May 3, 2017
Robert Edward Auction’s annual spring auction ended late in the night of Sunday April 30, and the results were nothing short of amazing on the wide variety of items offered in the company’s 2600+ lot sale.
The largest REA auction ever in terms of the number of lots tallied $10,928,000 in sales when the dust settled and established new marks for most bids (29,906) and most winners (877). The sales figures for the single night auction make it one of the most successful in sports memorabilia history. 176 items realized in excess of $10,000, including fourteen items that sold for six figures.
Babe Ruth’s 1916 M101-4/5 rookie card continued to be one of the hottest cards in the hobby, with two examples falling in the top ten of prices realized. A PSA EX 5 example was the highest selling item in the auction, realizing $336,000, while a rare PSA 2 version featuring Indianapolis Brewing advertising sold for $168,000. The rookie card trend continued with a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 9 ($216,000), 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax PSA 9 ($156,000), and 1958 Topps Bobby Hull PSA 8 ($102,000) joining the exclusive six figure list.
Another one of the top performing pieces in the auction was Jackie Robinson’s 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers contract, dating from his MVP season and representing one of only three Robinson contracts known to exist in private hands. The piece, which sold at auction in 2000 for $13,558, hammered at $276,000. “This document ranks as one of the most historic pieces we’ve ever had the privilege of handling. Bidders understood and appreciated its significance, which led to an impressive price for our consignor and an incredible addition for the new buyer,” said REA president Brian Dwyer.
A first day cover signed by all eleven living members of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s inaugural 1939 induction class shattered all pre-auction estimates, bringing $144,000, as did an incredible surviving 1961-1962 Fleer Basketball wax box, which sold for $120,000. A 1969 Willie Mays uniform, graded A10 by MEARS, realized $108,000.
A fresh-to-the-hobby find of fifteen 1888-1889 N173 Old Judge cabinet cards, which had been in the possession of the same New England family for more than 115 years, realized $73,680, including $19,200 for the hobby's highest-graded example of Boston Hall of Famers Charles Radbourn.
Additional highlights included:
- 1911 T3 Turkey Red Ty Cobb SGC 84 - $156,000
- 1903 E107 Breisch Williams Christy Mathewson SGC 50 - $144,000
- 1941 Play Ball Complete Set on Three Uncut Sheets - $124,000
- 1909-1911 T206 Ty Cobb Bat Off Shoulder Uzit Back PSA 6 - $108,000
- 1953 Jackie Robinson Game-Used Bat PSA/DNA GU9 - $96,000
- 1934 Tour of Japan Photo Signed By Ruth, Gehrig, and Foxx - $90,000
- 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson PSA 5 - $84,000
- 1915 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson PSA 9 - $72,000
- 1925-1928 Babe Ruth Game-Used Bat PSA/DNA GU7 - $72,000
- 1962 Topps Football Mike Ditka Rookie PSA 9 - $72,000
- 1962 Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals Jersey MEARS A10 - $66,000
- 1971 Tom Seaver New York Mets Jersey MEARS A10 - $66,000
- 1948 Leaf Unopened Wax Pack - $57,000
- 1938 Goudey Uncut Sheet - $54,000
- 1912 Boston Garter Christy Mathewson Advertising Display - $51,000
- 1955-1957 Ted Williams Game-Used Bat PSA/DNA GU10 - $51,000
“This auction proved the amazing strength of the hobby and once again demonstrated that there is an extremely high demand for rare and high-quality items. Collectors turned out in droves for this auction and walked away with some incredible items."
REA once again utilized its industry-leading auction closing method in which extended bidding begins in the afternoon and continues before the auction closes prior to Midnight Eastern. This method, employed successfully in 2016 by REA for the first time among hobby auction houses and now a hallmark of REA auctions, consistently leads to greater bidder engagement and ultimately higher prices realized for consignors. "This is, to us, one of the most logical steps we could've taken to bring our hobby into the 21st century. Ending auctions in the middle of the night is an outdated method that dates back to the 1970s and 1980s when mobile devices and computers weren't even remotely close to the ever-present conveniences they are today," said Dwyer. "Collecting the items that we sell is supposed to be enjoyable for our clients, and simply put, staying up until all hours of the night, hoping to outlast someone at 4:45 AM, just isn't enjoyable."
Robert Edward Auctions is already assembling its Fall Auction, scheduled for October, and will be accepting consignments through August 1.Special consignment terms are available to early consignors who contact the company prior to June 15. For more information on consignments, to view prices realized from the spring auction, or to request a free catalog, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com.