Cherrystone to offer 1918 Jenny Invert in Sept. 9-10 auction of rare stamps, covers

By Michael Baadke

The position 10 stamp from the pane of 100 24¢ Jenny Invert airmail error stamps discovered in 1918 will be auctioned during the Sept. 9-10 sale by Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers in New York City.

A Russian airmail invert from 1924 with an inverted surcharge is among the worldwide stamp offerings collectors will find in the upcoming Cherrystone auction.

Salvaged from the tragic Hindenburg airship disaster of 1937, this cover from Germany to Chicago is still in the original cellophane wrapper that the United States Post Office Department used to preserve it intact. A USPOD official seal is affixed to the reverse of the envelope. Cherrystone is offering the cover with a $10,000 estimate.

With fewer than 100 examples trading among collectors, many months often pass before a Jenny Invert appears at auction.

That’s not the way it’s been lately, however.

For the fifth time in four months, collectors will have an opportunity to bid on the famous 1918 United States 24¢ bicolor airmail stamp showing the Jenny biplane flying upside down (Scott C3a).

Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers are featuring the position 10 Jenny Invert in the firm’s Sept. 9-10 auction in New York City.

The sale will take place at the Cherrystone Auction Galleries at 119 W. 57th St. The Jenny Invert is scheduled to be offered during the Tuesday morning session, which begins at 10 a.m.

Because of its position on the sheet, the stamp has a natural straight edge at both the top and right side. It is unused without gum, but described by Cherrystone as having deep rich colors, grading “just about fine” and identified as “still completely sound.”

The stamp is offered with a 2002 Philatelic Foundation certificate.

With a presale estimate of $75,000 (as opposed to the $400,000 value assigned to a very fine example in the 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue), Cherrystone identifies this particular Jenny Invert as “an affordable example of this premier United States Rarity.”

Its neighbor on the discovery pane of 100, from position 9, was auctioned May 15 by H.R. Harmer, still encased in the locket where legendary collector Col. E.H.R. Green chose to place it as a gift for his new wife, Mabel.

The well-centered position 89 Jenny Invert was sold during Matthew Bennett’s May 12-13 auction, the never-hinged position 77 stamp was hammered by Spink USA May 21, and a lightly hinged position 73 stamp was sold by Robert A. Siegel during its Rarities of the World auction June 26.

The upcoming Cherrystone sale, titled “Rare Stamps and Postal History of the World,” includes another airmail invert from halfway around the world.

This example of Russia’s 1924 imperforate surcharged 20-kopeck on 10-ruble rose stamp with the black surcharge inverted (Scott C9a) is described as lightly hinged and very fine, signed by Kessler, Brun, Jemchouhin and others. It is offered with a presale estimate of $10,000; the 2015 Scott standard catalog lists the unused stamp at $22,000.

The stamp is part of a range of Russian stamps and postal history that includes classic 19th-century issues through the unissued variety with an alternate inscription of the 1972 10kop stamp honoring opera singer Leonid Sobinov.

The Sobinov stamp (a variety of Scott 3966) is never hinged and offered with a $2,500 estimate.

The selection of Great Britain and British Commonwealth issues includes a very fine sound example of the unused 1888 £1 brown violet Queen Victoria stamp.

The original 1884 version of this stamp, itself a scarce issue, was manufactured on paper watermarked with the imperial crown (Scott 110). The stamp offered by Cherrystone is the later variety on paper watermarked with three orbs (123), even more scarce than the original, and cataloging at $75,000. Cherrystone estimates this stamp at $40,000.

Postal history collectors will find much to choose from, including a Germany-to-Chicago envelope from the doomed 1937 flight of the Hindenburg airship.

The cover shows considerable scorching from the fire that consumed the luxury craft as it sought to dock in New Jersey. The three 1936 Landmarks semipostals and the 1937 Hitler semipostal souvenir sheet franking the envelope are affected but mostly intact.

The cover is sealed within the original cellophane used by the U.S. Post Office Department to preserve the contents and includes an official seal on the reverse.

Fewer than 200 damaged pieces of mail were salvaged from the Hindenburg, according to Cherrystone. This cover is offered with a $10,000 estimate.

Along with worldwide stamps and covers, the sale includes large lots and collections.

Collectors can view the many items on offer and bid online at the Cherrystone website, www.cherrystoneauctions.com.

Additional information also is available from Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers, 119 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019; or telephone 212-977-7734.

Published 8/15/2014 9:05 AM