By now, collectors expect the leading Sports and Americana auction house, MastroNet, Inc. to attract the best items and deliver the best market values, especially for tried and true collectibles. But increasingly, MastroNet is becoming the venue of choice to establish a track record for unknown valuables.
"Every auction we have numerous items that jump to the next level in terms of value and demand," said Doug Allen, president of MastroNet. "And then there are the ones that take even us by surprise and set new precedents."
According to Allen, MastroNet's rapidly growing Americana division provides fertile ground for establishing some of the new must-have collecting items and areas of interest. "There can be little doubt that Americana collectors are increasing in numbers," said Allen. "Our auctions provide a forum for the buying and selling of Americana items that is long overdue. With each auction's success we see new categories of Americana collectibles emerging, many with selling prices that seem to be giving previously obscure items their due."
One such item was an early 1900's Royal Scepter of England's King Edward VII. The lot opened with a minimum of $1,000.00. Thirty-five bids later, it sold for $40,100.00. "Any time an item sells for forty times its opening bid, you've got to give it the credit it deserves," said Allen. "This auction has gone a long way to establishing the standards for many collectibles that to this point had not benchmark."
Another such collectible was a drinking cup from a Titanic lifeboat and other items such as china from the ship. "We knew the deck chair from the Titanic would do well," said Allen. "But the drinking cup and the china far exceeded our expectations and will set the bar for similar items in the future."
And while the prices in the world of sports memorabilia tend to be much more predictable, Allen says that just wasn't the case with a huge number of lots from the Sports auction. "The Wayne Gretzky jersey and rookie card went through the roof," said Allen. "Anything Gretzky has a tendency to do well but this was a phenomenal jump that is bound to impact the future sale of Gretzky items." Allen also cites the Grover Cleveland Alexander 1926 St. Louis Cardinals game worn jersey, the 1938-39 Dizzy Dean Chicago Cubs worn home jersey, and a single signed Babe Ruth ball and baseball bat as price setters that will shape tomorrow's collecting market. "And then of course there are the baseball cards," said Allen. "For years the blue chip cards have been the mainstay of the record-setting realm but now even the common vintage cards are becoming investments you can almost bank on to increase in value at a consistent rate."
All of this is good news for both buyers and sellers says Allen. "All evidence points to the collecting industry being alive and kicking," said Allen. "Our auctions continue to prove there is more out there than we know about, that demand is higher than ever, and that the hobby we have all enjoyed in the past is moving forward strongly into the future."
TOP ITEMS - SPORTS
Babe Ruth 1931 H&B Signed and Inscribed Game Used Bat
Babe Ruth gave one of his treasured bats to Hollywood producer Louis Breslow as a token of friendship after working on a film project together. This bat, inscribed to Breslow, sold for $144,352.00.
Grover Cleveland Alexander 1926 St. Louis Cardinals Game World Series Jersey
The brilliant, but troubled pitcher wore this flannel jersey on the day he helped nail the World Series for the Cardinals. It went for $92,160.00.
Babe Ruth Single Signed Baseball - PSA 9
For any serious baseball collection a baseball signed by Babe Ruth is a must. This extraordinary example, one of the finest in existence commanded serious money. The baseball sold for $89,628.00.
Mickey Mantle 1958 H&B World Series Game Used Bat
This bat was brandished by Mantle during the '58 World Series. It is one of two bats manufactured for the slugger specifically for the '58 Fall Classic. It commanded $87,771.00.
Babe Ruth 1917-19 H&B Game Used Bat
Here's proof that the Bambino still wields considerable power. A second Ruth bat was available in the auction. This one comes from earlier in Ruth's storied career. The bat went for $69,428.00.
Dizzy Dean 1938-1939 Chicago Cubs Game Worn Jersey - SCD A-9.5
Dizzy Dean wore this Cubs home jersey his first two seasons in the Windy City. It features a design donned by Cubs players for only two seasons. The jersey is the only Dizzy Dean Cubs jersey known to exist. Obviously, uniqueness has its price. It went for $63,693.00.
1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card PSA NM-MT 8
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle has always been a key card in any collection. Even during the mid-1960's, at the very beginning of the organized hobby, the '52 Mantle card carried a premium price. That's still the case. This extraordinary cardboard treasure sold for $63,693.00.
1952 Topps Complete PSA Graded Set plus Variations
Each card in this "believe it when I see it" compilation of the most popular set of all time has been professionally graded. Only #48 Page and #49 Sain error cards with Black Backs keep this premier issue from "master set" acclaim. The set commanded $62,374.00.
Bob Feller 1951 Cleveland Indians Signed Game World Home Uniform - SCD A-9.5
Bob Feller wore this signed Indians home uniform during his stellar 1951 season. The cream colored flannel attracted a final price of $62,374.00.
1979/1980 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card PSA Gem Mint 10
Here is an item that transcends its sport, in the sense that it now stands as the most valuable modern trading card of any kind. This one-of-a-kind item is absolutely the very finest Wayne Gretzky rookie card in existence. It sold for $62,374.00.
Mel Ott 1937 H&B Game Used Bat
Ott wielded this vintage Harlem hitting relic during his glorious days as a Giant. It comes directly from a Giants' executive. The selling price was $57,903.00.
1911 T205 Gold Border Complete Set Plus Variations
Ninety-nine cards in this set have been graded by a third party service including many of the issue's biggest stars including high-grade examples of Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson. It went for $52,639.00.
Ted Williams 1948 H&B Vault Marked Bat
Ted Williams used this Hillerich & Bradsby vault-marked bat during the 1948 season. The 35", 32-oz. white ash, signature model lumber bears vault engravings. Factory records indicate that it was returned to its Kentucky-based manufacturer in August 1948 to be used in patterning future Williams' bats. It sold for $52,639.00.
1952 Red Heart Complete Set - #1 on the PSA Set Registry
For years, this remarkable set rested in the incredible John Branca collection. Now the thirty-three incredible cards that make up this second-to-none compilation belong to someone else. The transfer fee? $49,093.00.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA "50 Greatest Players" Signed Lithograph
This is the print that was issued to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar himself ("1/1"). The lithograph was limited to 250 pieces with 50 of them being issued to the players. Jabbar's copy went for $49,093.00.
1909-11 T206 White Border Ty Cobb Portrait Green Background PSA NM-MT 8
This card is one of a mere half-dozen in the world assessed at this level with none graded higher. Part of the massive John Branca collection, the card commanded $47,853.00.
1952 Bowman Large PSA High-Grade Complete Football Card Set
This set contains all of the 144 cards included in the 1952 Bowman Large football release-a production whose surviving elements are rare in the marvelous state of preservation seen in the offered assembly. The set sold for $47,853.00.
Roberto Clemente 1965-1968 H&B Game Used Bat
Clemente wielded this bat during a historical four-year run of greatness. In terms of both Clemente-used game gear and the Great's signature, this is about as good as it gets! The bat went for $45,124.00.
AND MORE SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS BY CATEGORY
More Baseball Cards
A 1915 Cracker Jack #1 Otto Knabe sold for $41,020.00; a 1933 Goudey uncut sheet with five Hall of Famers including Babe Ruth went for $40,572.00; a PSA NM 71912 E300 Plow's Candy Honus Wagner went for $40,100.00; a PSA Mint 9 1948 Leaf #79 Jackie Robinson sold for $39,547.00; a 1957 Topps completely PSA graded NM/MT partial set (360/407) sold for $35,951.00; a 1915 Cracker Jack #30 Ty Cobb sold for $32,683.00; a 1909-11 T206 White Border complete set minus the "Big Six" sold for $31,867.00; a 1952 Topps "Low Numbers" high grade PSA collection commanded $30,127.00; a PSA NM-MT 8 1933 R333 DeLong #7 Lou Gehrig realized $29,711.00; a PSA EX-MT 6 1912 E300 Plow's Candy Ty Cobb went for $27,388.00; a 1952 Bowman high-grade complete set sold for $27,008.00; a PSA NM-MT 8 1933 Goudey #181 Babe Ruth went for $26,335.00; a significant 1887-1890 N172 Old Judge Hall of Fame collection realized $26,335.00; a 1954 Topps high-grade complete PSA set sold for $26,335.00; a 1909-11 T206 White Border near complete set (520) minus the "Big Four" went for $26,335.00; a high grade PSA 1904 WG2 American League "Fan Craze" set sold for $25,554.00; a 1909-11 T206 White Border near set went for $23,941.00; a PSA NM-MT 8 1909-11 T206 White Border Cy Young Cleveland/Portrait went for $23,152.00; a 1956 Topps completely PSA graded set commanded $22,887.00; an 1887 N28 Allen & Ginter "World's Champions 1st Series SGC completely graded set sold for $22,321.00; a PSA NM-MT 8 1932 R328 U.S. Caramel #32 Babe Ruth went for $21,763.00; a PSA EX 5 1911 T3 Red Cabinet #9 Ty Cobb sold for $21,047.00 and a 1941 R336 Play Ball completely PSA graded set realized $21,047.00; and a 1913 WG5 National Game high grade complete PSA set went for $20,575.00.
Sensational Sluggers - Bats
The October 2, 1974 Hank Aaron home run #733 record-setting game used bat went for $27,010.00; a 1917-21 H&B "Black Betsy" professional model bat - style attributed to Joe Jackson sold for $20,292.00; a Babe Ruth 1917-1921 H&B "250" game used bat sold for $20,292.00; a Willie Mays 1964 H&B signed All-Star game used bat went for $19,785.00; a rare Don Drysdale 1965-1968 H&B game used bat commanded $11,611.00; a Napoleon Lajoie circa 1905 game used bat realized $10,798.00; and a Yogi Berra 1960 H&B signed All-Star game used bat sold for $10,443.00.
Dressed to Play - Baseball Game Gear
A Brooks Robinson 1968 Baltimore Orioles game worn home jersey went for $30,127.00; a Robin Roberts 1961 Philadelphia Phillies signed game worn jersey commanded $28,970.00; a Lou Boudreau 1949 Cleveland Indians game worn home uniform sold for $13,513.00; a Tony Lazzeri 1930's game used glove realized $11,611.00; and a Charlie Grimm 1948 Chicago Cubs game worn home uniform sold for $11,611.00.
Globes of Greatness - Baseballs
A 1927-1928 New York Yankees World Champions team signed baseball sold for $38,561.00; another Babe Ruth single signed baseball went for $43,502.00; a Ruth/Gehrig/Huggins signed baseball sold for $32,683.00; a 1961 New York Yankees team signed ball went for $21,763.00; a Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig signed baseball commanded $21,047.00; the October 2, 1974 Hank Aaron home run #733 record-setting baseball sold for $20,292.00; a Walter Johnson signed baseball realized $18,705.00; a Babe Ruth signed 1931 home run baseball went for $17,986.00; and a Hall of Fame signed baseball with Foxx, Ott and Cobb went for $11,166.00.
On the Dotted Line - Baseball Autographs
A PSA authenticated 1934 Goudey #37 autographed Lou Gehrig card went for $13,172.00; a PSA authenticated 1933 Goudey #181 Babe Ruth autographed card sold for $11,488.00; a 1929 Philadelphia Athletics autographed panorama sold for $10,798.00; a 1955-1963 Mickey Mantle vintage signed baseball card collection went for $9,382.00; and a Mickey Mantle signed check sold for $9,382.00.
Trophies, Tributes and Trinkets - Miscellaneous Baseball Memorabilia
A massive 1909-2003 World Series ticket collection sold for $29,547.00; an 1863 "Union Prisoners at Salisbury" Civil War baseball print went for $27,010.00; a 1974 World Champion Oakland Athletics Owner's trophy in original shipping box went for $26,335.00; Mickey Lolich's full size 1968 World Series trophy sold for $15,244.00; Earle Combs 1932 New York Yankees World Series ring commanded $14,864.00; and Mickey Mantle's 1965 "Fred Hutchinson Award" sold for $6,552.00.
Hoop Dreams - Basketball Items
A Julius Erving 1980/1981 Philadelphia 76ers game worn road uniform sold for $10,799.00; a Bill Bradley early 1970's New York Knicks game worn home jersey commanded $7,626.00; a 1938 Coca-Cola advertising sign of women basketball players in original "Coca-Cola" frame went for $6,846.00; a Michael Jordan 1997/1998 Chicago Bulls complete road uniform sold for $6,552.00; a 1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan rookie card went for $6,484.00; and a 1986/1987 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA graded collection sold for $6,407.00.
Gridiron Greats - Football Memorabilia
A 1916 M101-5 Sporting News #176 Jim Thorpe sold for $24,632.00; a 1965 Topps high-grade complete set went for $11,611.00; a 1951 Bowman complete PSA set sold for $10,321.00; a 1948 Bowman high-grade complete PSA set commanded $9,595.00; an a high grade 1924 through 1929 Chicago Bears Program run sold for $7,132.00, a 1935 R331 National Chicle completely PSA graded near set (32/36) sold for $7,132.00; a PSA NM-MT 8 1933 Goudey Sports Kings #6 Jim Thorpe went for $6,407.00; and a 1969 Topps extremely high grade complete PSA set went for $6,407.00.
Collecting Goals - Hockey
A Wayne Gretzky 1983/1984 Edmonton Oilers game worn jersey sold for $43,502.00 a 1954/1955 Topps high-grade complete set went for $22,392.00; a 1911/1912 C55 Hockey Players SGC-graded complete set went for $19,133.00; a 1951/1952 Parkhurst complete PSA set commanded $16,626.00; a massive collection (34,000+) of hockey cards went for $13,513.00; and a high grade 1961/1962 Topps PSA graded complete set sold for $7,754.00.
Auction Knockouts - Boxing
A Joe Louis 1951 signed boxing contract to fight Rocky Marciano sold for $4,870.00; circa 1900 large epically-posed boxing figures went for $3,022.00; a 1933 Goudey Sports Kings #17 Jack Dempsey went for $2,901.00; and a collection of 1888 N29 Allen & Ginter boxers sold for $2,178.00.
Cardboard Jewels - Non-Sports Cards
1962 Topps "Civil War News" PSA Graded Complete Set
Far more popular and appealing than textbooks, these cards served to illuminate the nation's great conflict-then just a century in the past-for America's youngsters. This set sold for $13,739.00.
1962 Topps "Mars Attacks" Display Box-Top Preliminary Original Artwork by Norman Saunders
This is a true "1 of 1" in-house artifact - an actual prototype that aided in clarifying the design for the lid of Topps' 1962 Mars Attacks 5¢ counter-sales box. The price for originality was $10,798.00.
Other items in this category include:
A high grade 1962 Topps "Mars Attacks" completely graded PSA set went for $7,845.00; a 1940 R83 Gum , Inc. Lone Ranger original artwork for card #22 "Firebrands on the Ledge" sold for $7,049.00; an 1888 N2 Allen & Ginter "American Indian Chiefs" SGC-graded complete set commanded $4,813.00; and a 1938 R69 Gum, Inc. "Horrors of War" near set sold for $4,813.00.
For More Information
MastroNet's next premier auction is scheduled for December 2005. Consignments are currently being accepted. For more information or for consignment details, call 630-472-1200 or visit www.mastronet.com.