September 20, 2017
REA's upcoming Fall Auction features more than 2,800 items spanning all areas of sport and non-sport, so it's not surprising that there would be a bunch of highlights to catch your attention. And in typical REA fashion, the quality of these highlights is nothing short of incredible. Items that you haven't seen offered in many years are on display and ready for bidders to delight in the opportunity to acquire a holy grail piece.
REA is generally known as a sports auction house, so we'll flip the script a bit and start off with one of the superb non-sport highlights that will be up for bid starting October 6. One of the auction's featured items will be a full set of 1932 U.S. Caramel "Presidents" complete with the legendary William McKinley rarity! REA is no stranger to this incredible non-sport card, having sold three of the fewer than ten examples known to exist, including the Fall 2014 sale of the hobby's highest-graded example for a record $96,000 price. Each of the thirty-one cards in the set has been graded and encapsulated by SGC. The complete set is further distinguished by the fact that it is an entirely stamp cancelled set, very likely kept together for the last 85 years since having been redeemed by the manufacturer in exchange for the prize a complete set earned tenacious youngsters. We have, in all our years, seen cancelled examples here and there, but this is the only completely cancelled set that we've ever seen, let alone handled. The McKinley card would be on any hypothetical Mount Rushmore of legendary rarities, so it is an honor for us to present it, complete with the other thirty cards in the set, for collectors to learn about, appreciate, and obtain!
Keeping with the theme of legendary rarities, we move back into the sports realm and into the boxing ring, where Rocky Graziano dominated for many years and eventually captivated card collectors with his supremely rare card from within the classic 1948 Leaf Boxing card set. Again, with fewer than ten examples known to exist, the card has always been of great interest to collectors and ranks high on many collectors' wantlists both in and out of the boxing-card world. This auction features one of the two examples graded PSA EX 5, an incredible grade for the card as only a single example in the entire hobby grades higher. This card originally was offered by REA as part of legendary collector Paul Pollard's collection consigned to the Spring 2011 auction. It was purchased and enjoyed for several years by another collector who has now decided to pass it on. We are thrilled to be able to share this card with the world again (be sure to read our auction description, where we recount the story of finding this card in Paul's collection!) and expect it to be extremely well received!
Getting back to baseball, America's pastime and REA's staple, there is perhaps no set more collected and revered than the 1909-1911 T206 White Border issue. Famous for the Honus Wagner card to collectors and non-collectors alike, the T206 set has within it several other key rarities that have also made completing the set a challenge. Among them, the striking portrait of "Gettysburg Eddie" Plank has always been of special interest to collectors. When Jefferson Burdick first published the American Card Catalog in the 1930s, the T206 Wagner was listed as the most valuable baseball card in the world at a then-incredible $50. Plank was the second most valuable card, listed at $10. This auction features an incredible, high-grade example of Plank graded EX 60 by SGC, the only SGC-graded example at this lofty level, with just two higher. The card is bright and crisp, with a flawless background and strong corners. Expected to fetch more than $100,000 when the dust settles, it's not surprising given the allure of the card, the set, and this particular example.
One card that doesn't pop up all the time and remains on a lot of serious collectors' wantlists is the 1948-1949 Leaf rookie card of Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige. This card is universally recognized as one of the scarcest and most significant of all postwar baseball cards. The Leaf set is famous for its tough short prints, and Paige is the key to these much rarer cards that make completing the set so difficult for collectors. Bright and clean, the card is a beast to find in high grade, with only five examples graded higher by PSA. Recently a PSA 7 example cracked the six figure mark and a beautiful SGC 80 hammered down at $93,000. Where this one ends up will be fun to watch!
What can we possibly say about the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card that hasn't already been printed? Truly the most iconic Topps card ever produced, the 1952 Topps Mantle is well-known by collectors and non-collectors. It is one card that makes almost every short list of greatest cards, most valuable cards, or most popular cards. This auction will feature several great examples: a PSA 4 consigned by the original owner, who pulled it out of a pack 65 years ago; an SGC 80 gem consigned by a lifelong Yankees fan, who decided many years ago that he needed to have a card of his childhood hero; and a stunning PSA 7 consigned by a collector who built one of the finest 1952 Topps sets ever assembled, with this card as its centerpiece. Perfect centering, strong corners, and flawless color--it's what collectors aspire to in a 52 Mantle card. This one has it all, and we're confident that it will be hotly contested when the auction goes live.
Mickey Mantle's popularity extends far beyond just his classic 1952 Topps card. With a career that spanned 1951 to 1969, the Mick appeared on his fair share of collectibles, including sixteen regular Topps cards and countless other combo, All-Star, League Leaders, and MVP cards. One of our personal favorites has always been the nice clean shot of Mantle offered on his 1959 Topps card, where it appears that the photographer caught him right outside the batting cage during pre-game warm-ups. This auction features an incredible ultra high-grade example of this great card in SGC MINT 96 condition. With the brightest red and the whitest white that we can recall on a 1959 Mantle card, this card screams out to us and looks exactly as it did nearly sixty years ago when it was removed from a pack. This particular example hasn't seen the light of day in over a decade and we're happy to present it for collectors to consider.
These are just a few of the incredible highlights that will be on the auction block October 6. The auction will feature over 2,800 lots spanning the 19th century to today, and it's sure to have a little bit of something for everyone's tastes. Be sure to check out www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com for more highlights in the days leading up to the auction. You can also register to bid or request a free catalog on the website.