Friday, December 11, 2009

'Inverted Jenny' Locket" Up for Auction

Harvey Bennett, director of philately at Heritage Auctions writes in the company newsletter for December, "There is no stamp — perhaps no collectible in general — more famous than the legendary #C3a, or the 'Inverted Jenny,' as it's more commonly known. And there is, perhaps, no 'Jenny' more famous than the one that Colonel E.H.R. "Ned" Green placed in a locket for his beloved wife, Mabel, in 1918."

According to the write-up, "Colonel E.H.R. 'Ned' Green (Aug. 22, 1868 - June 8, 1936) was famously the son of notorious miser Hetty Green, also known as 'The Witch of Wall Street,' the richest woman in America at the time. Upon her death in 1916, Green inherited her $150 million fortune. He was already plenty famous and wealthy in his own right for his personal exploits and business acumen, and as the President of America's most prosperous short line railroad, the Texas Midland. Green, incidentally, also made the first long distance automobile trip in Texas, a journey of just more than 30 miles.

"With the death of his mother, and a substantial new fortune, Green quickly became the most important collector in the nation, assembling a stamp collection that was rivaled only by the King of England, George V. One of his most important acquisitions occurred when he bought the unique sheet of the 'Jennies.' Green purchased the complete sheet for $20,000 from Eugene Klein who had, in his turn, acquired it from the discoverer of the printing error, William T. Robey.

Bennett says, "Col. Green correctly understood the enormous value to stamp collectors.He broke the sheet into blocks and singles, which he intended to sell, and held on to a few large multiples — plus the straight edge copies — for himself. One of those examples he had encased in this gold locket for his wife Mabel."

"Green had given his wife many valuable gifts, such as the $625,000 he gave her on their wedding day. The locket, however, must have held some significant sentimental value. Although the rest of Green's stamps were sold upon his death in 1936, Mabel saved the locket until her own demise in 1950."

That renowned locket will be one of the highlights of the Heritage/Bennett Signature® New York Rare Stamps Auction, taking place at The Four Seasons Hotel, 57 East 57th Street, in New York City, this Dec. 11-13.

Bidding starts at $200,000 with a buyer's premium of an additional $30,000.

To learn more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM