1931 W517 Strip Card Collection (21) Including Babe Ruth and Two Uncut Strips

Sold For: $840

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 794

Item Year: 1931

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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Collection of twenty-one cards from the the popular W517 large-style strip-card (3 x 4 inches) set consisting of fifteen individual cards and six cards arranged on two individual three-card uncut strips. A total of thirteen Hall of Famers are included within this collection. A complete set consists of fifty-four Major Leaguers of which fifty-two players are different. Ruth and Cochrane each appear twice (#4 Ruth features a portrait; #20 Ruth features a throwing pose). This issue was originally sold in vertical strips of three, which were intended to be hand-cut by youngsters. Cards from this set are often found in somewhat rough condition (miscut, creases, back damage, etc.). Eleven of the cards are graded by PSA (five) or SGC (six). Professional grading companies employ different standards for hand-cut cards, such as these strip-card W517s, with respect to size and neatness of cut, so the listed grades are without reference to any cutting issues. This collection consists of the following: #13 Kamm (Pr), 18 Williams (SGC VG 40), 20 Ruth (HOF, PSA Authentic; it is our opinion that this card would grade Fr-Gd if submitted to SGC), 21 Foxx (HOF, PSA GOOD 2), 22 Dykes (SGC Authentic), 34 P. Waner (HOF, SGC Authentic, with card number), 38 Hornsby (HOF, PSA GOOD 2), 39 Grove (HOF, PSA EX-MT 6), 40 Simmons (HOF, SGC EX 60), 44 Hale (SGC Authentic), 47 Goslin (HOF, Vg-Ex), 48 Fonseca (Pr), 50 Blue (Pr), 52 Collins (HOF, PSA VG-EX 4), and 53 Judge (SGC VG 40). The two uncut strips are #38/42/52 Hornsby/H. Wilson/Collins (Gd/Vg) and 45/43/34 Lyons/Shires/P. Waner (Vg). These cards originate from the 1998 "Orrstown Hoard" find of 206 W517s. This find, which was documented by Sports Collectors Digest as the largest find of W517s ever recorded, was discovered in an old Victorian house that was being prepared for bulldozing by a noncollector who purchased the house out of foreclosure to clear space in front of his property. He brought the cards to a local auction with the intention of selling them piece by piece to help offset the cost of the house purchase. Our consignor, however, thought the lot should stay intact and successful negotiated a purchase of the entire lot for $12,000. Over the years, some of the cards from this find have been released into the collecting world, including a complete set offered in REA's Spring 2015 auction. This is an outstanding collection of cards, ideally highlighted by the key card of Babe Ruth, from this popular 1930s issue. Total: 15 cards and two uncut strips. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000+.

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