Lot 17641901, Pan-American, 4¢ deep red brown & black, center inverted, full o.g., rich colors, reperfed at left, F.-V.F. appearance; with 2019 P.S.E. certificate.
Scott No. 296a $85,000.
AN ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF THE 4¢ PAN-AMERICAN WITH CENTER INVERTED - A GREAT 20TH CENTURY RARITY.
The 4¢ invert was printed deliberately as the result of a misunderstanding. After the discovery of the 1¢ and 2¢ inverts in mid-1901, the Third Assistant Postmaster, Edwin C. Madden, decided to track down any additional errors. He had his assistant instruct the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to send any inverted Pan-American stamps to Madden's office. No inverted stamps in fact remained on hand, and interpreting Madden's communique as an unconditional demand for inverts, the Bureau produced four sheets of them from the 4 cent plates and sent 400 copies on to Madden. About about half were marked "Specimen" and between 1901 and 1904 Madden distributed 172 examples.