T206 Wagner Sells For $651,750; Babe Ruth Rookie Card $142,200;Famous T206 Doyle hammered down at $414,750; Countless Baseball Card Auction Records Shattered At REA!!!
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Watchung, New Jersey. The strength of the high-end baseball card and memorabilia market was impossible to miss at Robert Edward’s record-setting May 12, 2012 auction. An astounding 177 lots sold for $10,000 or more. Collectors, dealers, and market watchers look to REA’s annual event as the key barometer of the health of the market and the most important auction event of the year. According to REA president Robert Lifson, “The market was extremely strong across the board. The auction results exceeded our expectations and, most important, exceeded our consignors’ expectations. The great prices are the result of many factors including, of course, being given the very best material in the world to offer, care in cataloguing, the biggest circulation, extensive research and authentication, the well-deserved confidence of buyers, and an emphasis on the integrity of the auction process. It’s a powerful combination.” By any measure, this was one of the most successful auctions in the history of collecting. “It was also the smoothest running auction in all respects, including collecting the money. As always at Robert Edward Auctions, there were no delays in collecting money and no delays getting it in the hands of consignors. That’s another extremely strong area for REA.” All consignors were paid in full, 100 cents on the dollar with no adjustments due to nonpaying bidders, and in record time. “That’s the standard we strive for and achieve at REA when it comes to paying consignors. Perfection. Consignors really appreciate getting paid 100 cents on the dollar.”
REA Statistics: Record prices were set on countless items, both in cards and memorabilia, and spanning all eras. The stunning prices on all nineteenth and early twentieth century baseball cards and memorabilia totaled a staggering $9.56 million. The 1631 lots, offered on behalf of 317 different consignors, were won by an incredible 665 different bidders, illustrating the power of the marketing and auction process, and the breadth of bidder interest. A staggering 23,781 bids were placed. Successful bidders included some of the nation’s most prestigious museums, universities, and corporate institutional collections, as well as representatives from numerous Major League teams. “All areas of the auction received a tremendous response and very strong prices. Nineteenth-century baseball items were unbelievable, as always, as were all early baseball cards, advertising and display pieces, graded cards, Babe Ruth items, autographs, memorabilia, non-sport cards and artwork.” Thousands of bidders from all over the world participated. The average lot sold for $5,861 and on average realized more than double the high-end estimate. An incredible 99.51% of the lots sold.
T206 Wagner and Doyle: The T206 Honus Wagner and the legendary T206 “Slow Joe” Doyle, selling for $651,750 and $414,750, respectively, set the tone. The Wagner, named “The Date-Stamped Wagner” due to having the date “October 16, 1909″ stamped on the back, was last offered in the June 1997 REA auction, and at that time sold for what was then a very impressive price of $119,310. In 1997, it was one of only a few cards that had ever sold for more than $100,000. Notes REA’s president Robert Lifson, “Just like in the stock market, collectors often look at values only over a short period of time. We always say that in the short run, at auction, anything can happen. The same card or item can sell for more or less when offered in a short period of time and this does not necessarily provide a strong indication of market direction. Sometimes you have to stand back and look at the numbers over a long period of time to really appreciate how the market has changed. This card has increased in value over 500% over the past fifteen years. The sale at $651,750 was not a fluke, or a case of two bidders battling it out. There were over twenty-five different serious interested bidders!” The card was consigned to the 2012 auction directly from the buyer at the 1997 REA sale. “The seller was naturally thrilled. But we think the buyer did particularly well too. This is a great Wagner. The card not only looks great, it has a special and unique story. The fact that it has a 1909 date stamp on the back from the day of the last game of the 1909 World Series is fascinating. We don’t have a crystal ball for values, but if another fifteen years passes until this card surfaces in the market again, we may find that its value is in the millions. This is what we fully expect will be the case.”
The rare T206 “Slow Joe” Doyle card was from the Joe Pelaez Collection. Joe Pelaez (1931-2010) purchased the card at auction from collecting legend Lew Lipset way back in 1990 for the then incredible sum of $19,000. At the time it was the second highest price ever paid for a baseball card at auction, trailing only the T206 Wagner. The card was consigned to the REA sale directly by the Pelaez family. “The last rare Doyle we auctioned was from the estate of Charlie Conlon in 2009. That card was graded Vg-Ex and sold for a then-record $329,000″ notes REA. “The Joe Pelaez example was graded Vg, so we thought it might bring a little less, but that’s not what happened. There was enormous interest. It sold for more. That characterizes the results for a lot of the premium items in the auction.” The card realized an astounding $451,750.
1916 Babe Ruth Rookie: In addition to the T206 Wagner and T206 Doyle, the 1916 M101-4 Babe Ruth rookie card proved that recent sales are not an aberration and that it can now be counted on to sell for well into six figures in high grade. “This card has a tremendous demand. It has taken its place as one of the great icons of baseball card collecting. Anyone who has followed the value of this card can’t help but see that it has exploded in value over the past few years,” notes REA vintage card expert Dean Faragi. “It’s always been a great card. It’s just being appreciated more now. It should be!” In this auction, a PSA EX-MT 6 example sold for $142,200, setting a new record for the grade. A second example, in VG-EX, realized a remarkable $77,025.
Nineteenth-Century Baseball Card Rarities: An amazing newly-discovered find of 1868-1871 baseball CDV team cards was an auction highlight for many serious collectors. It was definitely the highlight for the consignors, a family of general hobbyists (who do not collect baseball cards) who happened to buy these cards on a lark at an antique shop over twenty years ago. They’ve had them lying around the house in a wooden cigar box ever since! The entire collection consisted of 130 CDV photographs, including boxers, politicians, and various other subjects. All were offered in the auction, but the eight baseball team cards were what made this an incredible and significant find. The eight team cards alone sold for a staggering total of $182,490!!! The prize of the collection, a Peck & Snyder trade card of the 1868 Brooklyn Atlantics (res. $5,000, est. open), realized a record-setting $82,950. The 1870 Forest City Baseball Club CDV (res. $1,000; est. open), featuring Al Spalding from his playing days, also set a record, selling for $32,587. “These were special cards and one of the highlight finds of nineteenth-century team cards ever,” comments REA’s president. “The family was shocked when we told them how valuable the cards were. And when they contacted us, we were pretty conservative about the value. We told them “Think in the neighborhood of $100,000″. We don’t like to set expectations too high. That can lead to disappointment. We knew they would sell for top dollar. The $100,000 figure stunned them. It’s not every day that a box of old photos you paid $20 for years ago, that’s literally been on a shelf in the kitchen, turns out to be worth six figures! It was fun to share the excitement with them, and it was great to see the cards exceed their highest expectations by so much. The $182,490 was just for the eight baseball team cards. That doesn’t even include the balance of the collection which sold for thousands more! This is the type of find that makes the auction especially exciting for us here at REA.”
The Ty Cobb Tin: The 1912 Ty Cobb Tobacco Tin, in extraordinary MINT condition, set a new world record for this extremely desirable tobacco item. Long revered both for its great rarity, display value, and its connection to the famous T206 Ty Cobb with advertising for Ty Cobb Tobacco on the reverse, there have been a few examples that have surfaced at auction over the past couple of years. This has been in part because of the high-profile discovery of a low-grade example on the TV show “Auction Kings”. This helped pull a few hidden examples out of attics. But the condition of the REA Ty Cobb Tin made this example sell for far more than any other. “This was a rare case when we knew an item would set a record,” according to the REA staff. The condition of this tin was clearly better than any other, by a wide margin, and this was not lost on bidders: When the dust settled, REA’s Ty Cobb tin more than doubled the previous auction record, selling for $88,875. “Condition matters with all collectibles, not just cards. It may seem incredible that Ty Cobb tins can sell elsewhere for $10,000 or $20,000, and this one sells for $88,875. But it really was that much better than all the others,” according to REA. “Our standard good-humored response to bidders asking about the condition was that it was about 1,000 times better than the next best one, and sometimes we’d add that after seeing this one, we think that all the other Ty Cobb tins should all be gathered together, put in a trash compactor, and crushed. We were just kidding, but this tin was really amazing. It may have been a record price, but we think the buyer got a great deal.”
Vintage Card Prices STRONG At REA: REA is first and foremost a baseball card auction, so it is not surprising that the big money, as usual, was in the cards: A 1933 Goudey #106 Nap Lajoie (PSA 9 MINT), universally recognized as one of card collecting’s most desirable rarities, realized $118,500. This very card had been purchased by the consignor many years ago for what was then a very princely sum of $50,000. “This is another case of the strong market bringing out great cards that have been hidden away for years. It doesn’t happen often enough, but when it does, the market definitely responds with enthusiasm,” notes REA. And not just the T206 Wagner but all things related to the famous T206 set were very strong. The T206 Eddie Plank in EX-MT 6 (MC) condition (reserve $25,000; estimate $50,000+) sold for $94,800. The sale also included two additional T206 Planks, though in lesser grades: A Plank example in Good condition (Res. $5,000; est. $10,000/$20,000+) sold for $29,625. The famous “Mr. X Collection” Plank realized $56,287. The “Mr. X Collection” designation on this card was the amusing pedigree that was famously assigned to the label by PSA for the mysterious “Mr. X” in 2005. All that was ever revealed about “Mr. X” was that he was very famous and that he was in show business. To this day, we have no idea who “Mr. X” is or was, but we do know that he did a great job of assembling an extremely high quality T206 set.
1914-1915 E145 Cracker Jack Card Highlights: A 1914 Cracker Jack of Ty Cobb graded NM-MT+ 8.5 (res. 15,000/est. $25,000+) was on the radar of dozens of bidders. “This card is a favorite of advanced collectors, and this particular example was by far the finest we have ever seen.” The 1914 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb lists for $40,000 graded PSA NM-MT 8. “Collectors were on their own in deciding what premium to put on the stellar condition. Everyone knew what a PSA NM-MT 8 was worth, but the fact that this was just a half a grade higher, with no SMR catalog value for the slightly higher grade, made this a little bit of a “wild card” for predicting value. “It’s easy to say that it’s splitting hairs when talking about a NM-MT PSA 8 versus a NM-MT+ PSA 8.5. We sometimes say that too. But in this case, the fact is the card really deserved the higher grade. The buyers all agreed, and it really mattered to them.” The well-deserved “Plus” on this PSA 8.5 all alone was worth over $40,000: The card was hammered down for an incredible $88,575.
As always, strong prices were seen on all high-grade Cracker Jacks at REA: The 1915 E145 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson SGC MINT 96 (res. $10,000; est. $20,000+) was sold for $41,475. The letter from the seller says it all “Please accept my deep gratitude and appreciation for selling the Christy Mathewson card. I was truly surprised by the final gavel price. As I had told you when I consigned it, I had placed it on the market twice with (Another Auction House name edited out by REA) since I first bought it in 2009. Neither time did it reach near the reserve price of $20k. So I recognize now the difference an excellent auction house can make in drawing attention to an exceptional item, especially when financial circumstances are an issue.”
Additional Vintage Card Highlights: A 1909-1911 T206 White Border Collection of 43 cards Including Cobb and Johnson (res. $2,000; est. $4,000/$6,000) was not expected to be an auction highlight when they were sent to REA, but turned out to be an extremely exciting lot. The cards were saved by the consignor’s grandfather, who collected these cards as a youngster in 1910. Apparently a friend or someone in the family was exclusively a fan of Tolstoi tobacco. All 43 cards had the scarce “Tolstoi” tobacco advertisement on the reverse, making this small group a very significant lot for rare-back T206 collectors. The lot was hammered down at $20,145. (The family that consigned these cards is naturally ecstatic and are still wondering how this is possible!). An extraordinary newly discovered 1915 Boston Red Sox Real-Photo Team Postcard with Babe Ruth (Rookie) was found among a small group of baseball items that were saved since the time of issue by a the consignor’s Boston-area family. This postcard has long been recognized as one of the premier baseball postcards in the collecting world, and its value has continued to rise, but its best days may be ahead: this is one of the very few cards which can truly lay claim to being Babe Ruth’s rookie card. In 1991 the Copeland example sold at Sotheby’s for a then-stunning $6,050, by far setting a record for a baseball postcard. An example offered sold at REA in 2007 (in far lesser condition) realized $9,400. The newly discovered example (res. $2,500; est. open) set a new record for this extremely significant rarity, selling for $21,330. A 1933 R319 Goudey #144 Babe Ruth - PSA NM-MT 8 (res. $5,000; est. $10,000+), which lists in the SMR at $17,650 and was purchased by the consignor at another auction for $18,000 in 2010, sold for $26,625. A 1935 Zeenut PCL Joe DiMaggio with Coupon in Good condition (res. $1,000; est. $2,000/$4,000+) sold for an impressive $14,220. 1952 Topps Complete PSA-Graded Set Minus Five (402 of 407 cards, no Mantle) (res. $5,000; est. $10,000/$15,000) sold for $38,512. A complete set of 48 1909-1911 T206 Southern Leaguers all graded PSA EX 5 (res. $2,500; est. $5,000/$10,000+) with an SMR value of $13,920 sold for $21,330. A T206 Magie Error card in GD+ condition (from the Joe Pelaez Collection) realized $17,775, a record price for the grade. A 1909-1911 E90-1 American Caramel Co. Joe Jackson PSA VG-EX 4 (res. $10,000) sold for $32,587. An extraordinary 1968 Topps 3-D Bob Clemente - PSA GEM MINT 10 (res. $5,000, est open) sold for $35,550. The 1916 M101-4 Sporting News/Furniture City Brewing Complete Set of 200 Uncut Sheet (res. $10,000; est. $20,000+) proved to be an excellent investment for the consignor: Originally purchased in REA’s April 2005 auction for $19,720 (then a record price), the sheet sold for a new record at $47,400.
Additional Auction Highlights:
Nineteenth-century cards and memorabilia were extremely strong, setting record after record, as is always the case at REA. An 1889 S. F. Hess Tobacco card of Hall of Famer Tim Keefe (res. $2,000; est. $4,000+) in GD condition was a particularly exciting rarity with a fascinating provenance: This was the first time this card had ever been offered - or even seen - in the modern collecting world. The card was found years ago in a farmhouse in Vermont. It was part of a large collection of nonsport cards dating from the 1880s to the 1910 era that just happened to include a few baseball cards. This was the only valuable baseball card and the only S. F. Hess card in the collection. While its discovery was fortuitous for the consignor, its price realized was perhaps even more fortuitous: the S. F. Hess Keefe set a new auction record for an S. F. Hess card, selling for an extraordinary $47,400. An 1868 Cincinnati Red Stockings Large-Format Team Composite Display Photo (purchased by the consignor at auction elsewhere in April 2003 for $8,210) was offered with a reserve of $5,000 (est. open), and a hope for a profit. The consignor was not disappointed: It sold for $23,700. A small but exciting newly-discovered collection of 1887-1889 N172 Old Judges, consisting of 61 cards with minor back damage, once again illustrated that technical grades take a distant back seat among sophisticated collectors in valuing classic nineteenth-century baseball cards. Broken up into several lots with a total reserve of $3,000, the group sold for $20,026. A collection of 425 1887-1889 N172 Old Judges, also in various conditions and broken up into smaller lots, realized a total of $90,356.
Joe Jackson: All Joe Jackson items were extremely strong. This is particularly apparent when comparing the current REA auction prices with those of the same items from past years. The 1913 T200 Fatima Cleveland Americans Premium with Joe Jackson, purchased at REA in 2010 for $18,800, was consigned to the 2012 auction directly from the buyer at that auction. With a reserve of $5,000, and an estimate of $10,000/$15,000+, the final selling price in 2012 was $29,625. The 1915 E145 Cracker Jack #103 Joe Jackson - PSA EX-MT 6, with an SMR value of $11,250, was presented with a reserve of $2,500, and an estimate of $5,000/$10,000+. Purchased by the consignor at REA in 2010 for $14,100, it sold for $22,515. An exceptional Joe Jackson Original Charles Conlon Photo - PSA/DNA Type 1 photograph, as noted in the catalog description, was purchased by the consignor at public auction for $15,496 in 2002 and it has remained in his possession since that time. REA memorabilia specialist Tom D’Alonzo comments: “We were a little worried about this one. It was a great photo, as good as they come, but there have been a lot of vintage photos hitting the market in recent years. Literally millions. We were concerned this might have an impact. The consignor was also sure he was going to lose a lot of money. He was resigned to that fate. He knew that millions of photos have been sold by various newspapers and photo archives in very recent years. How could that not have an impact? We always try to be conservative, and manage expectations, but in this case, we were also convinced he was going to lose a lot of money. The only question in our minds was, “How much?” What this auction shows us is that vintage photo collectors have become very sophisticated, and they really do differentiate between the great vintage photos and the run-of-the-mill photos. This was a great vintage photo.” The original Joe Jackson photo by the legendary Charles Conlon, with a reserve of $2,000, an open estimate, and a certain expectation of great loss, sold for an incredible record $32,588. “The seller still can’t believe it.”
Autographs: A Christy Mathewson Single-Signed Ball dated by Mathewson on the Day of his 1921 Testimonial at the Polo Grounds (res. $10,000; est. open) sold for an extraordinary $44,437. A Babe Ruth Single-Signed Baseball with Outstanding Original-Owner Provenance (graded PSA/DNA NEAR MINT 7) was new to the modern collecting world. This ball was consigned directly by the family of the gentleman who personally obtained it from Ruth in the mid 1940s. The SMR value for a NEAR MINT 7 single-signed Babe Ruth ball is $30,000. The condition, provenance, and iron-clad authenticity combined to make this a particularly desirable Babe Ruth ball. The merits of the ball were not lost on bidders. With a reserve of $10,000 and an estimate of $25,000+, the Ruth single-signed ball soared to $56,287. An unusual auction record was represented by an Official American League (Cronin) ball signed by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Of all the celebrated astronauts in American history, Armstrong remains the most famous, as well as the most reluctant signer. With a reserve of just $500, and an estimate of $1,500+, the Armstrong ball soared to an earth-shattering $20,145, making this the highest auction price ever realized in the Universe for a baseball single-signed by a living person.
Baseball Hall of Famer Player Contracts: One of the most advanced collections of Major League contracts of Hall of Famers to ever come to auction was a significant highlight. In total, the thirty contracts sold for $208,974. A few examples of the auction prices: 1930 Eddie Collins Signed Philadelphia Athletics Contract (res. $500) sold for $14,220; 1931 Jesse Haines St. Louis Cardinals contract (res. $500) sold for $11,257; 1934 Burleigh Grimes Pittsburgh Pirates Contract (res. $200) sold for $10,665; 1912 May Carey (res. $1,000) was hammered down at $14,220; 1915 George “Highpockets” Kelly (res. $1,000) and 1930 Leo Durocher (res. $500) each realized $11,257. The impressive prices were not just for older Hall of Fame player contracts. The prices for more modern contracts were also strong: 1954 Duke Snider (res. $500) sold for $10,665; 1963 Stargel1 (res. $500) sold for $11,850; 1964 Lou Brock (res. $300) sold for $8,887; and Carl Yastrzemski’s 1968 contract sold for $8,295.
Additional Autograph Highlights: An extraordinary 1933 American League All-Star Team-Signed Ball with Ruth, Gehrig, and Twelve Other Hall of Fame Players (res. $10,000) sold for $38,512. The 1860 Beadle’s Dime Base-Ball Player autographed by Chadwick and accompanied with a 1925 letter of provenance from John T. Doyle, President of the American Sports Pub. Co., was particularly appreciated for its extraordinary provenance and authenticity, realizing $10,072. The Alexander Cartwright Signed Book may have been the sleeper of the auction: From Cartwright’s personal library, signed by Cartwright in 1839, the cover design as well as content of this signed edition of book (entitled The Club) suggest it may have a connection to the very origins of baseball. Selling for $9,480, the book also happens to feature what may be the only “Alexander J. Cartwright Jr.” full-name Cartwright signature known, and this may also be the earliest known signature example for any member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. An exceptional 1950s Mel Ott Single-Signed Baseball (res. $5,000; est. $10,000+) sold for $29,625. A George Sisler Single-Signed “Stat” Ball (res. $1,000. Estimate $2,500+) that was purchased by the consignor at another auction for $3,255 in 2000 (then a very impressive price) sold for $14,220, a record price for a Sisler single. Circa 1943 Negro League Autograph Book Featuring the Rare Signatures of Josh Gibson and Ray Brown (Twice)! (res. $2500; est. open) soared to $29,625. An exceptional 1883 Cap Anson Signed Chicago White Stockings Payment Voucher (res. $2,500) was especially appreciated by advanced collectors because it dated from Anson’s playing days and had a connection to baseball. It was not surprising that it sold for a significant premium to the many other Anson signatures in the market, selling for $8,888. A cut signature of nineteenth-century pitching star Amos Rusie (res. $2,000) with outstanding provenance was a tremendous Hall of Fame signature rarity. This was the first Rusie signature REA has ever offered and despite being just a cut (literally a signature “cut” from a document, which are rarely offered by REA) the rarity and confidence in authenticity of the signature combined to send this extreme rarity to a final selling price of $9,480.
1919 “Black Sox” Contract: One of the most highly sought-after signed items in the auction was the 1919 Chick Gandil Chicago White Sox Player Contract. In addition to its obvious great historical significance (Gandil was banned from Baseball for being one of the key “Black Sox” players and the contract, of course, is from the year of the scandal), this piece also has a remarkable provenance: It originates from Bill Veeck’s wife, Mary Francis, and was accompanied by a signed one-page letter of provenance from her detailing its history. (Veeck purchased the White Sox in 1958 from the Comiskey family.) This extremely important contract has only seen the auction block once before: It was purchased by REA’s consignor for $14,548 at another auction in 2003. With a reserve of $5,000 and an open estimate, at REA the contract soared to $44,437.
Game-Used Jerseys and Bats: 1914 Les Mann Boston Braves Jacket - Only Known Example - with Photo Documentation! (res. $10,000) sold for $21,330. A 1908-1910 Ty Cobb Pro-Model Decal Bat (res. $2,000) sold for $16,590; a 1923 Babe Ruth H&B 40K Signature Pro-Model Bat (res. $10,000) - the very same style as Babe Ruth is seen holding on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium in 1923, sold for $21,330; 1921-1931 George Sisler Pro-Model Bat (res. $1,000; est. $2500+) sold for $7,702; Circa 1945 Hank Greenberg Pro-Model Bat (res. $2,000) realized $8,295; and a particularly desirable due to provenance 1950 Joe DiMaggio Game-Used Bat that was a gift to Jackie Jensen during his rookie season (res. $5,000) sold for $16,590. 1973 Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves Game-Used Road Jersey and Accompanying Cap (Ex-Joe Gerson Collection) (res. $5,000) was hammered down at $17,775; 1979 Catfish Hunter New York Yankees Signed Road Jersey with Munson Black Armband (res. $2,500) sold for $5,500; 1986 Ron Guidry New York Yankees Game-Used Road Uniform (res. $1,000) realized $3,851; and a 2010 Mariano Rivera New York Yankees Game-Used Home Jersey with Steiner Sports LOA (res. $1,000) sold for $5,628. “With good reason, collectors are rarely comfortable spending big money on extremely modern jerseys. It’s too dangerous. There are so many fakes. But the Steiner provenance made all the difference on the Rivera jersey,” note REA officials. “Collectors know that the Steiner name is gold. Mariano Rivera really wore this jersey.”
Additional Vintage Card highlights:
1911 T205 Gold Border Complete SGC-Graded Set (208 Plus 6 Variations) in various conditions (res. $5,000; est. $10,000/$15,000+ (SMR value $25,090) sold for $29,625; 1912 T207 Brown Background Complete PSA- and SGC-Graded Set (res. $10,000; est. $20,000+) sold for $41,475; an extraordinary 1912 Boston Garter of Eddie Collins (res. $10,000) realized $29,625. A complete set of 1909 T204 Ramly Cigarettes Complete Set (121) carried a $10,000 reserve, and was hammered down at $41,475. T206 near-set (509 of 523 cards) in various grades (res. $25,000; est. $50,000+) sold for $77,025. An extremely impressive near-complete collection of T209 Contentnea Cigarette cards near-set (reserve $10,000) sold for $32,587. An extraordinary near-set of 1916 M101-5 cards with Herpolsheimer Clothing Store advertising backs, saved and consigned directly by the family of the original owner, John Dawley, were broken up into six lots. The 194 cards had been saved by the family since 1916. The consignor, the grandson, had great reservations about the collection being separated. For sentimental reasons, he really wanted them to remain together. Sometimes things work out! One buyer bought all six lots, keeping - at least for the time being - the best collection of M101-5 Herpolsheimers in existence intact. The set, with a cumulative reserve of $19,000, sold for a grand total of $129,575.
More Memorabilia Highlights: 1912 Boston Red Sox World’s Championship Fob Presented to Clyde Engle (res. $2,500. Est. open) sold for $38,513. One of only several surviving examples known, this is a record auction price for this important award. The jewelry company (Joyce & Gendreau of North Quincy, MA.) that in 1912 was commissioned by the Red Sox to create these beautiful medals is still in business to this day, and proudly features a different example (only the front is shown; we believe it is the Joe Wood example), along with a brief history of the 1912 Red Sox World’s Championship award, on its website (http://www.joycejlrs.com/html/our_history.htm). An extraordinary panoramic photograph of the 1916 American Negro Giants including the legends Rube Foster, “Pop” Lloyd, and Pete Hill was offered with a reserve of $5,000 and was hammered down for $38,512. A circa 1935 Spalding Die-Cut Advertising Display (res. $1,000) sold for $9,480.
Dick Perez Original Art: Original paintings by the legendary Dick Perez were unquestionably the highlight of the auction for hundreds of collectors. Dick Perez is widely recognized as the finest sports artist of our time and is the only artist to have ever been named The Official Artist of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It was a great honor for Robert Edward Auctions to have been chosen by Dick Perez to offer a selection of original Dick Perez artwork from the award-winning book The Immortals: An Art Collection of Baseball’s Best (Brilliant Graphics, Easton, Pennsylvania, 2010). The twenty-nine lots realized a total of $158,908, including $53,325 for the most highly sought-after lot of paintings honoring The Negro Leagues.
Other Sports: The auction also included an impressive selection of items from other sports, Americana, nonsport cards, and original card artwork, all of which sold extremely strong, including:
Muhammad Ali Fight-Worn Trunks from the “Thrilla in Manilla” Bout against Joe Frazier (Ex-Drew “Bundini” Brown Collection; and Photo and Video Matched!) Purchased at Sotheby’s in 2002 (where they sold at that time for $58,250), the Ali trunks were consigned to the REA auction directly from the original buyer. At REA, with a reserve of $25,000 and an estimate of $50,000+, the “Thrilla in Manilla” Ali trunks raelized $118,500. The Muhammad Ali Fight-Worn Robe from the 1972 Heavyweight Title Bout against Jerry Quarry (purchased at auction by the same consignor, also in 2002, for $18,522) sold for $29,625. Circa 1973-1974 Jerry West Los Angeles Lakers Signed Game-Used Road Jersey (res. $2,500) sold for $15,405. NBA 50 Greatest Players Signed Limited-Edition Lithograph - #1/1 Issued to Tiny Archibald! (res. $10,000; est. $20,000/$40,000) Consigned directly from the Archibald family, sold for $41,475; A 1973 Topps Football Vending Case was purchased by the consignor in 1973 and saved in the attic by accident! Back in 1973, the consignor had purchased a quantity of unopened cases. All were sold back in the 1970s, or so he thought. By luck this case escaped sale, and remained unopened and hidden (even from him) in the attic for decades. With a reserve of $5,000, and an estimate of $10,000+, this unlikely survivor sold for $32,588.
From the collection of legendary hobby pioneer Paul Pollard, a 1951-1952 Parkhurst Hockey Complete Set (res. $2,500; est. $8,000+) sold for an extremely strong $23,700. 1918 Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster - Elephants Playing Football! (res. $1,000) sold for $5,925. The “Michigan Farmhouse” newly discovered example of the “Holy Grail” of football cards: the 1894 Mayo’s Cut Plug Football Dunlop, had a slight trim but was still a very desirable card. Miraculously found beautifully preserved in a scrapbook discovered in a farmhouse being cleaned out, this was a last minute consignment rushed into the auction. With a reserve of $1,000, the newly discovered rarity sold for $11,139.
Non-Sports: The only complete set in uncut sheets in existence of 1940 R145 Gum, Inc. “Superman” gum cards (res. $15,000; est. $30,000+) was a highlight of the non-sport section. Once part of the legendary Robert Lesser Collection, the framed display of three “Superman’ Bubble Gum card sheets soared to a final selling price of $47,400. 1938 R69 Gum, Inc. “Horrors of War” Complete Set (288): #5 PSA Set Registry (purchased in 2011 at another auction for $18,856) was presented with a reserve of $5,000 (est. $10,000/$15,000+) and sold for $23,700. Two 1966 Topps “Batman” (Norm Saunders) artworks were offered: the artwork for card #45 “Trap For The Riddler” (res. $1,000) sold for $$4,740, and the artwork for card #15 “Batman In Action” (res. $2,000) realized $8,887. Three 1962 Mars Attacks original artworks by Norm Saunders, each with a reserve of $5,000, were offered: The artworks to card #4 “Saucers Blast Our Jets” and card #37 “Creeping Menace” sold for $9,480 and $10,072 respectively. The artwork to card #17 “Beast And The Beauty” was particularly interesting to Mars Attacks collectors as legendary artist Norm Saunders actually included himself in the painting! That artwork sold for $17,775.
Many other auction records were shattered for pre-1948 baseball cards, nineteenth-century baseball cards and memorabilia, non-sport cards, and Americana. Further information and complete auction results are available online at www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com
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