1949 Lummis Peanut Butter Phillies Complete Set (12)

Sold For: $9,600

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 922

Item Year: 1949

Category: Postwar Baseball Cards (1948-present)

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Extremely rare twelve-card complete set of Phillies cards (3.5 x 4.25 inches) issued in 1949 in the Philadelphia area by Lummis & Co. The Lummis Peanut Butter cards are so rare that even in Philadelphia, where the cards were issued and home to so many of the most celebrated card conventions in the early days of organized collecting, virtually no cards from this set were ever seen. Lummis Peanut Butter Phillies cards were catalogued, and advanced collectors spoke of them, but trying to find even a sample was virtually impossible. Like the unicorn, the actual cards were practically a myth! This is only the second complete set of Lummis Peanut Butter cards that we have seen offered publicly in the last twenty years! This offered set is very presentable, with crisp images generally free of any distracting flaws. The entire set would, however, grade modestly due to various condition issues, mostly on the reverse, including adhesive residue, pinholes, or light creasing. Three cards are also autographed (Borowy, Ennis, and Rowe). The complete set is highlighted by key cards of Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts. The Ashburn displays pinholes in three corners, but is free of creases and presents as Vg to Vg-Ex overall without consideration of the pinholes. The Roberts is Excellent when viewed from the front, but grades lesser due to excess paper on the reverse, likely from being housed in an album at one time. Whatever the assigned grades, this complete set remains a tremendous collecting accomplishment. Interestingly, both the Lummis Peanut Butter set and the Sealtest Dairy set (also issued in Philadelphia) used the same images (although Sealtest cards were produced with peel-off sticker backs). An outstanding complete set of this exceptionally rare postwar food issue, which advanced collectors recognize as among the rarest of all regional card issues. Total: 12 cards. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA for the three signed cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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