Position 76 - 2017-05-11 Transaction Summary


Purchase Date:
2017-05-11
How Purchased:
Auction
Where Purchased:
Siegel Auction Galleries
Auction No.:
1157 - The McCoy Inverted Jenny Position 76
Lot No.:
4000
Sound/Fault:
Fault
Catalogue Value:
$ 450,000
Realized:
$ 295,000
Buyer:
Anonymous

Description

24c Carmine Rose & Blue, Center Inverted (C3a). Position 76, the sixth stamp in the eighth row of the sheet of 100 purchased by William T. Robey on May 14, 1918, part original gum, rich colors, small thin spot, skillfully reperforated at top and left

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A STORIED AND ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF THE LEGENDARY 1918 24-CENT INVERTED JENNY THAT WAS KEPT OUT OF THE MARKET FOR SIX DECADES FOLLOWING THE THEFT OF THE McCOY BLOCK IN 1955.

The original sheet of one hundred Inverted Jenny errors was purchased by William T. Robey on May 14, 1918, the first day the stamps went on sale in all three principal airmail route cities: Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia. Robey bought the sheet for its $24 face value at the New York Avenue Post Office window in the District of Columbia. On Sunday, May 19, Robey agreed to give Eugene Klein, a prominent Philadelphia stamp dealer, a one-day option to buy the sheet for $15,000. Klein exercised his option on Monday, May 20, in a late afternoon phone call, and he confirmed it with a registered letter to Robey sent in the evening mail. The sheet was delivered to Klein’s office by Robey and his father-in-law on the following day, Tuesday, May 21, 1918.

No later than Monday, May 20, the day Klein exercised his option, he had arranged to sell the sheet for $20,000 to Colonel Edward H. R. Green. Half of the $5,000 profit went to Klein’s partners, Percy McGraw Mann and Joseph A. Steinmetz. Klein was then authorized by Colonel Green to divide the sheet into singles and blocks, and to sell all but a few key position blocks.

One of the blocks sold by Klein on behalf of Colonel Green comprised Positions 65-66/75-76 from the center two columns with a vertical guideline between the left and right stamps. This block was acquired by Arthur Hind, the world-renowned collector who bought the unique British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, reputedly outbidding King George V. In 1936, after Hind’s death, the block was purchased from New York dealer Spencer Anderson for $16,000 by Bert A. Stewart as a gift to his wife, Ethel Bergstresser Stewart McCoy (1893-1980). The full history of the McCoy block, including the story of its theft and ongoing recovery, is told by Ken Lawrence at https://siegelauctions.com/2017/1157/McCoy_By_Lawrence.pdf . This stamp is the lower right position in the McCoy block.

Ex Colonel Edward H. R. Green, Arthur Hind and Ethel Bergstresser Stewart McCoy. In 2016 it was certified by both The Philatelic Foundation and the American Philatelic Expertizing Service.

2016 Philatelic Foundation certificate (535711) states:

IT IS A GENUINE UNUSED SCOTT C3A, INVERTED CENTER, POSITION 76, THE BOTTOM RIGHT STAMP FROM THE ORIGINAL BLOCK OF FOUR BELONGING TO ETHEL B. MCCOY AND STOLEN FROM HER EXHIBIT ON SEPT. 23, 1955

THE INVERT, WITH PART O.G., A TINY THIN SPOT AT RIGHT, REPERFORATED AT TOP, AND ALSO REPERFORATED AT LEFT TO ELIMINATE THE VERTICAL GUIDE LINE APPEARING ON THE STAMP IN ITS ORIGINAL STATE.

2016 APEX certificate (218794) states:

United States, Scott No. C3a center inverted, Pos. 76, unused, original gum, previously hinged, genuine, thin, reperforated at top, also reperforated at left to remove guide line.

2017 Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue Value $450,000.00
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