Upside-Down Airplane Stamp Brings Record Price at Auction – An example of the “Inverted Jenny” error stamp sold for $977,500 (including the 15% buyer’s premium) at an auction held tonight by Siegel Auction Galleries in New York City. The buyer was Charles Hack, a private collector.

The price is highest ever paid at auction for a single copy of the “Inverted Jenny” error.

The stamp comes from the sheet of 100 bought at the post office for $24 in 1918 by a stamp collector named William T. Robey.

The 24-cent stamp was issued for the first government airmail flight in May 1918. On the error stamps, the blue airplane in the center of the design is upside down, the result of a printer’s error. The name “Jenny” is the nickname given to the Curtiss JN-4H biplane on the stamp, which was the first type of plane used to carry mail.

Only one sheet of 100 reached the public. Soon after it was discovered, Robey sold his discovery sheet for $15,000.

The stamp sold tonight comes from Position 57 in the sheet. It was originally part of the block of four stamps which the dealer who brokered Robey’s sheet kept for himself. It was kept in a bank vault from 1918 until 1959. In the early 1970’s a collector had the stamps in the block separated so that each of his four heirs could receive one.

The sale catalogue and a video presentation can be downloaded from the Siegel firm’s website at