown Christmas? Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the hiring of a new executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the new Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board and the upcoming APS Stampshow.
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.