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1934 R320 Goudey Uncut Sheet Including #61 Lou Gehrig (Ex-Gardiner Collection)
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $26,663
Complete and extremely rare 24-card production sheet of the classic 1934 R320 Goudey "Lou Gehrig Says" series (featuring the twenty-four cards numbered from #49 to #72), highlighted by one of the two key Lou Gehrig cards in the set (#61). 1934 Goudey sheets are particularly rare. As can easily be seen looking back at old catalogs, they are far rarer than even 1933 Goudey sheets. Robert Edward Auctions last offered a 1934 Goudey sheet in 2011 (lot 669, selling for $32,313), and before that had not handled a 1934 Goudey sheet in over ten years! A total of four different sheets comprise the entire 1934 set in uncut sheet form, and to the best of our knowledge, no collector has the complete set in sheets. The #61 Lou Gehrig card on the sheet is in particularly outstanding, essentially MINT condition (or at least very close!). Any uncut 1934 Goudey sheet would be a highlight in even the most advanced collection, but an example of this sheet with Lou Gehrig (and there are very few; approximately five are known to exist) has an even greater universal appeal, and can be easily appreciated as a museum-caliber card-related display piece by any card collector. This sheet also includes an additional key Hall of Famer: #62 Hank Greenberg. Uncut sheets of Goudey cards are extremely rare and among the most popular and sought-after of all baseball-card sheets.
Few types of uncut sheets are held in higher esteem, are more meaningful to more collectors, or more ideal for display. Goudey sheets have always been considered the blue-chip staple of vintage uncut sheets, the standard against which the desirability and rarity of all other vintage uncut sheets are compared. All Goudey sheets originate from two sources: the files of Goudey (most, but not all, of which surfaced in the collecting world in 1969) and the William Gardiner Collection. The offered sheet originates directly from the William Gardiner Collection. William Gardiner was a very enthusiastic collector who as a youngster lived near the Goudey offices, and was able to acquire uncut sheets directly from Goudey for his personal collection. Unlike most youngsters who would be so lucky, he saved all his sheets in virtually perfect condition. In total, Gardiner had about thirty-five sheets, including two 1933 Goudey "Triple Ruth" sheets and several 1934 Goudey high-number sheets with #106 Lajoie. One of the special qualities of the William Gardiner sheets is that they were all in high-grade, with no tape or glue stains on the front or back, no proofing check marks, no erasures, or any other imperfections which are usually found on Goudey file sheets. Most Goudey file sheets have tape along their edges from being mounted into a large sample book or glue remnants on their reverses or proofing-related imperfections. Many of the Goudey file sheets have undergone restoration over the years, in some cases very minor. Some are in poor condition. But the William Gardiner sheets had no such imperfections: all were perfectly preserved pure full production sheets. Gardiner sold all his uncut Goudey sheets in the 1970s, including this example, which was sold to a young collector named Robert Lifson. More than twenty years ago, Lifson sold this exact sheet to our consignor who has proudly displayed it on the wall of his den all of these years until deciding to place it in this auction. Today all of the finest baseball Goudey sheets, including this example, originate from the small but extraordinary collection of William Gardiner.
The sheet has a Near Mint overall appearance with striking colors and flawless registration. The sheet displays even wear to the corners, and some insignificant light creasing to the lower and upper right corners, but due to its size these minor flaws (which are mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy) have little or no impact on the sheet's extremely impressive and extraordinary display value. The reverse of the sheet is fully printed, and is perfectly bright and clean. As noted, the #61 Lou Gehrig card is located on the left end of the second row and is an essentially flawless example (both front and back). While this key card alone may have a somewhat modest impact on the value of the sheet (compared to how the market values Goudey Gehrigs in MINT condition), it is hard not to appreciate that a MINT Gehrig is very close to a six-figure card, and the card of Gehrig on this sheet is a perfect or near-perfect, essentially flawless example, and one of the very best in the world (though perhaps, ironically, not currently valued in the same manner as a Mint card simply because it is on an uncut sheet). This is a beautiful sheet! Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $26,663
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