Famous 'Inverted Jenny' Stamp Turns Up 61 Years After It Was Stolen
'One of the most notorious crimes in philatelic history'
(NEWSER) – An incredibly rare and valuable stamp stolen from a collector in 1955 resurfaced this month at a New York auction house, the AP reports. According to NPR, a printing accident in 1918 resulted in a sheet of 100 "inverted Jenny" stamps featuring an upside-down airplane. They're considered by experts to be the most famous stamps in America, each 24-cent square fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. In 1955, someone swiped four inverted Jennies from the collection of Ethel Stewart McCoy, whose father was a Dow Jones founder. It is "one of the most notorious crimes in philatelic history," according to an expert.
The inverted Jenny submitted this month to auction house Spink USA came from someone who had inherited it. It was determined to be one of the stamps stolen in 1955, but it's unclear if the submitter knew it was stolen. The American Philatelic Research Library has been the stamp's legal owner for many years and is working with the auction house to take possession of the stamp. Before this month, it had been more than 30 years since another stolen inverted Jenny had turned up. This leaves only one of the four stolen stamps unaccounted for. In 2014, a dealer offered a $50,000 reward for the missing inverted Jennies, and a stamp library was promising $10,000 for information leading to their recovery.