The beautiful center Inverted Jenny block could belong to you - for 3 million dollars

The beautiful center Inverted Jenny block could belong to you - for 3 million dollars

If you've been waiting for an opportunity to obtain the rare center block of Inverted Jennys, now is your chance - for an starting price of $1,000,000 and an expected result of as much as $3 million.

Don't have quite enough savings for the centerline block? Not to worry, because on the same day, you have the chance to obtain Inverted Jenny position 39, one of the finest graded singles, and expected to sell for as much as $675,000.

On September 27th, Spink U.S.A. will offer two auctions: The Iconic Inverted Jenny Unique Centerline Block of Four; and The Philatelic Collector's Series Sale.

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Image courtesy Spink USA.

The former, starting at 1:00 p.m., consists of a single lot: the center block (positions 45-46 and 55-56) #C3a, 24c Carmine rose and blue, Center Inverted. The block of four has vertical and horizontal guide lines crossing at the center and beautiful centering. The block, which comes with two Philatelic Foundation certificates (1991 and 2019) has lightly disturbed original gum and is graded very fine. In its last public auction (1991), the block sold for $550,000.00 and has since changed hands privately several times.

To learn more about the history of the centerline block, visit Spink USA here.

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Image courtesy Spink USA.

The second auction, The Philatelic Collector's Series Sale, begins at 1:15 p.m with lot 101, position 39 #C3a, 24c Carmine rose and blue, Center Inverted. Described by Spink as "extraordinarily choice and exceptionally fresh mint example" of the coveted Inverted Jenny rarity, position 39 has full original gum, is very lightly hinged, and has snagged the honor of being one of the highest graded mint #C3a's. It has two Philatelic Foundation certificates (1970 and 2019). Position 39 will be sold on September 27th from the William Gross collection, and was last sold publicly in 1995 for a realization of $135,000.00 - the full Scott catalog value at the time. 

To learn more about the history of position 39, visit Spink USA here.

The Philatelic Collector's Series Sale, besides the iconic position 39 #C3a, also includes philatelic gems like Scott #62B, the 10c dark green "August" issue, a "very elusive mint example," and 214 other items, ranging in expected price from $35 to $9000.

Explore the whole online catalog here before the September 27th sale.

The Fascinating History of America's Most Coveted Stamps

On May 14th, 1918, one day before the first scheduled Post Office Department airmail service took off from Washington D.C., the P.O. Department issued what would become Scott #C3, a 24 cent carmine rose and blue stamp picturing the famous Curtiss Jenny biplane - the same planes that would be used for the first airmail flights.

That same day, stamp collector William T. Robey purchased a full sheet of 100 stamps at the New York Avenue Post Office in Washington D.C. for $24 - and found to his delight when he inspected the sheet that the stamps had an impressive error - the blue Curtiss Jenny in the center of each was inverted. When the postal clerk became aware of the mistake, all post offices were shut down for two hours to inspect the other sheets, which means that there only exist 100 known Inverted Jenny stamps.

Several days later, Robey sold the sheet for $15,000 to Eugene Klein, and within the day, Klein had resold the sheet to Colonel Edward H.R. Green for $20,000. On Colonel Green's request, Klein numbered the sheet from 1-100 and broke it into singles and blocks, selling all but the best blocks. And from that point, the story of each individual Inverted Jenny is obscured and murky - some are stolen, many change hands privately time and time again, one is sucked into a vacuum cleaner, and most are improperly handled, regummed, hinged, or cut with straight edges. 

For more information about the long and complicated history of the separated Jenny singles and blocks, read here. 

The Iconic Inverted Jenny Unique Centerline Block of Four and Philatelic Collectors Series Sale will be offered  in New York on 27th September 2019. For further information please contact George Eveleth, geveleth@spink.com.

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Interested in the history of the Inverted Jennys? Did you know that the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library have played an important role in the history of the stolen McCoy block, positions 65-66 & 75-76? Learn more about the iconic 2016 recovery of position 76 from the June 2016 issue of the American Philatelist, by Jenny expert Ken Lawrence. 

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Hartford, Connecticut | August 20-23, 2020