Position 25 - 2005-07-15 Transaction Summary

Purchase Date:
How Purchased:
Where Purchased:
Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Auction No.:
70-The William Lee Lewis Collection
Lot No.:
Catalogue Value:
$ 190,000
$ 187,000


#C3a, 24c Carmine rose and blue, Center Inverted, position 25, rich colors, well centered, full o.g. that is only very slightly disturbed, very fine.The 1919 Twenty Four Cent Inverted Jenny is one of the most recognized and desired rarities in all of philately. Its legendary status began the moment the stamp was issued in May 1918, when William T. Robey purchased an entire error sheet of 100 at the New York Avenue Post Office window in Washington D.C. - just one day after the stamp was issued - May 14th. Within one week Robey sold the sheet for $15,000.00 to the well-known Philadelphia stamp dealer Eugene Klein (an impressive return on his initial $24.00 investment). Shortly thereafter Mr. Klein sold the sheet to the renowned, yet eccentric collector, Col. Edward H.R. Green for $20,000.00. Col. Green asked Klein to break up the sheet for him into singles and blocks, and instructed him to sell all but the few key position blocks. What is puzzling is how, given the immediate attention created by a spectacular new error, so many of the stamps from the sheet have been poorly handled and stored over the years. In fact, there are at least seven examples whose whereabouts are unknown and presumably lost to philately. A great many of the known copies have varying degrees of faults and some even have lost all of their original gum. Improper hinging has caused a significant number of the faults, often thinning or creasing the stamps.The example from the Lewis collection is among the few existing Inverted Jennys to be completely sound, well centered and still retaining its full original gum. Accompanied by three Philatelic Foundation certificates issued in 1974, 2000 and 2002
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