Rare 'Grounded Jenny' postage stamp could be set to soar in New York


Albert D. Laehder was a dedicated philatelist from his childhood years. Over his lifetime, he built his collection with a meticulous eye for quality, steadily upgrading items with better examples.

In his later years, he began to specialise in the United States 1869 Pictorial Issue, including examples with fancy cancels. He also focused on the Columbian Issue and early 20th Century coils.

There are some nice examples, including a 10c yellow, coil pair, ample to wide margins, fresh colour in fine-very fine condition. It is an attractive and scarce pair of the 1909 10-cent horizontalcoil, and expected to sell for around $7,000.

Then there is a collection of 15c-90c 1869 Pictorial Inverts, Plate Proofs on Card. These havelarge margins all around, bright colours and detailed impressions. In general it is a very fine and beautiful set of 1869 Pictorial Issue invert plate proofs. Only one sheet of 100 of each was produced.

However, perhaps our favourite piece is a fantastic example of the 'grounded' or as we'd prefer to think of it, low-flying Jenny.

All US stamp collectors will be familiar with the Inverted Jenny - the variation on the 1918 airmail stamp on which the JN-4 'Jenny' biplane is inverted, but in some cases there are other variations.

The Laehder collection boasts a very fine example of the rare 1918 24-cent first air post issue grounded plane variety. It is listed at $2,000-3,000.

The true Grounded Plane stamps, in which the wheels of the plane break thru the top of "Cents", come from portions of three sheets. The discovery sheet was owned and broken up by J. Klemann of Nassau Stamp Company.

Grounded Jenny stamp
Beware low-flying aircraft: the Grounded Jenny stamp

A second sheet was discovered in 1946 and sold in the Thomas A. Matthews sale (H.R. Harmer, Nov. 4, 1964), where it was purchased by Georges A. Medawar, publisher of Sanabria Airmail Catalogue. In Linn's Stamp News of April 21, 1986, specialist Joseph R. Kirker Jr. published his research revealing a third source of this variety.

The sale also boasts a collection of Jennies with a "fast plane" variety, in which the unfortunate pilot has crashed into the side of the dome.

Make some time to check out the auction, which takes place on October 12-14 in New York and online.


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock