1919-1922 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson “Black Betsy” Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 and MEARS A10: Additional Information Including Past Auction Sale History

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

One of the best bats we have ever had the privilege of offering, and one of our favorite items in the entire auction, is the 1919-1922 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson “Black Betsy” Pro-Model Bat (authenticated and graded A10 by MEARS and GU 8 by PSA/DNA respectively). Was this very bat actually used by Joe Jackson in the 1919 World Series?  It’s possible, but we’ll never know for sure. But we have come up with some great additional information regarding its past sale history, and for those interested, we have posted this, along with additional information, here:

Past Auction Sale History: 

This bat has previously been sold at auction. It was purchased by our consignor at a Vintage Authentics auction in 2004 for $48,809 (Hammer price of $42,443 + 15% buyers premium). We did not have the precise past auction history information until now (our consignor just found his original invoice and has provided it to us) so we post a copy of this invoice below. (Please note: there are two bats listed on this invoice as both were purchased at the same time. The bat we are offering, of course, is the second one listed as “Joe Jackson GU Bat”):

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Note: The original SCD Authentic LOA that accompanied the bat when purchased from Vintage Authentics in 2004 has now also been posted online. (The previously posted MEARS and PSA/DNA letters did not accompany the bat in 2004, and were obtained when the bat was submitted by the consignor for authentication to these companies in more recent years.)   

Past Private Sale Offering: 

We have been asked if this bat is the very same bat that was on display (and advertised to be on display) at the MEARS booth at the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention and offered for sale for in excess of $100,000. It is the very same bat! 

Additional Extremely Informative Letter From John Taube PSA/DNA:

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Spring Auction Highlight: 1975 Fisk World Series Game 6 Home Run Ball!!!!

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

1975 Carlton Fisk World Series Game 6 Home-Run Ball 

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Then all of a sudden the ball was suspended out there in the black of the morning like the Mystic River Bridge. Carlton Fisk broke forward for a step, then stopped and watched. He later remembered none of the clumsy hula dance that NBC made famous, only that “it seemed like the wait for Christmas morning” as he watched to see on which side of the fine line it would land: home run/victory or foul ball/strike one. -  Peter Gammons

Robert Edward Auctions is proud to offer what, in our estimation, is the most iconic home run ball in the history of the game: Carlton Fisk’s twelfth inning “walk off” home run ball from Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. For those who experienced the sheer exhilaration of Game 6, Fisk’s walk-off blast was the ultimate finale to what can only be described as the most exciting game in baseball history. While the home run itself was historic, the theatrics of the moment, with Fisk, arms overhead, literally willing the ball fair with his body English, left an indelible  impression upon the collective consciousness of baseball fans everywhere, making it one of the most memorable moments in all of sports. The physical act of the home run, from the time the ball left the bat to its impact upon the mesh screen of the foul pole, took less than four seconds; but in that brief period of time the entire baseball world stood still. Never before had the question of fair of foul been more exciting, or had more riding upon it. The suspense was palpable as the tiny orb sailed silently upwards, beyond the dizzying height of the “green monster,” until it finally made contact with the foul pole. The only sound those of us watching the game on television heard, and it was almost surreal, as off in the distance somewhere, was the now unforgettable call of NBC announcer Dick Stockton:  “There it goes! A long drive, if it stays fair…HOME RUN! . . We will have a Seventh Game in this 1975 World Series.” That the Series would continue for one more game seemed to be a gift from the baseball gods to fans everywhere, with Fisk the conduit of their will.

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Lost in the jubilant, near riotous, celebration that ensued following Fisk’s home run was the ball itself. What happened to it? As one can clearly see in this clip of the home run (http://m.mlb.com/video/v2650440/greatest-world-series-moments-no-6), the ball ricocheted sharply off the mesh screen of the foul pole straight down into the glove of Reds left fielder George Foster, who took it in hand and headed back to the dugout. Foster, realizing the significance of the ball, saved it for nearly twenty-five years before consigning it directly to Leland’s’ July 9, 1999, auction of sports memorabilia, where it sold for $113,273. (The sale of the ball was a major news story at the time and was reported on by all of the wire services and leading papers, including the New York Times.) It was purchased at that sale by our consignor, in whose possession it has remained for the past fifteen years. At the time of the original sale in 1999, George Foster provided a one-page typed-signed notarized letter, on his company’s letterhead (George Foster’s Pro-Concepts), attesting to the ball’s provenance. That letter remains with the ball and is included in the lot.

Also accompanying the ball, and perfect for display with it, is a marvelous 16 x 20-inch black-and-white autographed photo of Fisk hitting his historic Game 6 home run. What truly distinguishes this photo is the fact that Fisk specifically references the offered ball in his witty personalization to our consignor: “Rick/There it goes/into your living room/Carlton Fisk.” Both the inscription and signature are executed in silver paint pen and grade “10.” The photo (Nr-Mt) has been matted and framed to total dimensions of (26.5 x 22.5 inches).

So much has been written about Game 6 of the 1975 World Series that the game has risen to almost mythical status today. Fisk’s Game 6 home run can normally be found in any of the top ten countdowns listing baseball’s most memorable moments, while Game 6 itself was voted baseball’s greatest game ever by the MLB Network. If there is such a place as baseball heaven, then it probably consists of a box seat right behind the first base dugout at Fenway Park while Game 6 is replayed continuously for all eternity. After Game 6 finally ended, television journalist Clark Booth stated that “Instead of playing a seventh game, they should spread tables and checkered tablecloths across the outfields and just have a picnic, a feast to a glorious World Series, and toast one another until dawn.” Even the players involved knew that they were taking part in something special at the time. Carlton Fisk said afterwards it was the most emotional game he ever played in, while in the other dugout Pete Rose was quoted as saying “What a game! If this isn’t the national pastime. . . . well, it’s the best advertisement you could ever have for baseball. . . . it had to be the greatest World Series game in history and I’m just glad I’ll be able to say I was in it.” Despite all of the incredible moments in the game, from Bernie Carbo’s dramatic game-tying three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, to Dwight Evan’s unbelievable game-saving catch in the top of the eleventh inning (Red’s manager Sparky Anderson said “It was just about the greatest catch I’ve ever seen”), the final outcome came down to one unforgettable event: Fisk’s home run.

One other story that should probably be mentioned with regard to the Fisk home run is that it literally changed the way in which games were televised. At that time, cameramen were instructed to always follow the ball; however, when Fisk came to the plate in the bottom of the twelfth inning, NBC cameraman Lou Gerard, who was stationed in the Fenway Park scoreboard, had a problem: a swarm of rats. According to Gerard, “There were some rats running around. With Fisk coming up, Harry Coyle, who was the director at the time, he told me, ‘Lou, you have to follow the ball if he hits it.’ I said, ‘Harry, I can’t, I’ve got a rat on my leg that’s as big as a cat. It’s staring me in the face. I’m blocked by a piece of metal on my right.’ So he said, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘How about if we stay with Fisk, see what happens?’” Coyle, of course, agreed, and the rest is television history. If not for the rat, America would have probably missed one of the most dramatic moments in sports history (the entire story, as related by Sporting News writer Matt Crossman, can be found at this link: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-04-17/fenway-park-100-years-carlton-fisk-rat-boston-red-sox-1975-world-series).

The ball itself is an official American League (MacPhail) ball, displaying minor soiling commensurate with its game use. Interestingly, there is a minor area of abrasion on a side panel that was probably the result of its impact with the mesh screen connected to the foul pole. It should also be noted the the use of specially manufactured World Series balls did not begin until 1978; therefore, all balls used in World Series prior to that time were either standard American or National League balls (use of an OAL or ONL ball was dependent upon the home team).

As previously mentioned, this is only the second time this ball has ever been offered for sale, publicly or privately, and it may be quite some time before it appears on the market again. Over the past forty years REA has handled countless treasures from baseball’s storied past, but only a small few can compare with the offered ball in regard to both historical and cultural significance. This is an item that more rightfully belongs in the Smithsonian Institute than the Baseball Hall of Fame, and one that will represent the crown jewel of any collection in which it resides. Total: 3 items (ball, LOA from George Foster, signed Carlton Fisk photo). LOA from James Spence/JSA (for the Foster and Fisk signatures only). Reserve $100,000. Estimate (open).

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1889 M-UNC Police Gazette Cabinet John Ward with Original Mailing Envelope

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

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Extraordinary high-grade and possibly unique example of Hall of Famer John Ward from one of the rarest of all nineteenth-century baseball-card issues: the 1889 Police Gazette cabinet-card series. This is an astonishing newly-discovered example which is of tremendous note, not only for its rarity as a sample, but for its heretofore unconfirmed existence! The 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards lists only thirty-six different known subjects, and John Ward, offered here, is not among the cataloged subjects. This card had only ever been seen once when a photo was shared anonymously on the Full Count Vintage Baseball Card Forum (http://vbbc.forumotion.com/forum.htm) in September 2010. The astute collectors there immediately recognized the significance and marveled at the find. We were equally as stunned by the card at the time and never dreamed that we would someday be contacted to present it at auction.

Adding to this card’s miraculous existence is the incredible provenance which accompanies: it has been consigned by the great-grandnephew of the original owner and has been passed down through the family with the original mailing envelope from the publisher of Police Gazette, Richard K. Fox of New York. The envelope is addressed to the great-granduncle, Arthur Everts, who at the time of issue was twelve years old. Arthur kept the card until his death in 1966, at which time it was inherited by his nephew, and then upon his death, passed on to our consignor, who has kept it in his possession for the last eighteen years. A letter from the family and detailed “family tree/card history”  accompanies and fully documents provenance. This incredible and perfectly documented chain of custody has kept the card in the family of the original owner for the last 125 years!

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Few cards, nineteenth century or otherwise, can compare with the extreme rarity of this set. This is one of only three Police Gazette cabinet Hall of Famer cards we have even seen in our many years (REA’s 2009 auction featured examples of Tim Keefe and Sam Thompson). Fewer than fifty Police Gazette examples in total are known to exist from this set. For many years, the exact method of issue of this set was unknown. The prevailing theory was that they were most likely issued as premiums by Police Gazette in 1889. The Police Gazette, one of the most prominent of all weekly periodicals of the era, provided in depth coverage of professional baseball. The discovery of the original mailing envelope offered here (the first we have ever seen or heard of existing) confirms this theory. Printed on the back of the envelope is an advertisement billing “Police Gazette Cabinet Photographs” at a cost of ten cents each as well as advertising for a “Catalogue of Police Gazette Books and Photographs.” Advertisements for these cabinet photos likely ran in the periodical and interested parties could send away for the cabinets or books they desired.

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The formal studio photo pictures John Ward (identified as Johnny Ward on the card) in uniform as a member of the New York Giants. This particular image of Ward is the same one used for his 1888 S. F. Hess card, and with the distinctive oval-style portrait design identical to that used by S. F. Hess, at first glance looks like a giant S. F. Hess card. (For reference, an example of the smaller S. F. Hess tobacco card of Ward is illustrated in the 1991 Copeland auction catalog, lot 767). This is an outstanding and extremely striking cabinet card. The image on the photo is very bold, with virtually flawless clarity and contrast. Small spots of surface wear, of no consequence to the overall display value, are present near the top edge of the photo and near the “W” on Ward’s jersey. Bright and crisp, both front and back, with a near-flawless black mount, which bears the gilt-embossed imprint “Richard K. Fox - Publisher of the Police Gazette, Franklin Square, New York.” The blank reverse is entirely clean, which is extremely rare to see on nineteenth-century cards as they are often found with writing, album residue, or paper loss. Outstanding overall Excellent appearance. This is an exceptional Hall of Famer example, with a remarkable original-owner provenance, accompanied by an extremely significant and (to date) unique original mailing envelope, from one of the nineteenth century’s most elusive and highly regarded issues. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). 

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Above is one of the many highlights in the upcoming REA Spring auction.

Catalogs mail the first week in April!

Bidding begins approximately April 7, 2014.

Auction closing date: April 26, 2014.

For more information about Robert Edward Auctions, please visit:

www.robertedwardauctions.com

To register to bid in the auction, please visit:

bid.robertedwardauctions.com/users/useradd.asp

To request a complimentary catalog or inquire about consignments,

please contact us at:

http://robertedwardauctions.com/contact/index.html

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Robert Edward Auctions LLC.



The Three Stooges: Extraordinary 1934-1956 Poster and Lobby Card Collection

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

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Robert Edward Auctions is honored to have been chosen to present what is by far the finest and most advanced vintage Three Stooges lobby card and movie poster collection to ever come to auction. All Three Stooges movie posters and lobby cards are extremely rare and have long been recognized as “blue chips” by advanced collectors in the movie poster world as well as among Three Stooges collectors. The offering of just a few lobby cards and posters is a rare collecting event. This remarkable collection has been assembled over a period of thirty years. The collection spans from their first year of making films in 1934 (including the one-sheet for The Three Stooges’ very first short, “The Woman Hater’s Club,” which is an iconic rarity deserving of display in the Smithsonian), all the way up to a one-sheet for their final short in 1956.  Included are an astounding total of 101 different Three Stooges one-sheets (including seven extraordinary examples from the 1930s and seventeen early 1940s Stooges one-sheets featuring Curly) and 153 lobby cards (twenty-two extreme rarities from the 1930s, eighty-three 1940s lobby cards from shorts featuring Curly, and seventy-six cards from 1947-1955 shorts featuring Shemp).

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This is an unprecedented offering and literally a once-in-a-lifetime collecting opportunity. The entire Three Stooges Collection will be  presented over a series of several auctions. This first offering is comprised of forty-three lobby cards presented in 38 lots, plus six one-sheet movie posters. The lobby cards are highlighted by six remarkably rare cards from the 1930s, including an example from 1934’s Men In Black (which was personally purchased by our consignor directly from Moe Howard’s daughter decades ago)  and 1935’s classic  Hoi Polloi. The six one-sheet posters are all from extremely desirable early titles featuring Curly, and include two extraordinary 1930s examples (1935 Uncivil Warriors and 1938 Mutts to You).

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There were only 174 short films in total made by The Three Stooges between 1934 and 1956. This collection has advertising one-sheets and lobby cards representing 115 of them. At REA, we have often joked that everything we know about the world, including about “high society” and stereotypes, really came from watching The Three Stooges. The truth is not far off! It is a special privilege to present what is by far the finest, most comprehensive and significant Three Stooges collection that has ever been seen (and probably ever will be seen) in the auction world, and in the process pay tribute to these comedic icons that have both been a mirror of, and made such a lasting impact on,  American culture.

Catalogs mail the first week in April. 

Bidding begins approximately April 7, 2014.

Auction closing date: April 26, 2014. 

For more information about Robert Edward Auctions, please visit:

www.robertedwardauctions.com

To register to bid in the auction, please visit: 

bid.robertedwardauctions.com/users/useradd.asp

 



1869 Forest City Base Ball Club (G. W. Barnes, photographer)

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

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REA’s First Fall Auction Tallies $3.06 Million!!!

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

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WATCHUNG, NJ — If there was any trepidation about breaking from the long standing once-a-year format, it quickly evaporated once the dust began to settle at Robert Edward Auctions early Sunday morning. The company’s inaugural Fall Auction generated $3.06 million in sales led by extremely strong showings for the hundreds of vintage, rare and high grade baseball cards and historic memorabilia items that have been the REA trademark.

The Fall Auction marked a big milestone for REA, which has operated on a one auction per year basis since the company’s inception. Delivered in the spring, the huge catalog has always been highly anticipated by collectors. The Fall 2013 catalog was smaller by design but drew a crowd of bidders that weren’t shy about chasing after the 1,140 lots.

“This auction exceeded all of our expectations,” said company president Robert Lifson. “We had a little bit of everything but a big part of the auction was our experimenting with breaking up extremely high grade sets. We were very pleased with the results. Collectors were very excited about the chance to bid in another REA auction in October and the feedback from consignors has been just as clear and maybe even louder. They were thrilled.”

A remarkable 12,231 bids were placed from open to close and there were 456 different winning bidders.

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Four high grade vintage card sets that were broken up, allowing collectors to more easily acquire what they needed, all alone represented 35% of the auction lots. In most cases, the results far surpassed expectations-and ‘book’ value.

  • The #3 ranked 1956 Topps baseball set on the PSA Set Registry was offered as 110 different lots. The SMR value of the set was $137,985, but at REA the set realized a total of $188,593 representing a remarkable across-the-board 36% premium to book value.
  • A high-grade collection of eighty 1958 Topps cards with a total SMR value of $17,520 sold for a combined $36,794. In addition, two PSA 10s from the same set sold for an astounding $6,517 each.
  • The #5 ranked 1955 Topps All-American football set was offered in 30 different lots. The SMR value was $36,875 and the set realized $40,883 in total.
  • Every card in the #1 T205 Gold Border set on the PSA Set Registry was sold as an individual lot, and at the end of the night, the set hammered down at a combined $321,076, including $23,500 for Christy Mathewson graded NM-MT 8 by PSA.

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The first lot in the auction was perhaps the sale’s greatest highlight and fittingly drew the largest bid. 126 years after it was placed in a store to promote trading cards of ‘base ball’ players available in Old Judge cigarettes, the display poster which features 19th century stars and somehow survived destruction, realized $112,575. “There was a tremendous amount of interest in the Old Judge display. This is the first Old Judge baseball card store display we have ever offered at auction. They are so rare that there is naturally very little price history. So it was interesting to see so many bidders instantly recognize the value of the piece, thinking for themselves, and bid accordingly. It’s a strong sign of a very healthy market for the very best items in general, as well as a sign of tremendous appreciation by collectors for this item in particular.”

A Ty Cobb pro model bat dating the 1916-1919 period which could be traced directly to the hands of Ty Cobb and which once resided in the legendary personal collection of pioneer collector and noted bat expert Michael Montbriand, found a new home at a price of $65,175.

As bidding wound down late Saturday, the Boston Red Sox were earning another trip to the World Series and two key pieces of Bosox memorabilia were getting some extra attention from bidders. A 1955 Ted Williams game-worn road jersey sold for $77,025 while a 2004 Red Sox World Series ring with original box tallied $32,587.

Finding a truly game-worn Michael Jordan jersey is a challenge. Even though they’re often labeled as such, many are actually just game issued or even replicas. However, REA was able to present a 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball jersey worn by Jordan that came with a letter of authenticity directly from Jordan’s foundation. Originally purchased at a 1992 fundraising gala, the jersey was also graded A10 by MEARS and sold for $53,325.

T206 cards featuring rare advertising backs continue to generate interest and one card illustrated how much that sector of the hobby has grown. A Walter Johnson graded SGC 60 and featuring a Broad Leaf Tobacco ad sold for an astounding $65,175.

A T206 Tris Speaker featuring a Drum Tobacco ad on the back and graded PSA 4 sold for a remarkable $32,587 while a Rube Marquard Uzit back, graded PSA 7 (highest graded) brought $18,960.

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The 1955 Ebbets Field Model Recreation by artist Steve Wolf was one of the most fascinating items ever offered by REA. It was hammered down at $47,400. With over 50,000 separate pieces and over 1,800 hours invested in its creation, this is the first and only Steve Wolf stadium model to ever be presented at auction. All other Steve Wolf stadium creations have been by commission. This model is the only one ever produced by Wolf as his own pet project, and the detail and work involved was greater than that of any of his other stadium projects, all of which are renowned as masterpieces. The buyer has volunteered that he hopes to someday display the 1955 Ebbets Field Model Recreation in a museum, and that is certainly where this remarkable work would be most at home.

REA is now accepting consignments for its next auction, set for the spring of 2014. To inquire about consignments, learn more about Robert Edward Auctions, view all auction results, register for future auctions, or receive a complimentary copy of the catalog, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com. For further information, contact Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ 07069, or call (908) 226-9900.

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LOT 26: 1887 Syracuse Stars Team Card with African-American Player Robert Higgins

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

19th century team photo with remarkable significance to integration in baseball.

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Presented is a unique card of both tremendous rarity (it is the only example we have seen) and enormous historical significance with regard to integration in baseball. The cabinet card pictures cameo portraits of thirteen members of the 1887 Syracuse Stars of the International League, including nineteen-year-old African-American star pitcher Robert Higgins. Each player is featured in formal attire, with Higgins’ portrait situated in the lower left corner. All of the players are identified by name, including manager Joe Simmons. The team name and year, “Syracuse Stars/1887,” appears in print along the top. The name of the photographer, “P. S. Ryder,” appears at the base of the both the photo and mount.

This card was originally discovered in our consignor’s attic, along with numerous other period photos, over twenty-five years ago and has never been seen in the modern collecting world until now. What makes this team cabinet so significant is that it was issued during the very year in which organized baseball’s league owners agreed not to sign any more black ballplayers. The “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” as it came to be known, remained in effect until Jackie Robinson joined Montreal in 1946. In 1887, Fleetwood Walker, Bud Fowler, Frank Grant, Robert Higgins, George Stovey, and three other black players went to play in the newly organized International League, the equivalent of Triple A baseball and just one step down from Major League status. They were not welcomed with open arms by either their teammates or fans. It was in the middle of the year that the International League’s board of directors told its secretary to approve no more contracts for black players, although it did not terminate the contracts of the league’s few remaining black ballplayers.

Moses Fleetwood Walker, who in 1884 became the first black player in Major League history, joined the Syracuse Stars in 1888. Higgins, who was from Memphis, endured harsh treatment from his teammates during his short time with Syracuse. During his second start with the club, on May 5th in Toronto, the fielders intentionally muffed balls in an effort to have Higgins taken out of the game. The team lost 28-8 (twenty-one of the runs were unearned) and the following day the Toronto World newspaper made note of the farce by issuing the headline “Disgraceful Baseball.” The Sporting Newsoffered a different headline: “The Syracuse Plotters.” On June 4, two of the Syracuse players, outfielder Henry Simon and pitcher Doug Crothers, refused to appear in the official team picture with Higgins. Crothers, whose refusal was punctuated by a fist fight with team manager Joe Simmons, was initially suspended for the year. He was briefly reinstated before being given his outright release on July 2nd. Simon was not punished for his action, but, as the local papers made note at the time, he was far more valuable to the team than Crothers and thus his offense against Higgins was overlooked. It is interesting to note that while Simon refused to pose with Higgins in person, he was powerless to prevent his image from appearing together with Higgins’ on this card. Crothers’ image does not appear on the card, indicating it was issued after he was released. The “Gentlemen’s Agreement” allowed black ballplayers who had existing contracts to remain in their respective leagues, but by the early 1890s few remained.

Many cards have a story, but this one has a much greater and more significant story than most, with a direct connection to the history of the banning of black ballplayers from professional baseball, an event which soon led to the glorious rise of the Negro Leagues. This is truly a rare and unique nineteenth-century baseball card. The only other example of an 1887 Syracuse Stars team card featuring Higgins that we have seen (a very interesting but very different style card in much poorer condition) appeared as Lot 58 in REA’s April 2007 auction, where it realized a final sales price of $2,643. (The card was actually a promotional card issued by a local pool hall, which gave it the distinction of being the first baseball card featuring an African-American player.) The offered cabinet photo (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays a tiny chip in the lower left corner (not affecting Higgins’ portrait or name) as well as a tiny area of light discoloration along the top (not affecting any of the portraits). There is also minor separation of the photo from the mount in the bottom left corner. The mount displays minor border wear. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. This 1887 Syracuse Stars team cabinet card is a remarkable and extremely significant find relating to the formal end of integration in organized baseball in the nineteenth century. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

Here’s the link to the bidding page for Lot 26:

http://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/bidplace.aspx?itemid=27134 

For more information about the REA auction, please visit:

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/

To register to bid in the auction, please visit:

https://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/users/useradd.asp



LOT 326: Extremely Rare and Interesting T206 Joe Tinker Printing Error

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

Question: Will this card someday be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Answer: We don’t know.

But history suggests it is quite possible. 

When the rare T206 Doyle card was brought to the attention of the collecting world for the very first time in a one card 1987 Sports Collectors Digest auction, it sold to Larry Fritsch for $10,000. That landmark sale brought out another authentic example that was offered several months later in 1987 by legendary collector/dealer/auctioneer Lew Lipset (author of The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards), also in a Sports Collectors Digest auction. The second example sold for the then-princely sum of $19,000.

Flash forward: the legendary Charlie Conlon T206 Doyle example sold at Robert Edward Auctions in 2009 for $329,000:

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/auction/2009/891.html  $329,000.

Even more recently, the Joe Pelaez T206 Doyle example sold at REA in 2012 for a record $414,750:

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/auction/2012/1.html  

There are so few authentic rare T206 Doyles that each is well known and documented. The T206 Tinker “Cubs” Printing Error is a very new discovery compared to the Doyle.   Perhaps others will surface. (Although its extreme rarity in our opinion at this point seems assured). Perhaps it is a different type of card that does not lend itself to being formally recognized as a checklist addition, and this will hold the value of the card back. Frankly, we’re not sure! But we are sure that as of this writing, we are aware of the existence of only two other examples. And we are sure that this newly discovered example, which we take some extra pride  in presenting as we literally discovered this card in a small T206 collection (numbering just 85 cards) consigned by a non-collecting family (who, as I type this, still does not know we found a very special card in their family collection - Brian! Dean! Please send them a link!), is by far the best of the three. It may be the highest grade Rare T206 Tinker there will ever be. In fact, we’d be very surprised if another example ever surfaced that could hold a candle next to this gem.

The following are images of the newly discovered rare T206 Tinker and the auction description:

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We’re not really sure whether to call this a printing error or a variation. But we are sure it is a fascinating card and one with great significance to unlocking the mysteries of the T206 set and how it was produced. This printing error has two team names on Tinker’s jersey; the team name “Cubs” is printed across the jersey, but if you look closely, it is easy to see that the team name “Chicago” was printed first and then gone over with the more prominent “Cubs” team identification. This unusual printing has all the more significance when one considers that a proof version of the T206 (front view) card of Frank Schulte exists with CHICAGO across the jersey, rather than the CUBS that is seen on the issued version. This extremely unusual T206 printing anomaly card of Joe Tinker (hands on knees pose) is very rare. Surprisingly, it is not unique. We are aware of only two others in existence. The first example we became aware of (and the first time we’d heard of this card) was documented on former Standard Catalog and SCD editor and Hobby Hall of Famer Bob Lemke’s blog. Here is the link to the article in which that first example was documented and discussed:

http://boblemke.blogspot.com/2011/04/t206-tinker-variation-or-post-printing.html

The second example was presented to us in 2012 for auction when it was discovered by our consignor in a large T206 collection (when he sent the collection in for grading it was recognized as a significant variation by SGC). The offered card is now the third documented example that we are aware of and an entirely newly discovered, fresh-to-the-hobby example. The card was miraculously found by REA in a small group of original-owner T206s consigned to this auction by a non-collecting family (the balance of the cards appear in a separate lot). Housed in a scrapbook for one hundred years, the card has been perfectly preserved and presents as Ex-Mt despite a harsh technical grade of GOOD+ 2.5 by PSA due to adhesive residue on the reverse from the scrapbook. The front features brilliant, bold colors, bright white borders, four sharp corners, and is centered to the bottom. The Sweet Caporal reverse is boldly printed with the previously mentioned scrapbook adhesive the only notable flaw. The fact that there are now three confirmed examples suggests there may be others, but this important T206 card appears without question to be extremely rare. As collectors have become more sophisticated, there has been a growing appreciation for all great rarities and unusual cards associated with the landmark T206 set. This is a fascinating, and very striking, virtually unknown printing error from the T206 set. Because of its extreme rarity, there is no consensus on the value of this card and (like the rare T206 Doyle years ago!) there is very little price history. We are confident the auction process will provide clarity. The SGC 20 example that appeared as Lot 217 in REA’s May 2012 auction sold for $18,960.Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open).

Here’s the link to the bidding page for Lot 326:

http://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/bidplace.aspx?itemid=27434

For more information about the REA auction, please visit:

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/

To register to bid in the auction, please visit:

https://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/users/useradd.asp

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LOT 15: Circa 1934 Dizzy and Daffy Dean Union Leader Smoking Tobacco Advertising Display

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

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Spectacular full-color store display featuring Dizzy Dean and his brother Paul advertising for Lorillard’s Union Leader smoking tobacco. This is universally recognized as one of the premier player-endorsed baseball advertising displays ever produced, noted for both its immense size (30 x 42 inches) and striking graphics. The illustrated die-cut cardboard display pictures the famous siblings standing side by side in their Cardinal uniforms, each with a hand outstretched holding a baseball. The backdrop consists of a large can of Union Leader smoking tobacco. “The Great American Smoke” is printed along the bottom in bold white letters. Advanced collectors will immediately recognize that this piece is nearly identical in design to a different Lorillard’s advertising display issued at the time promoting the company’s Beech-Nut Chewing Tobacco. While both pieces are rare, the offered Union Leader example is by far the rarer of the two, with this representing the only example we have ever seen. Dizzy and Daffy Dean were at the height of their popularity in 1934. Not only did they combine for forty-nine regular season wins (Dizzy won 30, Paul 19), but they were also responsible for all four Cardinals World Series victories (each brother won 2 games) that fall. As one might expect, the duo signed on for numerous endorsements following their heroic exploits, but none can compare in either scope or visual appeal to those produced by Lorillard. This is a museum-quality display piece and, given its extreme rarity, one that is almost undoubtedly missing from even the most advanced baseball or tobacco advertising collections. The piece displays a number of common flaws commensurate with its age and former use, including nail holes along the top, sides, and bottom left and right corners, edge wear, a few light stains, and small areas of surface paper loss. Additionally, there is a thin vertical streak of what appears to be white paint on the depiction of the tobacco can, as well as an area of pencil scribbling on Dizzy’s uniform. Despite those condition anomalies, nearly all of which can be addressed by professional restoration if so desired, the colors remain bold and vibrant, and the piece has lost none of its extraordinary aesthetic appeal. This is the preeminent Dizzy and Daffy Dean endorsement piece and one of the true classics in the field of baseball advertising displays. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 39.5 x 51 inches. The substantial size/weight of this item requires that there will be a shipping charge for this lot (which will vary depending upon where it is being shipped). The shipping charge will be billed separately from the auction invoice. Reserve $4,000. Estimate (open).

Here’s the link to the bidding page for Lot 15:

http://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/bidplace.aspx?itemid=27123

For more information about the REA auction, please visit:

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/

To register to bid in the auction, please visit:

https://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/users/useradd.asp



LOT 725: 1902 Henry Chadwick Signed Poem to His Wife - PSA/DNA MINT 9 - Highest-Graded Chadwick Signature Example!

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

In the days to come, as the bidding continues in REA’s Inaugural fall auction (which closes October 19, 2013), just for fun we will be highlighting a few items in the current auction on the REA blog.  Some will be extremely valuable. Some will not. The only thing they will all have in common is that we like them! There are so many interesting items in the auction, and many times great items are overshadowed by the attention given other items strictly based on value. But as any collector will tell you, especially at REA, the historical value and the monetary value of  items offered can sometimes seem out of whack. That’s just the nature of historic collectibles and the fickle world of values. It’s also part of the fun of the collecting world. Sometimes we scratch our heads at values that we think are too  high or too low. Especially when we look at the rarity and importance of some items. 

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Poetic greetings from Henry Chadwick to his wife, dated July 24, 1902, signed “From your loving old husband - Henry Chadwick.” The poem has been encapsulated by PSA/DNA, with the Chadwick signature graded MINT 9. The sentimental twenty-line poem, on a single sheet measuring 3.25 x 5.5 inches, is entitled “To My Sweetheart Wife - A Birthday Rhyme - July 24th, 1902.” Written entirely in Chadwick’s hand, both the text and the signature are boldly printed in black ink and truly merit the grade of “MINT 9″ by PSA/DNA. The poem reads in part: “Of all the days of each passing year,/There were two which give me great joys/The nineteenth of August - so very dear/And the twenty fourth of July/…On that July day, love, you come into life,/To brighten and cheer all around;/And August gave me my treasured wife/And her praises I ever shall sound/To Him on high I daily give thanks/For the blessings of life and love;/And the birthday with the wedding day ranks,/As treasures to me from above. - From your loving old husband - Henry Chadwick.”

We have seen this piece once before, when REA auctioned it in May 2006, and it has always been one of our favorites. In addition to all of its outstanding aesthetic qualities and extremely strong signature, this piece is also accompanied by the remarkable verified provenance of having in recent years originated directly from Henry Chadwick’s great-great-granddaughter, Fran Henry. Fran Henry’s father, John Chadwick Worden, was Henry Chadwick’s great-grandson, and her grandmother, Avicia Mortimer Eldridge Worden, was Chadwick’s third grandchild. Avicia looked after both Henry Chadwick and his wife, Jane, during their later years and after their passing she inherited many of their personal belongings. While the bulk of Chadwick’s baseball collection was bequeathed to Albert Spalding, who later donated it to the New York Public Library, Avicia was still left with a tremendous amount of personal papers, documents, letters, books, memorabilia, and baseball items. This letter is one of the many autographed Chadwick pieces that were discovered by Fran Henry when she was cleaning out her grandmother’s house in 1980. Interestingly, Fran Henry discusses the discovery of “poetry by Henry to his wife Jane” in a special guest article (the first in a special series of guest articles) on John Thorn’s official Major League Baseball historical website, “Our Game.”

Link: http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2013/07/10/forgotten-boxes-family-and-a-legacy-recalling-henry-chadwick/

John Thorn, of course, is the official baseball historian of Major League Baseball and also a longtime friend of Fran Henry. In his preface to Henry’s article, Thorn also makes note that “Fran will create a special section of MLB’s Memory Lab project. It will create, through first-hand documents and artifacts, a highly personal portrait of a man [Henry Chadwick] most of us today know principally by his plaque in Cooperstown, awarded in the year before that institution opened its doors.” Since the time of Henry’s discovery of Chadwick’s personal papers in her grandmother’s house, many of the pieces have since entered the marketplace, but those pieces have long been absorbed within the hobby and this is the first Chadwick letter we have had the privilege of offering in many years. Chadwick-signed items are extremely rare and the demand still exceeds the limited supply. When this letter originally appeared at public auction as Lot 468 in REA’s April 2006 auction, it realized a final sale price of $2,610. When this letter was sold in 2006, it was authenticated by Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo of PSA DNA (as well as by James Spence of JSA, of course) but this was before PSA/DNA provided encapsulation and grading of signed flat items.

Since that time it has been submitted to PSA/DNA for encapsulation and grading, and PSA/DNA has graded the signature MINT 9, making this signed Chadwick letter all the more special as the single highest-graded Chadwick signed item authenticated by PSA/DNA to date. For years this letter has been the Chadwick signature on the PSA/DNA Set Registry in the Number-One Finest Set of All-Time Baseball Hall of Fame Autograph Collection (the extraordinary Twinight Collection, which has since been retired but can still be referenced for all time on the PSA/DNA Registry at http://www.psacard.com/DNASetRegistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=269). The sheet (3.25 x 5.5 inches) has been trimmed to its current dimensions and displays both a vertical fold (touching upon the signature) and a few small border tears. Good to Very Good condition overall. Encapsulated by PSA/DNA with additional full LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+.

Here’s the link to the bidding page for Lot 725:

http://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/bidplace.aspx?itemid=27833

For more information about the REA auction, please visit:

http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/

To register to bid in the auction, please visit:

https://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/users/useradd.asp