Here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) the most common resources used or cited when researchers consult the library for their collecting needs are often either books or journals which comprise the majority of the library collection. Book titles detailing all aspects of national, state and local philatelic interests can be found on the first floor of the APRL’s public space, while journals dealing with worldwide interests are located on the second floor.
But in the over 30,000 titles and 80,000 individual items that comprise the APRL holdings there is a small resourceful collection of materials which are a subset of the APRL’s vast collection of auctions catalogs, specifically name sales. Names sales are, as the title suggests, auction catalogs in which a particular or noteworthy collection is up for sale and the auction house has designated the sale by using the collector or the collection’s name.
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 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 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.
A recent article from art blog Hyperallergic explores the art of the bookplate. Bookplates have been used for centuries to indicate ownership of books, and, as the article notes, can be used to trace the provenance of books.
The APRL’s collection includes many bookplates from famous philatelists, including Stanley B. Ashbrook, Creighton C. Hart, and H.E. Deats. The next time you check out a book, you could be holding a book that was once read by a member of the APS Hall of Fame!
We also use bookplates to show that books have come to us as part of a society library, for example the State Revenue Society or the Polonus Philatelic Library, or in honor or memory of an individual.
Brian Birch has written a nearly 1,000-page book on philatelic bookplates, which you can read online via the FIP Literature Commission website.
Beginning this month, the APRL will feature a “resource of the month” on this blog and in the APS e-newsletter. To get things started, I’ll share a unique collection for anyone researching U.S. issues, especially from the 20th century: the U.S. Stamp Files.
The U.S. Stamp files (shown above in their secure location in the library’s closed stacks) include files various sources, but primarily from three individuals: Forrest Ellis, John Stark, and Belmont Faries. They are organized by Scott number and collectively make the APRL a leading source of information on 20th-century U.S. stamps. Continue reading “APRL Resource of the Month: The U.S. Stamp Files”