Inverted Jenny and One Cent Magenta

Tue, Jul 20th 2021 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Reception - Gordon MacKenzie

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Member Jim Douglas had entitled his "Inverted Jenny & One Cent Magenta", a baffling and intriguing title.   

Jim explained that his talk was about one of his favourite hobbies--postage stamps. The title refers to 2 unique stamps, not owned but loved by Jim. The stamps are great examples of Jim's hobby where his interest is not in stamp value but the history of the stamps, their uniqueness or as memory triggers for times spent in different countries, museums such as US Postal Smithsonian. In foreign post offices , Jim loves to potter and look for stamps that appeal to him on a personal or aesthetic level.

In showing members photos of many stamps he loves, Jim explained that the Inverted Jenny stamps are a  set of US stamps depicting a Curtis Jenny plane but in printing these in 1918, a few had the plane printed upside down(inverted jennies), thereby creating unique stamps, some of which have sold for up to $5million  for set of 4.

The One Cent Magenta, from British Guiana in 1856 refers to a special set of stamps created by local postmaster when he ran out of issued stamps and created his own stamps for posting off newspapers; these stamps have been sold for up to $9million. Sadly, Jim does not own such unique valuable stamps but these are examples of stamps which he has enjoyed researching. A US stamp with a particular Scottish interest is from an 1898 set of  9 stamps, depicting the Wild West; one of these stamps shows "cattle in storm" but it turns out the painting in the stamps is not from US Wild west at all,  but from the Scottish Highlands. It appears the designer of these stamps used, without permission, an 1878 Scottish painting by John MacWhirter. Other stamps loved by Jim include those of the 1953 Coronation, recent stamps commemorating 100 years since Irish Independence (Jim of course has Irish background), and the very lovely and limited edition of stamps designed, printed and sold only in our own Summer Isles (apparently have to buy 2 stamps--one to post to mainland Scotland, the other to reach final UK destination). This report cannot do justice to the many lovely stamps presented over Zoom by Jim Douglas, demonstrating Jim's special interest in stamps and providing a unique philately story to the members. From the vote of thanks by Gordon Mackenzie and member questions and comments, it seems certain that digital communication will not see the end of worldwide interest in stamps.

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