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1922 W503 Complete Set Minus 3 (61/64)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $6,517.50
Presented is a very rare near-complete set of W503 cards missing only three cards for completion and highlighted by fourteen Hall of Famers, including Walter Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, and Casey Stengel. This is the largest group of W503s that we have ever seen (let alone offered!) and is one of the most complete groupings in existence. When hobby legend Lew Lipset sold a complete set in 2006, he remarked that to the best of his knowledge it was the first time since 1970 that a complete set had been offered anywhere, which speaks to the incredible rarity. According to Lipset, although these cards are classified within the anonymous strip-card category, they were actually issued with candy in the 1920s and are more accurately described as caramel cards. It is believed that the set was issued on the West Coast, in the Bay Area, as over the years most (if not all) original-owner groups have surfaced only from this region. These are very unusual cards which measure 1.75 by 2.75 inches and feature black-and-white photos, both portrait and action, of the players in a stadium setting. The W503 set is all the more noteworthy in that virtually all of the player photos are unique to this set, appearing in no other card issue. Condition on the offered group is mostly Pr to Gd with a few that present better but show evidence of trimming or miscuts. Fourteen cards in the group have a small punchhole (unknown if this is related to a redemption for which the cards were used). Keys: #6 Kelly (Fr), 11 Hoyt (Pr), 13 Sisler (Pr), 15 Stengel (Vg), 21 Frisch (trim, otherwise Pr due to back damage but presents Vg-Ex), 23 Johnson (trim, Pr), 25 Bancroft (Pr), 37 Marquard (Vg-Ex), 42 Hornsby (trim, Pr), 44 Wheat (Pr), 46 Maranville (trim, otherwise Vg-Ex), 51 Pennock (Pr), 53 Carey (Pr), and 64 Coveleskie (Pr). Missing two Hall of Famers, #32 Ruth and 38 Alexander, as well as one common, #50 Ward, for completion. This is an incredible offering which, despite the technical condition issues, is important to prewar-card collectors interested in this very rare set with numerous highlights. Total: 61 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $6,517.50
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