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The spring auction catalogs will mail on April 12, 2011. We will put the auction online a few days later (we may be able to do this earlier if we find ourselves ahead of schedule) and the final day of bidding will be Saturday May 7, 2011.
A quick reminder from Robert Edward Auctions: If you are a new collector or for any reason have never been on our mailing list, we make our catalogs available free of charge and would be happy to send you a complimentary copy of our spring auction catalog. You don’t have to bid or be a big collector to get a free catalog. It’s our pleasure to send a catalog to anyone interested in collecting, or the history of baseball!
Please go to http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/ , click on “Free Catalog” on the REA “contact” page and provide your name and address. Catalogs mail April 12. 2011 (If you have moved please let us know also so we are able to send your 2011 catalog to the correct address). For those interested in additional information at this early date, below is the REA pre-auction press release for the sale. It’s going to be a great auction. We appreciate the support of all the consignors, who have provided the incredible material, and we appreciate all the kind words of support from our many friends in the collecting world all year long. We have worked really hard to do justice to every item. We hope everyone enjoys the auction and the catalog!
REA Presents Baseball Card and Memorabilia Treasures 1859-2009
WATCHUNG, NEW JERSEY. The catalog for Robert Edward Auctions’ 2011 blockbuster sale will ship on April 12, 2011. As always, the first copy off the presses will be presented to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York for their library, as is REA’s time-honored tradition. The remaining 10,000 catalogs will be sent to collectors all over the world who have been anxiously awaiting the baseball collecting world’s most highly anticipated auction. Inside the catalog will be hundreds of items worthy of the most prestigious collections in the world, both public and private. The final date of bidding in this year’s auction will be Saturday, May 7. Bidding begins April 15 by FAX, phone, or the Internet via the REA website at http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/. Total sales for the event are expected to exceed $5 million.
Serious baseball collectors all over the world look forward to Robert Edward’s annual spring auction. “We try to make it a special event for everyone, to bring back the fun of collecting, and at the same time to give collectors and historians valuable reference material, and hopefully some great reading with the catalog,” says REA president Robert Lifson. “We feel our auction has a special place in the field. We’re trying to do more than just have an auction. We’re trying to create a positive event that is historic, that makes collecting fun, promotes a love of history, and that everyone can be a part of, as a bidder, a consignor, or just as an observer.” REA’s reputation for hosting the baseball collecting world’s most highly-anticipated event is a reputation built on forty years of experience. “This year, maybe more than ever before, we’ve been a magnet for new finds. Every time we turned around, an exciting item or previously unknown card collection seemed to turn up and find us. We’ve got an incredible lineup. A T206 Wagner. Lou Gehrig’s bat. A document signed by Joe Jackson. These are just a few of the big money items. Not everything is a fortune but we’ve got over 1,700 lots and maybe it’s just that we happen to like all the items we accepted for auction but it seems like every one is a highlight.”
Lou Gehrig Bat and Lou Gehrig Jersey: REA is offering Lou Gehrig’s 1938 New York Yankees jersey, dating from his historic last full season. The Yankees were World Champions in 1938 and it is very possible that Gehrig wore this jersey in his final World Series. No more than a half dozen game-used Gehrig jerseys are believed to exist today, one of which resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The jersey carries a reserve of $50,000 and is expected to sell for in excess of $100,000. Lou Gehrig’s circa 1927 bat is another extraordinary highlight. This is a rare bat that has no leap of faith or mystery as to its provenance. The bat was a personal gift presented by Gehrig to his next-door neighbor in New Rochelle, New York. All Lou Gehrig game-used bats are rare and highly prized by collectors, but as the auction description emphasizes, “This bat has practically been handed to us by Lou Gehrig himself! It would be hard to imagine a finer or more desirable example.” The bat has a reserve of $25,000 and is expected to sell for more than $50,000.
T206 Honus Wagner. Included in the auction is a magnificently restored example of the most highly sought-after and valuable baseball card in the world: the T206 Honus Wagner. This is a particularly fascinating example in that it has a long history of being one of the few Wagners that can be traced back in the hobby over forty years. “Every T206 Wagner is different and valuing them is very subjective,” notes REA’s Robert Lifson. The reserve is $25,000. “This is obviously an extremely low level but whether it receives one-hundred bids, or if it receives only one bid at $25,000, it will be sold! High or low, that is one of the exciting elements about an REA auction.” REA estimates that only approximately fifty T206 Honus Wagner cards are known to exist.
Legendary Card Rarities Including 1910 Joe Jackson. This sale will include virtually every one of the baseball card collecting world’s most revered “Holy Grails”. In addition to the famous T206 Honus Wagner, included is another one of the greatest treasures of all tobacco cards: the 1910 T210 Old Mill tobacco card of Joe Jackson (graded VG+ by PSA; res. $25,000) featuring Jackson in the minor leagues long before stardom and the Black Sox scandal of 1919. The T206 Eddie Plank, another of card collecting’s most famous rarities, is represented in this auction with not one, but two examples - one graded Vg-Ex (with a $10,000 reserve and an estimate of $25,000+) and one trimmed but still a very interesting example due to its extremely rare Piedmont advertising back. In addition, also featured is one of the finest examples in the world of the famous 1933 #106 Nap Lajoie (graded NM-MT 8 by PSA) (res. $10,000, est. $40,000+). Yet another legendary card on every short list of the collecting world’s most important baseball cards is an exceptional newly-discovered 1909-1911 E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson in Excellent condition (res. $10,000; est. $20,000+).
Nineteenth Century Baseball Memorabilia. Nineteenth-century baseball cards and items of great historical significance have always been a special area of interest for REA. This auction has some of the most remarkable items in this important area to ever come to auction. Among them: an extraordinary 1859 Trophy Ball commemorating a game between the Unions and the Excelsiors, the earliest Unions trophy ball known (res. $5,000; est. $10,000+); an extraordinary example of the 1867 Base Ball Polka Sheet Music, one of the rarest and most highly prized of all baseball sheet musics (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+); exceptional examples of the 1859 Base Ball Player’s Pocket Companion (Res.$2,000; est. 4,000+) and 1868 Chadwick’s American Game of Base Ball (Res. $1,000; est. 2,000/$3,000+) are also featured, each universally recognized as among the most important and rare of all early baseball volumes; a remarkable 1866 Washington and Brooklyn Team Cabinet Photo with Henry Chadwick (res. $2,500); several important items related to the 1869 Reds, baseball’s first professional team, include: a Nineteenth-Century Baseball Bat Attributed to George Wright in 1869 (res. $5,000; est: open), and not one but two 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings team cards, one a newly-discovered CDV style example (res. $5,000) and the other a larger trade card style example with advertising for Peck & Snyder on reverse (res. $10,000; est $25,000+). Also included are a host of rare and desirable cards from a wide variety of nineteenth-century issues.
Prewar Card Rarities. In addition to the rarities described above, this year’s auction includes a staggering number of incredible prewar baseball cards. Among the many highlights are several remarkable original-owner collections including the George Hall Collection, featuring a complete set of all six M110 Sporting Life cabinet cards personally saved by George Hall in 1911 and consigned on the 100th anniversary of the set by his family in this auction; an incredible original-owner collection of 1915 Cracker Jacks including a near-set (154 cards) that have also been saved in the family of the original owner since 1915. N173 Old Judge cabinet cards, seven rare 1911 T208 Cullivan’s Fireside Tobacco cards, a 1914 Boston Garter Christy Mathewson (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+), and three 1909 T204 Ramly Tobacco Square Frame cards including Jesse Burkett (graded VG-EX by SGC; res. $2,500) are all from newly discovered original-owner collections and are new to the modern collecting world. Complete sets of many of the most classic prewar card issues include 1906 Fan Craze, two T3 Turkey Red complete sets, T205 Gold Borders, T206 White Borders, and a complete set of 1911-1914 D304 Brunners Bread Complete Set (25): #2 SGC Set Registry.
More Prewar Card Rarities. There are so many prewar highlights it would be impossible to list them all. Included are six extraordinary 1887 New York Kalamazoo Bats tobacco cards, including four Mets players (res. $5,000 each) and two Hall of Famers (Jim O’Rourke and Roger Connor, res. $10,000 each); an 1876 Hartford Dark Blues CDV with Candy Cummings - Newly Discovered Example (res. $2,500); an incredibly rare 1887 N690-1 Kalamazoo Bats Philadelphia BBC Team Cabinet with Harry Wright, the very first example Kalamazoo Bats Cabinet Team Card REA has ever offered (res. $2,500; est $5,000++); 1889 N526 Number 7 Cigar Complete PSA-Graded Set (15 cards; res. $5,000; est: open); 1889 A35 Goodwin Round Album - an outstanding high-grade example (res. $2,500; est. $5,000/$10,000); a newly discovered find of 37 1916 BF2 Ferguson Bakery Felt Pennant Collection Including Five Joe Jackson Examples (res. $2,500; est. $5,000+); 1910 T209 Contentnea Cigarettes Photo Series Near-Complete Set (210/224); comprehensive collections of 1909-1911 Obaks; Exhibit cards; and perhaps most extraordinary, a comprehensive collection of 1911-1938 Zeenuts, offered in sets by year with many special rarities and Hall of Famers offered individually; 1916 M101-5 Sporting News #151 Babe Ruth - Rookie (graded PSA 1; res. $2,500; est: open); many T206 rarities including four Magie error cards (one Vg-Ex, two Vg, one “Authentic”), four Demmitt, St. Louis; five O’Hara, St. Louis, many rare backs including Uzit and Drum, and many extremely high-grade T206 examples.
The Louisiana Find. “The Louisiana Find” is without question one of the most exciting vintage card finds in modern times. Even though there are only 94 cards, the collection had to be offered in 25 lots just to do justice to them. Every card is a rarity. The collection includes thirty T215-1 Red Cross, four T215-2 Red Cross, eleven T213-2 Coupon, three E105 Mello Mints, and forty-six T207, all rare cards in the set, among them eight with Red Cross backs. The eight T207 Red Cross backs, which are highlighted by legendary T207 tobacco card rarity Lowdermilk, all alone make this an especially historic find. Previous to this find, a total of only five T207 Red Cross examples were even known to exist.
Postwar baseball cards are also in abundance in this incredible sale, including several examples of the classic 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (among them an incredible gem that is believed to have originated from Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen’s historic 1952 Topps find in the 1980s); a 1952 Topps Complete Set of all 407 cards including #311 Mantle PSA EX 5 (res. $10,000; est. $20,000/$40,000); and extraordinary, high-grade examples of 1950s and 1960s cards of the era’s top stars like Mickey Mantle (including a 1954 Stahl-Meyer Franks Mickey Mantle PSA NM 7 - by far the highest-graded example, res. $2,500, est. $5,000+), Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, and many more. Also included are complete or near-complete sets of virtually every major postwar issue from 1948 to 1972.
PSA-Graded Sets: Featured is a remarkable selection of PSA-graded complete sets. Included is 1889/1890 E. R. Williams Base Ball Game Playing Card Complete Set (52): #1 PSA Registry! (7.72 GPA; res. $5,000; est: open), an incredible 1948-49 Leaf Gum complete set, including all rare cards, presented in several lots and highlighted by the iconic 1949 Leaf #8 Satchel Paige Rookie Card - PSA NM 7 (res. $5,000, est. $10,000+). Also included is a remarkable 1940 R335 Play Ball Complete Set (240): #2 PSA Registry! (7.35 GPA), res. $10,000; est. $20,000/$40,000); a 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders Complete Set (50): #3 PSA Registry with a 7.77 GPA (res. $10,000; est $20,000/$30,000+). Additional graded sets: An extraordinary 1956 Topps PSA-Graded Complete Set: #12 PSA Set Registry (8.03 GPA); 1968 Topps Complete Set: #3 PSA Registry (with an incredible 9.26 GPA, this is the single highest-grade vintage PSA set REA has ever offered; res. $10,000; est. $20,000/40,000); 1954 Red Heart PSA-Graded Complete Set: #12 PSA Set Registry (8.03 GPA, res. $2,000; est. $4,000/$8,000); and many others.
1933 and 1934 Goudey Gum Uncut Sheets. This auction includes an incredible six uncut sheets of Goudey Gum baseball cards, four dating from 1933 and two dating from 1934. Each are among card collecting’s greatest sheets. Included is a Canadian Goudey sheet of the famous “Triple Ruth Sheet” which features 24 cards including three Babe Ruths and one Lou Gehrig (res. $25,000; est. $50,000+); and a 1933 Goudey sheet with #181 Ruth. Each of the two 1934 Goudey sheets includes Lou Gehrig. The reserve for each sheet is $5,000 with the exception of the “Triple Ruth” sheet which has a reserve of $10,000.
Game-Used Bats Including Babe Ruth: The auction presents one of the finest selections of game-used bats to ever come to auction. In addition to the circa 1927 Lou Gehrig game-used bat, included are those of legendary Hall of Famers such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, Mel Ott, Tris Speaker, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Rogers Hornsby, Pee Wee Reese, and Yogi Berra, among others, as well as more modern stars such as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Also included is the famous 1906 “Banana Bat” belonging to Billy Sullivan, possibly the only surviving banana bat.
1951 Willie Mays Game-Used Uniform: In addition to Lou Gehrig’s 1938 New York Yankees jersey, the auction presents an exceptional selection of important baseball uniforms. Among the greatest highlights is Willie Mays’ 1951 Minneapolis Millers jersey (res. $10,000, est $25,000+). This extraordinary jersey is the earliest known Willie Mays professional jersey in existence and is all the more remarkable in that it can be conclusively photo matched to Mays. Mays can be seen wearing this very jersey in numerous photographs taken during his tenure with the Millers in the spring of 1951. Also included is 1970 Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds Game-Used Home Uniform (Jersey and Pants, res. $5,000; est $10,000+) and a 1963 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota Twins Game-Used Road Jersey from his 45 home run Season (res. $2,500, est. $5,000+).
Autographs including Joe Jackson: Autographed memorabilia is another extremely strong area. In addition to autographed items from all eras, and signed letters from legends such as Babe Ruth and Cap Anson, the auction also presents particularly rare and noteworthy single-signed Hall of Fame balls, including Jimmie Foxx, Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson, Harry Hooper, and Thurman Munson, in addition to spectacular high-grade examples of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The highlight of all autographed items in the auction is unquestionably the Joe Jackson signed document, dated in the spring of 1916. The document looks like a check but is actually a voucher that records a mortgage payment made directly on Jackson’s behalf by the Chicago White Sox. Despite legends to the contrary, Jackson could sign his name-but only with great effort and by copying his wife’s script. The popular legend that Joe Jackson could not sign is a myth. It is true he was illiterate, but with great effort he could sign his name. He tried his best not to call attention to the fact he couldn’t read or write, so Jackson hardly ever signed anything. When he did, it was only because he had to. Even signing a contract or a receipt for receiving payment was very rare for him, hence the incredible rarity of Jackson signatures today. “Authentic Joe Jackson signatures are virtually nonexistent,” said Lifson. “A real Joe Jackson signature in the world of autographs is a lot like the T206 Honus Wagner in the world of baseball cards. Only rarer. Examples just don’t show up. It’s one of the ultimate collecting icons. Joe Jackson is the most valuable of all baseball signatures. And just like T206 Wagners, there are lots of reproductions, but very few authentic examples.” The Jackson signed document is one of approximately five such vouchers that were purchased more than 20 years ago directly from Jackson’s sister, Gertrude.
Player Contracts Including Christy Mathewson: An astounding collection of 40 different signed original baseball player contracts of Hall of Famers spanning nine decades is by far the largest and most substantial collection of Hall of Fame baseball contracts to ever be offered at public auction. Included among the numerous highlights is a 1902 Christy Mathewson contract (res. $5,000; est. $10,000/$20,000), and an 1892 James O’Rourke contract that is believed to be the earliest Hall of Famer contract in private hands and was once part of “Hot Dog King” Harry M. Stevens’ personal collection (res. $5,000; est. $10,000+). Also included is the earliest-known Dizzy Dean contract (1930), a 1962 Roberto Clemente contract, Bill Dickey’s 1929 rookie contract, a 1930 Cool Papa Bell Cuban-League contract, Whitey Ford’s 1950 rookie contract, and many other highlights.
Important Baseball Memorabilia: A 1919 Cincinnati Reds World Series championship pin, one of only several examples known and the forerunner of the World Series ring, has been consigned to Robert Edward Auctions directly by the family of Jake Daubert, the star Cincinnati first baseman. A Championship pin was presented to each member of the Reds in honor of being World Champions. No one could take away their title, but when the scandal broke shortly after the series, the respect accorded the 1919 World’s Champions was without question diminished, giving this 1919 World Championship award both an extraordinary historical significance and a unique irony (res. $10,000). The 1914 “Miracle Braves” World Series ring of legendary Hall of Famer Johnny Evers (of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance fame) is another extraordinary auction highlight. It is only the second 1914 World Series ring to ever surface and has been consigned to auction directly by the Evers family (res. $10,000). Other extraordinary memorabilia items include: the actual glove that in 1920 Bill Wambsganss used to make the first and only unassisted triple play in World Series history! (res. $5,000); a remarkable selection of items from the Dick Hoblitzell estate including Dick Hoblitzell’s circa 1913 Cincinnati Reds team sweater, one of the earliest known Major League team sweaters to ever come to auction (res. $5,000); a circa 1932 Herbert Hoover single-signed ball (res. $1,000; est: open); the actual ball that Harry S. Truman used to throw out the ceremonial first-pitch to open the 1950 season, signed by President Truman (res. $2,000; est. $4,000+); and one of the most finest collections of early World Series press pins to ever come to auction.
Boxing, Football, Basketball: Sports other than baseball are also represented by a significant selection of extremely high quality items, including: Extremely Rare 1948 Leaf Boxing #50 Rocky Graziano graded EX 5 by PSA (res. $5,000; est: $10,000/$15,000); 1911 T9 Turkey Red Boxing Cabinets Complete Set (26): #5 PSA Set Registry! (GPA 5.02; res. $5,000; est. $10,000+); an exceptional Mint example of the classic NBA “50 Greatest Players” Signed Limited-Edition Lithograph (res. $10,000; est. $20,000/$40,000); Extraordinary 1960s Cassius Clay Signed and Worn Training Gloves (res. $5,000; est: open); 1955 Topps All-American Football Near-Complete Master Set: #2 PSA Registry (8.51 GPA!); 1951 Topps Ringside Boxing Complete Set (96): #5 PSA Set Registry! (6.94 GPA); and 1971 Topps Football Complete Set (263): #1 PSA Set Registry! (8.49 GPA; res. $5,000; est $10,000+).
The Jack Zugay Golf Card Collection. The Jack Zugay Collection includes many of the highest-graded and rarest complete sets and single cards known to exist. The 600+ cards represent virtually the entire history of twentieth-century golf. It is not surprising that in the November 2008 issue of SMR, PSA President Joe Orlando calls Zugay “The King of Golf Cards.” It is a title well deserved. Included here are ten sets that are ranked #1 on the PSA Set Registry, as well as an extraordinary array of partial sets and singles, all in exceptionally high grade, many the finest examples known.
The Jimmy Rubino Michael Jordan Collection: Thirty-three lots from the personal collection of famed Philadelphia restaurateur Jimmy Rubino, known far and wide as the world’s greatest collector of Michael Jordan memorabilia. Rubino has spent much of his past twenty-five years in pursuit of particularly rare and unusual Jordan items. Many of his collecting coups are featured in this auction, including the actual net from Jordan’s game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA tournament that gave Dean Smith his first National Championship at North Carolina, the earliest-known Michael Jordan signed baseball, a Jordan handwritten love letter from high school, Jordan signed credit cards, and even an original Jordan signed artwork. This is one of the largest offerings of very early Michael Jordan related material ever presented at auction.
Non-Sport Cards: A strong selection of nonsport cards and related items are yet another highlight section of the sale. Thousands of nonsport cards dating from the 1880s to the 1960s are included. Perhaps most important among them are the 1940 R145 Gum, Inc. “Superman” High-Number Uncut Sheet (#49-72) and 1940 R83 Gum, Inc. Lone Ranger Uncut Sheet (#25-48) that surfaced directly from a Gum, Inc. employee in the 1970s and have not seen the light of day since. Another nonsport highlight is an incredible 1959 Fleer “The Three Stooges” Complete Master Set: #3 PSA Set Registry (8.49 GPA, one of the finest 1959 Three Stooges sets in existence (res. $5,000; est. $10,000/$15,000+).
Also offered is an extraordinary near-complete set of 1888 N224 Kinney Military cards (612 of 622 cards, one of the most complete collections of this issue ever assembled); and an extremely rare 1935 R147 Schutter-Johnson “Tarzan and the Crystal Vault of Isis” PSA-Graded Complete Set of 50 (res. $1,000; est. $2,000/$3,000+). Other important sets include: 1937 R21 “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” PSA-Graded Near Set (34 of 48); 1936 R60 Gum, Inc. “G-Men & Heroes of the Law” complete set (res. $1,000, est. $2,000/$3,000); 1939 R165 Gum, Inc. “War News Pictures” Set including rarities (Res. $1,000; est. $2,000/$4,000+); 1935 R36 Fleer “Cops and Robbers” complete set (35); 1940 R83 Gum, Inc. Lone Ranger complete set (48); 1950 Bowman “Wild Man” complete set (72); and many others, including significant sets in high-grade from the 1950s and 1960s, including 1963 Outer Limits (one of the highest-grade sets ever assembled).
Non-Sport Card Original Artwork: A selection of original artworks used to produce cards include: 1966 Topps “Batman” (Norm Saunders) and 1951 Bowman “Jets, Rockets, Spacemen” (an incredible twelve different examples), among others. Any Mars Attacks original artwork is a prize in the nonsport collecting world. The 1962 Topps Mars Attacks original artworks for card #22 “Burning Cattle”, card #7 “Destroying Bridge”, for card #34 “Terror in the Railroad” are included in the sale. Each is an iconic painting by Norm Saunders and among the most desirable nonsport card artworks in existence (each res. $5,000; est. $10,000+).
Copies of the full-color premium catalog are available for free. To review the catalog online, learn more about Robert Edward Auctions, receive a complimentary copy of the catalog or inquire about consignments, visit http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/. Robert Edward Auctions is currently assembling their next sale. For further information, contact Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ 07069, or call (908) 226-9900.
Robert Edward Auctions, LLC is one of the world’s leading specialty auction houses, devoted exclusively to the sale of rare baseball cards, memorabilia, and Americana.
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