1928 Fro-Joy Ice Cream Babe Ruth Complete Set (6)

Sold For: $1,067

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 416

Item Year: 1928

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Rarely seen complete set of AUTHENTIC 1928 Fro-Joy Ice Cream cards! During a single week in 1928 (August 6th-11th) Fro-Joy Ice Cream issued this six-card set, with each of the six cards featuring Babe Ruth. The 2-1/16 x 4 inch cards features black-and-white Ruth photos, with captions, on the fronts and Fro-Joy advertising on the backs. One of the problems for collectors that has developed over the past twenty-five years is that for some reason literally millions of reprint Fro-Joy cards and sheets have been printed and are circulating. It's gotten to the point where it's hard to go to a flea market and not see them, and collectors are now so wary of the issue, and confused by the many different printings of the reproductions, that they now tend to just shy away from the set completely. Who can blame them? Some grading companies have even stopped grading Fro-Joy Ice Cream cards! In the 1970s, before there were any Fro-Joy reprints, a single card could cause a riot at a card convention. No one had them! They were so rare that most collectors didn't even know what they looked like. An exciting find of a couple of hundred authentic cards in the late 1970s satisfied the demand from the most advanced collectors, but someone got the idea that this would be a great set to reproduce. Soon after reprints became so common that Fro-Joys understandably began to get a bad reputation. As time passed, some of these reproductions even had some age to them, confusing collectors all the more. Since the 1980s it appears that the printing presses have never stopped running on the reprints, both for individual cards and sheets. There are millions of them! But there also exist a small number of authentic examples. Their value remains modest due to their unique history. Fro-Joys are a rare case that, if there were no reprints, they would be extremely valuable, but demand has been tempered solely by the dangers of getting a reprint instead of an original (which in this day and age really is the norm, not the exception). The offered examples are originals. Interestingly, they were purchased by our consignor's brother in the late 1970s, while attending the big early card conventions in the Detroit area, and may well have been part of the big find of approximately 200 originals. (Jay Barry was an extremely prominent Detroit area collector who was one of the five or six collectors who split the find. Our consignor's brother dealt with Jay Barry, and our guess is that they were purchased from him.) The condition is relatively modest, overall Good to Very Good, with several cards exhibiting a possible slight trim or miscut. Even though the market, for the reasons stated, dramatically discounts Fro-Joy Ice Cream cards, we thought it was exciting to find an original, authentic set. This hardly ever happens. We are offered reprints all the time, practically every day, so this was really an event at REA! Even though they may be of a relatively modest value compared to what these cards would sell for if there were no reprints, we are excited to present them, and at the same time to take the opportunity to document the very unusual and perhaps unique story represented by Fro-Joy Ice Cream cards. Total: 6 cards. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).
SOLD FOR $1,067

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