1931 W517 Complete Set on Uncut Strips Plus Extremely Rare Original Box!

Sold For: $5,100

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1006

Item Year: 1931

Category: 1930s to 1940s cards

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Presented is an extraordinary complete set (fifty-four cards) of 1931 W517 cards in its rarest and most desirable original uncut three-card panel form, which includes a remarkable thirty-four Hall of Famers, highlighted by Babe Ruth (two poses) and Lou Gehrig. The popular W517 large-style strip-card (3 x 4 inches) set consists of fifty-four Major Leaguers. 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 as three-card uncut strips (as offered here), measuring 2-7/8 x 11-1/2 inches, which were intended to be cut apart into individual cards, and few strips have survived this fate, let alone a complete set of eighteen three-card strips. In fact, this is the very first complete set we have ever offered in this original strip form as issued. This is a miracle set! Each strip has been graded individually below: #9/17/24 (Vg+), 10/33/27 (green prize stripe, otherwise Vg-Ex), 11/13/28 (Vg-Ex+), 12/14/53 (green prize stripe, otherwise Ex), 19/36/34 (green prize stripe, otherwise Ex), 20 Ruth/21 Foxx/8 (Vg-Ex+), 25/37/48 (green prize stripe, otherwise Vg-Ex), 29/1/2 (Ex+), 35 Gehrig/5/31 (red prize stripe, otherwise Vg-Ex+), 38 Hornsby/42 Wilson/32 (Vg), 41/23 Terry/7 (Ex), 43/18/15 Alexander (Ex overall, Alexander 15/85 L/R), 45/51/16 (Vg-Ex+), 46/6/44 (green prize stripe, Vg-Ex), 47 Goslin/4 Ruth/30 Ott (Ex overall, Ruth 70/30 L/R, otherwise Nr/Mt-Mt), 49/3/52 Collins (Vg+), 50/26/39 Grove (green prize stripe, otherwise Vg-Ex), and 54/22/40 (Ex). Also, accompanying the set is the extremely rare original box designed to display these cards on candy-store counters in the 1930s. This is only second original box we have ever handled! Measuring approximately 3.5 x 2.25 x 6 inches, the box (Fair overall, one of the seams is split) features a yellow label on the front, with instructions to draw a card out printed in red. For a one-cent entry, the buyer had the chance to win candy or a baseball, depending on the color coding on the bottom of the selected strip. This is a tremendous offering of extremely rare items from the W517 series, offering a superb opportunity to acquire both a complete set in as-issued original uncut strip form, highlighted by Babe Ruth (two poses) and Lou Gehrig, and an original store-counter display box that illustrates exactly how these classic cards were offered and displayed at candy stores in 1931. Total: 18 uncut strips (representing a complete set of 54 cards) and an original box. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000++.

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