Image: Botched stamp
Smithsonian via National Postal Museum
The rare "Inverted Jenny," a 1918 stamp displaying an upside-down airplane, was sold for $525,000 on Friday.
updated 6/4/2005 10:57:34 AM ET 2005-06-04T14:57:34

A rare stamp from a botched batch — depicting an upside-down airplane — has been sold at auction for $525,000, the highest-ever price for a 20th century U.S. stamp, the auctioneer said Friday.

The misprinted 1918 “Jenny” stamp was bought by an anonymous collector, Siegel Auction Galleries said in a statement.

The stamp, which was particularly well-preserved, was from a pane of 100 inverted 24-cent “Jenny” stamps, many of which are no longer in good condition, the auctioneer said.

The stamps depict a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny,” a World War I training aircraft that became an airmail plane. About 700 of the stamps were misprinted, but inspectors caught all of but 100 before they were sold.

The entire pane of 100 was bought by stamp collector William Robey on May 14, 1918, at a Washington post office. It was later sold and separated into individual stamps and blocks.

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