Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Rare stamp auctioned for 184,000

Inverted Jenny (pic: Warwick & Warwick)
The stamp is one of the world's most sought after (pic: Warwick & Warwick)

A rare US stamp which was mistakenly printed with an illustration of an upside down plane has been sold for 184,000 at auction in Warwick.

The 1918 Inverted Jenny is one of the icons of world stamp collecting, auctioneers Warwick & Warwick said.

Its eventual sale price, to an unnamed bidder, beat the 150,000 it was expected to fetch.

The stamp shows a Curtiss JN-4 - known as a Jenny - used for training pilots during World War I.

One hundred of the erroneous stamps went on sale in 1918.

They were snapped up by a stockbroker's clerk, William T Robey, at a post office in Washington DC, the auctioneers said.

'An honour'

The error happened because the stamp's two colours, red for the frame and a blue central image, were printed in two separate operations.

Warwick & Warwick said Mr Robey was keen on sending first day covers to his friends and went to buy several examples of the 24 cent airmail stamp.

When he saw a sheet of 100 stamps showing the aeroplane upside down, he handed over $24 and bought the whole lot.

By 1940 single stamps were changing hands at $4,100 (2,912) and in 2007 two were sold which achieved $825,000 (585,910) and $850,000 (603,665) before the addition of the buyer's premium, Warwick & Warwick said.

Director Colin Such said that he felt it was "an honour and a privilege" for the company to be selected to auction such a rare and valuable stamp.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
US rare post vote stamp is a fake
05 Dec 06 |  Americas
Rare inverted stamps fetch $2.7m
20 Oct 05 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific