February 5, 2018
Robert Edward Auctions is pleased to announce that one of the world's most complete and impressive collections of post-war baseball cards and companion pieces has been consigned for inclusion in the Spring and Fall 2018 auctions. The breadth and depth of the collection is so great that it will take multiple auctions to properly catalog and present the material.
Assembled over a period of more than twenty-five years by an extremely dedicated collector, it is easier to list what the collection is missing than to list what the collection contains. Quite literally, one would be hard pressed to find a page of the Standard Catalog from which there was not at least one complete set represented. Meticulously built and maintained for decades, the goal of this collection was completion in every sense: all cards and all companion pieces possible from 1948 to the present. Cards were issued on boxes? Naturally the collection needed original boxes, sometimes dozens of them, showing the cards as they would've appeared in candy stores and supermarkets. A set was redeemable for a prize? Naturally the collection should contain an example of that prize (or prizes) along with any advertising related to the offer. From display boxes, unopened packs, and uncut sheets to complete sets, display albums, and unissued cards to milk cartons, bottle caps, and dry cleaning covers, this collection is a cornucopia of items that the average collector likely didn't know existed and the advanced collector likely has never seen.
With such a wide variety of items, one would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. Each box, every binder yielded something that our card experts marveled at and couldn't believe was in their hands. Was it the ten 1961 Topps Dice Game cards, including Mickey Mantle and four other Hall of Famers? Prior to this grouping, REA had only ever handled one example from this set, considered by many to be one of the rarest sets ever issued by Topps, in the past twenty years.
Was it the multiple complete sets of 1968 Topps 3-D cards in exceptionally high grade, complete with the experimental Brooks Robinson proof card? How about the uncut sheets of 1968 Topps 3-D cards, with unissued proof cards included?
Maybe it was the complete set of 1968 Topps Plaks, built in complete sprue form, with variations of the key Mantle sprue and an unopened pack for good measure. All great candidates, but wait, we discovered binders with complete sets of Esskays and Hunters in original box form. Sets that were intended to be cut from boxes and packages, cards that are so often found creased and mangled and oddly cut, were staring us back in the face from pristine boxes, like we were in a 1950s factory with our pick of cards.
If you like food issues, there's plenty to choose from. Every Bazooka set, every Kahn's set, every Morrell Meats, Bell Brand, Stahl Meyer, and Hires set. Felin's Franks are so rare we've handled a handful in the last thirty years--this collection had seven! Wilson Franks, which are so rarely encountered, seemed downright common among this collection. (There were two sets for those keeping score at home!)
Even sets that at first glance looked entirely regular were often much more special. A binder with 1960 Leaf cards--REA handles complete sets, usually multiples, every year. But, of course, this was not regular. Pre-production "Big Heads"? Six of them, including Aparicio, the only Hall of Famer produced. A Leaf wrapper advertising a redemption for marbles...PLUS the marbles. 1960 Fleer baseball--a classic set with stars of yesteryear. Casual collectors may be familiar with card #80 an unissued card featuring a Pepper Martin back that renders the set complete at an odd 79 for 99.99% of the world. Not this collector. The set contained not one, not two, but all three of the known variations (Lefty Grove, Joe Tinker, and Eddie Collins on front of the Martin stat back) PLUS an uncut sheet with the unissued proof card included. 1952 Topps--surely there can't be anything special in here beyond the iconic Mickey Mantle card!? How about three dozen of the extremely rare gray back Canadian-issued cards from the middle series, including some that are now the highest-graded ever recorded!
This has been, for all of us at REA, one of the most interesting and incredible collections of material that we have ever had the privilege of handling. It will be our great honor and pleasure to share these phenomenal cardboard gems with the hobby, cataloging many of them for the first time in decades and offering collectors the world over a chance to add truly special pieces to their collections. We are confident that the auctions containing material from this collection will be remembered for a long time by hobbyists and may be the last time in a long time that some of these treasures ever see the light of day!
Bidding in this special auction is set to open on April 13 and close on May 6. For more information, to register to bid, or to receive a free catalog, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com.