Special Exhibits and Rarities

Don't miss your chance to see the Royal Philatelic Society London Special Display as well as three of America's most noteworthy postal items!

Classic Stamps of Britain and the Empire

Through an exchange program organized with the United States Philatelic Classics Society (USPCS) and the Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL), 50 frames from the RPSL will be on display at GASS ’23.  The display titled Classic Stamps of Britain and the Empire will be located near the front entrance in the Court of Honor.

Six UK based members of the Royal will display alongside 8 frames from the RPSL itself. These frames will show Bahamas from the original collection of Louis Bradbury and Natal by Eric W. Mann – the two members donated their collections to the Royal many years ago and it is great that they can be seen in the U.S. for the first time.  The many Chalon Heads which occur in those collections are complemented by Chris Harman’s eight frame contribution on Perkins, Bacon printings of Empire Classics. Joseph Hackmey adds a very important collection of the lithographed issues of Victoria [Australia] 1850-1855. Relieving the scene of Classic stamps, Simon Richards contributes his Grenada Postal Stationery, and Chris King postal history display of Mail across the North Sea. To complete this wonderful display the Earliest Postage Stamps of 1840 are beautifully presented by Simon Beresford-Wylie’s Penny Blacks and Two penny blues, while Alan Druce has frames of Imprimatur penny reds, a more extensive representation he tells me than any other collection.

24-cent Inverted Jenny

The Most Famous U.S. Stamp. On May 14, 1918, William T. Robey went to a post office in Washington, D.C. to buy a pane of the first U.S. airmail stamps, which had been issued the previous day. Robey found the panes of 100 stamps slightly off center and the clerk suggested he come back later the same day when new supplies would be available. When Robey returned he was astonished to find a pane with all 100 stamps showing the Curtiss Jenny biplane upside down.

Word of Robey’s find traveled quickly and the sale of 24¢ airmail stamps was halted temporarily so stocks could be checked. No additional errors were found. A postal inspector tried to convince Robey that he should sell the pane back to the post office, but he refused. Instead, he sold the entire pane to Eugene Klein in Philadelphia for $15,000. A few weeks later Klein resold the pane to Colonel Edward H. R. Green for $20,000. Position 65, the top left stamp of the famous “McCoy block”, currently owned by the American Philatelic Research Library, will be on display.

The Hammarskjold Inverts

The 1962 Dag Hammarskjold 4¢ invert was the first such error to elude postal inspectors since the Jenny Invert in 1918. The appearance of the error prompted Postmaster General J. Edward Day to order 40 million more errors (the yellow background is inverted and shifted to the right) to be printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Leonard
Sherman, the New Jersey jeweler whose dreams of wealth were shattered by Day’s action, donated his discovery sheet to the APS in 1987.

George Washington Free Frank

U.S. Presidents are provided free franking for their postal mailings. This privilege was first offered to George Washington when he became president in April 1789. In May 1789, just weeks after his inauguration, he used this folded letter sheet for correspondence to the Honorable James Warren (1726–1808), a member of the Sons of Liberty who was Postmaster General of the Continental Army. Washington signed it “President/U.S.”


Engage with us