US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Upright Jenny Invert pane of six sells for $59,205 in Maine auction

February 19, 2016 08:40 AM

  • This upright variety of the $2 Jenny Invert pane of six was purchased in a Maine post office last September. It was auctioned to an unidentified buyer during the Feb. 3-5 sale conducted by James D. Julia Auctioneers. Photograph courtesy of James D. Julia Auctioneers, Fairfield, Maine, USA, www.jamesdjulia.com.
  • Robert Sezak bought the Maine Jenny pane at the post office while buying stamps for postage. He’s shown here with the James D. Julia auction catalog offering his stamp find.

By Michael Baadke

Another one of the upright $2 Jenny Invert panes of six has been sold at auction.

The example found by Maine bookseller Robert Sezak was consigned to James D. Julia Auctioneers in Fairfield, Maine, and sold during the firm’s Feb. 3-5 Fine Art, Asian, and Antiques auction.

The pane was hammered down at $50,000, with the total bumped up to $59,205 once the buyer’s premium was added in.

Details of the sale were first reported by Peter McGuire on centralmaine.com.

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Sezak buys postage stamps regularly to mail customers the books they’ve purchased online from his Re-Books shop in Waterville, Maine.

He told Linn’s Stamp News last November that the pane of the upright variety he discovered was among a purchase of 25 panes he made locally in mid-September.

He’s not a stamp collector, but Sezak learned about the upright Jenny Invert variety after seeing a notice in the post office and chatting about it with a postal clerk.

As a promotional scheme, the United States Postal Service intentionally created 100 panes of the upright variety of the 2013 $2 Jenny Invert issue (Scott 4806)

Like the millions of normal stamps that show the plane flying upside down, these rare variety panes, which show the plane flying upright, are hidden within sealed blind packaging which, from the outside, cannot be distinguished from the regular issue. The variety panes were then mixed in with the normal stamps.

Sezak’s discovery was No. 24 out of 100, according to a tally maintained by the Postal Service.

The $50,000 realization on Sezak’s pane is in the same ball park as other auction results that have been reported.

Sezak attended the James D. Julia auction in person, and told Linn’s that while multiple bids were placed for the rarity, none originated from the auction floor, so the identity of the winning bidder is not known.

All in all, it’s a nice return on a $12 investment, and Sezak wouldn’t mind if it happened again.

“I am still buying the Jenny stamp as I use them for postage on my book orders,” he said.