Inverted Jenny Position 76 Sells for $295,000 in May 11 Siegel Sale

The McCoy Inverted Jenny Position 76 sold today for $295,000 at an auction conducted by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries.

The identity of the winning bidder was not immediately revealed, but the stamp was sold to a bidder on the phone at the New York City auction headquarters. Floor and Internet bids also were accepted.

With buyer’s fees added, the winning bidder will pay $295,000 ($250,000 was the high bid) for the iconic 1918 stamp that shows a biplane flying upside down.

The sale featured the American Philatelic Research Library’s Inverted Jenny stamp recovered a year ago. The stamp was stolen along with three others during a 1955  national stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia. The block of stamps was owned by Ethel McCoy when they were stolen. Later, McCoy willed the stamps to the APRL. Two stamps were recovered in the late 1970s; one was sold and the other is retained and often exhibited by the American Philatelic Society, a sister organization to the APRL.

The stamps were part of an original sheet of 100 error stamps purchased in 1918 by William Robey from a post office in Washington, D.C. The stamps were printed hastily to help inaugurate the country’s inaugural airmail service.

APRL Librarian Tara Murray and Scott D. English, the APRL’s administrator and APS executive director, journeyed to New York City from the library’s home in central Pennsylvania to witness the sale. Pictured above is English (left) receiving a check from Scott Trepel President of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the APRL’s new library facility at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

APRL Librarian Tara Murray Honored

Tara Murray, librarian for the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, will be recognized as a Fellow by an international libraries organization.

The Special Libraries Association will honor Murray and 11 other longstanding and emerging leaders in June at the SLA 2017 Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Murray is one of five individuals who will be named as Fellows at the convention’s second general session on June 19. The SLA Fellowship recognizes mid-career information professionals for their past, present, and future service to SLA and the profession.

Murray joined the American Philatelic Research Library in July 2010, after spending nine years as an information services director for the Population Research Institute at nearby Penn State University. Murray oversees operations of the APRL, the world’s largest philatelic library, including leading staff and volunteers, managing the library’s collection and the APS and APRL archives, and responding to a steady stream of requests from society members and the public. She also helps other philatelic libraries share resources and information through the Philatelic Library Forum and the online David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalogue. Murray works with the APS Editorial Department to produce the quarterly Philatelic Literature Review and participates in events such as Summer Seminar and the Postal History Symposium co-sponsored by the APRL, APS, and Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

The Special Libraries Association, a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in more than 60 countries and in a wide range of working environments, including business, academia, and government agencies. For more information about the honors and SLA, visit sla.org.

Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to Sell Recovered Inverted Jenny Stamp

Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to Sell Recovered Inverted Jenny
Proceeds of the Sale to Go to American Philatelic Research Library

BELLEFONTE, PA — The American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) announced today they have reached agreement with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to sell a recently recovered Inverted Jenny stamp. The stamp, Position 76 of the famous McCoy Block, stolen in 1955 at a stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia, was recovered by the APRL at a public event in June 2016 during the World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

The press event for the recovery of the stamp at World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

The APRL Board of Trustees selected Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries from eight proposals submitted since authorizing the sale in October 2016. “The Inverted Jenny is one of the most iconic stamps in the world and Siegel has been a part of many notable stamp sales from that sheet,” said Roger Brody, President of the APRL, “That history should deliver a great return to the APRL.”

“Of the many remarkable stories associated with the legendary Inverted Jenny, the theft of the McCoy block and the long road to recovery of the stolen stamps is perhaps the most thrilling,” added Scott Trepel, President of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, “Position 76 is the third one to be found and reclaimed, leaving only one still missing. It’s a beautiful looking Jenny and has the distinction of surviving 61 years of felonious captivity.”

The return of the stamp in front of the biplane at World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

The stamp recovery press conference was held before an actual Jenny biplane in the Javits Center in June 2016. The plane was on display at the show courtesy of Siegel Auction Galleries. “This was one of the biggest moments and greatest images in the history of the hobby,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, “By pure luck, the plane was already there to promote the sale of another Jenny and it helped make the moment special.”

Proceeds of the stamp, expected to sell between $150,000 and $200,000, will go toward the APRL’s new library facility in Bellefonte, PA. The $4 million library was completed and opened in October 2016. The facility spans 19,000 square feet in space at the American Philatelic Center and it is the world’s largest philatelic library. More information about the APRL is available at www.stamplibrary.org and you can also visit www.InvertedJenny.com to learn more about the Inverted Jenny stamps.