Position 69 - 2002-09-13 Transaction Summary

Purchase Date:
How Purchased:
Where Purchased:
Shreves Philatelic Galleries
Auction No.:
51-The Thomas C. McKinney Collection
Lot No.:
Catalogue Value:
$ 170,000
$ 132,000


#C3a, 24c Carmine rose and blue, Center Inverted, position 69, wonderfully bright and fresh, deep rich colors, well centered, especially clean full o.g., lightly hinged, extremely fine. The 1919 Twenty Four Cent Inverted Jenny is one 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 their original gum. Improper hinging has caused a significant number of the faults, often thinning or creasing the stamps. That is why it is a rare occasion when a truly choice example makes an appearance on the auction market. Just such an occasion commands special attention among collectors who wish to acquire a select example of one of the most recognized and important rarities in philately. The example from the McKinney collection is one of the very few existing Inverted Jennys to combine overall freshness, outstanding colors, excellent centering, and preservation of its original gum on a single copy. Accompanied by a 1970 PF certificate.
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