Monday Morning Brief | Inverted Jenny reappears

Apr 29, 2021, 3 AM


Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke reports on the reappearance of a valuable Inverted Jenny airmail error stamp that has been tucked away for 99 years. The stamp will be auctioned Feb. 15 by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago.

Full video transcript:

This is your Monday Morning Brief for January 9, 2017.

This week’s biggest stamp news story is about a single stamp that was issued 99 years ago, and which hasn’t been seen publicly since it was bought in a Washington, D.C., post office in 1918.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers of Chicago, Illinois, shocked the philatelic world last week with the news that its February auction will include the Position 79 Inverted Jenny stamp, a stamp that has been missing and presumed lost for nearly a century.

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Keep in mind that there are 100 Inverted Jenny stamps. These are the error stamps that are supposed to show the blue Jenny airplane flying right side up in the middle, but one sheet of 100 stamps was somehow printed showing the airplane flying upside down.

Collectors so enjoy these famous error stamps that these days they’re paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to own one. Last year, the Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries sold one Inverted Jenny for more than 1.35 million dollars. That stamp was from position 58 in the discovery sheet, unusually well centered and in excellent condition.

But this new discovery is also an attractive stamp and should be appealing to any collector with an interest in the most famous stamp in the United States.

The amazing part of this story is that, as far as anyone knows, this Posititon 79 stamp has been held by the same family for generations.

When the sheet of 100 stamps was broken into singles and blocks many many years ago, each stamp was numbered on the back, and collectors started following every move of every stamp: who owned it, when it was sold, and for how much.

Today you can find that information compiled on the Internet at, a website carefully assembled by the Siegel auction firm.

That site confirms that two of the 100 stamps have no recorded history: the Position 49 stamp, and the Position 79 stamp. It’s the newly revealed Position 79 stamp that will be auctioned by Leslie Hindman on Feb. 15.

And that means the history of one more Inverted Jenny stamp remains a mystery.

If you own that Position 49 stamp, let us know!

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Michael Baadke.