The most recent Spink Shreves Galleries auction drew a lot of interest from collectors and the media alike, as some wondered what an “inverted Jenny” is, and others wondered just how much it would sell for. At the end of the two-day auction when the gavel fell for the final time, “inverted Jenny” and her 3,000+ fellow stamps sold for a combined $5 million dollars, according to a June 19 Associated Press article.
The collection, gathered by the late Robert H. Cunliffe over the course of 50-plus years, featured many rare and valuable inverted stamps, according to the Associated Press article. In the hobby of collecting U.S. stamps or philately, an inverted stamp is created when different colors and elements are printed in separate press runs and a sheet gets flipped upside-down between press runs.
More than 300 buyers, from around the world, walked away as the winning bidders in the two-day auction, each taking a piece the late Pittsburgh stockbroker’s diligent passion and a piece of history. It was one of the most comprehensive collections of inverts ever formed, Charles Shreve, president of Spink Shreves Galleries said.
“What really blows people away is how many rarities he has one after the other,” Shreve said, according to the Associated Press article.
Among the auction highlights was the sale of a strip of four 1901 stamps featuring an upside-down electric automobile, which sold, with the buyer’s premium, for $300,000, Shreve was quoted as saying in the article. He went on to say the most surprising sale was a 1902 Russian stamp with an inverted center. The stamp had a catalogued value of $5,500 and sold for $115,000.
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