Watchung, New Jersey. The Robert Edward Auctions catalogs will ship on April 9, 2009. The first copy off the presses will be presented to The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, for their library, as is the longstanding tradition. The other 10,000 672-page catalogs will be sent to collectors all over the world who have anxiously been waiting all year for the annual sale by Robert Edward Auctions, the baseball collecting world's most exciting and highly anticipated auction. Inside the auction catalog will be hundreds of items worthy of Cooperstown, many of which will ultimately find their way into the most prestigious collections in the world, both private and public. The final date of bidding is May 2. Bidding starts April 10 by FAX, phone, or the Internet via the Robert Edward's site. The total sales for the event are expected to exceed $5-million.
Serious baseball collectors all over the world look forward to Robert Edward's annual spring auction. "We try to make it a special event for everyone, to make it fun and at the same time to give collectors and historians some great reading with the catalog," says REA president Robert Lifson. "With all the problems in the economy, and all the problems even in the baseball memorabilia world, we feel our auction has a special place in the field. We're trying to do more than just have an auction. We're trying to create a positive event that is historic, that makes collecting fun, and that everyone can be a part of, as a bidder, a consignor, or just as an observer." Of course, having great material makes it all possible. "This year, really, we've gotten very lucky. The material is unbelievable. This may be our best auction ever."
The 1915 Cracker Jack Poster on the catalog cover would be hard to top as the single greatest auction highlight, but there are many candidates. Also included in the auction are the two most valuable baseball cards in the world, the famous T206 Honus Wagner and the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie Card (each with a reserve of $50,000); an incredible newly discovered find of unopened 1930s gum cards, and the best Babe Ruth cap in the world from 1932, the year of "The Called Shot" (res. $50,000). The Cracker Jack poster, produced to promote Cracker Jack's 1915 baseball card issue, is one of the rarest and most extraordinary of all baseball display pieces. The offered example, by far the finest of only two known, carries a minimum bid of $25,000. Lifson adds "We think this is such a great item we actually produced a celluloid magnet as a keepsake, featuring the poster. We made over 10,000 of them. Every catalog will include one. We know it sounds crazy, because this cost real money, but we're excited about the auction and the poster, and this was a way to do something for collectors, and at the same time promote the auction. Only one person can get the poster but everyone can have a small refrigerator magnet version! It also seems in keeping with the spirit of Cracker Jack. You know, a prize in every box." REA sold this piece to the consignor in a private transaction in 1989 for $35,000. Even in this economy, the auction house is very optimistic on high quality items. "We've been trying to get this back to auction for twenty years. We don't know what it's worth, but we think the owner is going to do very well. It's the best Cracker Jack piece in the world. It's the best twentieth- century baseball card advertising piece in the world. Great items always seem to do well over time and it doesn't get any better than this item."
Coming to the block will be over 1,500 lots of baseball collectibles covering the entire history of the game. The incredible find of unopened gum boxes and packs from the 1930s, one of the great card collecting discoveries of the ages, will be offered in fifty lots. The 1932 Babe Ruth Yankees cap, a gift from the Yankees manager Joe McCarthy to his paperboy in 1932, has an unrivalled provenance. This may be the best baseball cap in the world (res. $50,000). The T206 Wagner is the very same card that was once owned by actor Charlie Sheen. He allowed the card to be displayed at the All Star Café in New York. In a plot worthy of a TV episode, many years ago the card was stolen from its display case by workers at the All Star Café, and replaced with a copy! When the theft was discovered, the thieves were soon caught, and the Wagner card was recovered by the FBI! The card is a low-grade example but a T206 Wagner is extremely valuable in any condition. It has a minimum bid of $50,000 and is expected to sell for in excess of $100,000. Many consider the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie Card to be the single most important and miraculous baseball card in the world. The 1914 Babe Ruth rookie card features Ruth as an unknown minor league rookie straight out of St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys. Only ten 1914 Baltimore Ruths are known to exist, including the one owned by the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore. The reserve for this card is $50,000, and it is also expected to sell for in excess of $100,000.
Nineteenth-century baseball cards and items of great historical significance have always been a special area of interest for REA. This auction has some of the most remarkable items in this important area to ever come to auction. An exceptional example of the famous 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder advertising trade card featuring the very first professional team is a special highlight (est. $25,000+, res. $10,000). Over 600 Old Judge baseball cards issued by Goodwin & Co from 1886 to 1890 are also included in the sale. This is one of the largest collections of Old Judges ever assembled. Also offered are a selection of N173 Old Judge cabinets, including many Hall of Famers, and an incredible twenty-nine 1889 Police Gazette cabinet cards, the largest-ever offering of these extreme rarities, including a particularly outstanding example of Hall of Famer Tim Keefe (res. $5,000).
The auction includes an extraordinary array of rare nineteenth-century baseball cards including examples issued by Kalamazoo Bats, Mayo's Cut Plug, as well as many rare nineteenth-century baseball cabinet cards; Cracker Jack baseball cards issued in 1914 and 1915; literally thousands of 1910-era baseball tobacco cards, one the largest selections to ever be offered at auction; complete Topps and Bowman sets from virtually every year, including three complete sets of 1952 Topps with the rare high-numbers. In addition to two sets of 1909-1911 T206 White Border tobacco cards, many other rarities from the T206 set, the most important issue of the 1910 era, are presented. These include four examples of the rare T206 Eddie Plank (one graded EX-MT 6 by PSA); five T206 Magie error cards; and numerous extremely high-grade T206 examples. The newly-discovered 1933 R306 Butter Cream Confectionery of Babe Ruth is another extraordinary highlight item in the sale. One of card collecting's most interesting and legendary rarities, this is only the third example known (res. $10,000).
PSA-Graded Sets: Featured are a remarkable selection of PSA-graded complete sets of the card collecting world's most classic issues. The highlight of these is one of the finest T206 White Border sets ever assembled, the seventh highest-graded T206 set on the PSA registry, a total of 520 cards with a grade point average of 5.65, offered as a single lot, including four PSA NM-MT 8, seventy-one PSA NM 7, 277 PSA EX-MT 6, 163 PSA EX 5, four PSA VG-EX 4 (est. $100,000+, res. $50,000). This is followed closely by an extraordinary world-class completely graded investment-grade 1952 Topps set, the most important issue in the entire world of postwar-card collecting (est. $50,000+; res. $25,000). This ultra high-grade set includes 42 NM-MT 8, 65 NM 7, 297 EX-MT 6, and just three cards grade lower (two Ex+, one Ex). In the more modern era, the 1963 Topps set listed as #5 on the PSA Set Registry is by far the finest ever offered by REA. This set includes eight PSA GEM MINT 10 cards, an astounding 124 PSA MINT 9s, and many highest-ever graded cards. The 1957 Topps PSA-Graded complete set listed as #9 on the Set Registry is another extraordinary highlight, with seventy-seven cards graded PSA MINT 9, 328 graded PSA NM-MT 8, and just two cards PSA NM 7 (est. $25,000+; res. $10,000). The 1968 Topps PSA-Graded set listed as #6 on the PSA Set Registry has an extraordinary grade point average of 8.94, and includes one GEM MT 10, 561 MINT 9, two NM-MT+ 8.5, and thirty-four NM-MT 8. The 1957, 1963, and 1968 PSA Registry sets are each the finest ever seen or offered by REA, and each one of the highest graded complete sets of these classic issues ever assembled.
Many highlights have been listed above, but there is much more. The auction includes countless important new discoveries and extraordinary rarities in all areas and from all eras, including an extraordinary selection pre-1900 baseball cards and memorabilia; display pieces; original art; rare pinbacks; autographs; graded cards; tobacco cards; caramel cards; regionals; 1930s gum cards; bats, uniforms, and other equipment, in addition to cards of note from all eras.
Graded Cards: Graded cards are a special strength. Among the many noteworthy individual cards of interest are: 1913 Voskamp's Coffee Honus Wagner in Very Good condition (Reserve $5,000); 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Pete Gillespie, NYs (Ex+), one of the finest portrait examples known (res. $5,000); a complete high-grade set of all six 1911 M110 Sporting Life Cabinets including Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Frank Chance, and Nap Lajoie, each offered individually; 1909-1911 E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson graded VG+ 3.5 by PSA. (est. $10,000+, res. $5,000); 1915 E145 Cracker Jack #88 Christy Mathewson - PSA MINT 9 - Highest graded example! (res. $10,000); 1916 M101-5 Sporting News #151 Babe Ruth Rookie PSA EX 5 (est. $10,000/$15,000; res. $5,000), and 1904 Allegheny Card Co. Fred Clarke graded EX-MT 6 by PSA (res. $500).
The Charlie Conlon Collection is presented in this historic auction. One extraordinary highlight is perhaps the finest example of one the rarest and most valuable cards in the world: the famous T206 Larry Doyle NY Nat'l (hands over head pose). This extreme rarity (graded VG-EX 50 by SGC) is one of only approximately seven authentic examples known to exist, making it the rarest of all T206 cards and almost ten times rarer than the famous T206 Wagner. The minimum bid is $25,000. The estimate has been left open but it is expected to sell for over $100,000. Other noteworthy highlights from the Conlon Collection include: 1933 R319 Goudey #106 Napoleon Lajoie Near Mint (est. $20,000, res. $10,000); 1933 R300 George C. Miller Uncut Sheet of 16 Cards - Only Example Known! (res. $5,000); 1933 R300 George C. Miller PSA-Graded Complete Set: #1 PSA Registry! (est. 20,000/30,000; res. $10,000); and 1968 Topps 3-D Complete PSA-Graded Set (est. 10,000+; res. 5,000). Charlie Conlon was well known for cornering the market on the popular 1975 Topps Minis, buying many cases of this regionally issued Topps product, which happened to be sold in his area, long before they were extremely valuable. At one time it is believed he had over 700 cases, which he sold slowly over the next thirty years. No one knew how many he had, and buyers were always fearful it was a never-ending supply. It wasn't. This auction includes the entire balance of his inventory: twenty-six complete wax box cases of 1975 Topps Baseball Minis.
Regionals: Several collections of rare regional issues are a special highlight of the auction. Included is a remarkable collection of 1953-1955 Briggs Meats cards, all in complete uncut two-card panels as originally issued, including panels with Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. The nine two-card panels (representing eighteen cards) are the largest and finest collection of these extreme regional rarities to ever be offered at auction, and may be the largest collection of uncut panels known (res. $5,000). The finest collection of rare 1953 Glendale Meats cards to ever be offered includes over sixty cards, among them a complete set and the highest-graded example of key card Art Houtteman, one of regional card collecting's most legendary rarities (PSA EX-MT 6). There may never be a more impressive offering of Glendale Meats cards. Included are many of the highest-ever PSA graded examples from this classic 1950s issue featuring Detoit Tigers players. Other rare regional issues include: 1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson PSA-Graded Near-Complete Set (11 of 13 cards in the set), and a complete twenty-card set of 1954 Wilson Franks (Est. $4,000/$8,000; res. $2,000).
Additional Highlights: 1933 R319 Goudey uncut sheet with five Hall of Famers including #181 Babe Ruth (res. $10,000); a remarkable collection of seventeen 1910 E125 American Caramel Die-cuts including Honus Wagner; 1886 N167 Old Judge Buck Ewing (est. $10,000/$20,000; res. $5,000); a complete set of all four 1894 N142 Duke Cabinet baseball players offered individually; 1888 St. Louis Joseph Hall Team Cabinet Including Comiskey and McCarthy; 1886 N370 Lone Jack Cigarettes Chris Von Der Ahe (est. $2,000+, res. $1,000); and an exceptional collection of 1895 N566 Newsboy Tobacco Cabinets (fifteen cards in total) including Hall of Famers Amos Rusie and John Ward.
Complete Graded Sets: Complete or near-complete sets of many classic vintage card issues include: 1911 T205 Gold Border Complete Set of 208 plus 2 back variations (est. $20,000/$30,000; res. $10,000); 1912 T207 Brown Background Near-Complete Set: 191 of 200 cards (est. $25,000+; res. $10,000): 1909-1911 E90-1 American Caramel Near-Complete Set: 114 of 120 cards (res. $10,000). Complete sets of many other classic issues, such as 1911 T3 Turkey Reds, 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folders, 1933 Goudey, 1933 DeLong, 1933 R338 Sport Kings,1934 Goudey, 1934-1936 R327 Diamond Stars, 1939-1941 Play Ball, and 1948-1949 Leaf Gum (including rarities) are also featured.
Game-Used Uniforms: An extraordinary selection of important baseball uniforms, one of the finest ever offered, is presented including: Tom Seaver's 1967 New York Mets rookie home jersey, the best Seaver jersey in existence, graded a perfect A10 by MEARS (est. $25,000+; res. $10,000); 1927 Wilcy Moore New York Yankees Complete Game-Used Road Uniform (Jersey, Pants, and Hat) Ex-Halper (est. $10,000/$20,000); graded a perfect A10 by MEARS (res. $2,500), 1963 Don Drysdale Los Angeles Dodgers Signed Game-Used Road Jersey - Only Graded Example (est. $10,000+; res. $5,000, 1948 Charlie Grimm Chicago Cubs Game-Used Home Uniform (Jersey and Pants) and many rare jersey styles from the 1930s through the 1960s. The Val Picinich Collection is consigned directly from the Picinich family, and includes his 1924 World Tour Complete Uniform - Jersey, Pants, Hat, and Socks (est. 10,000+; res. $5,000).
Game-Used Bats: The auction also presents one of the finest selections of game-used bats to ever come to auction, including those of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Pie Traynor, and Hack Wilson. Dozens of additional pro-model bats are featured, including a particularly outstanding 1937-1941 Hank Greenberg bat. The Mickey Mantle bat is of special note as it is from so early in his career and can be dated to a particular year, 1955. (est. $10,000+, res. $5,000).
Autographs: Autographed memorabilia is another extremely strong area. In addition to autographed balls from all eras, and signed photos of legends such as Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, the autograph album collection of early hobby pioneer Dr. John O'Meara, assembled in the 1930s, will be featured. The collection, presented in seventeen lots in its own catalog section, is especially noteworthy for its remarkable level of quality throughout and its inclusion of extreme Hall of Fame signature rarities, such as George Wright, Billy Hamilton, and Ned Hanlon. The highlight of all autographed items in the auction may be the 1899 Ed Delahanty Handwritten Letter (res. $10,000). This letter is all the more extraordinary due to its impeccable provenance. It originates from the files of the H&B Louisville Slugger Bat Company. Delahanty died in 1903. His signature is one of the true Holy Grails of Hall of Fame signature collecting, a virtually impossible-to-obtain stumbling block to any complete Hall of Fame signature collection. This is the first Delahanty signature Robert Edward Auctions has ever seen or offered in almost 40 years.
Memorabilia and Awards: Additional significant and historic memorabilia, including rings and awards, are also included: 1986 New York Mets World Series Owner's Trophy (res. $10,000); 1968 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees game-used cap with extraordinary provenance (res. $2,500); 1922 New York Giants World Series Ring - The First World Series Ring Ever!!!! (est. $5,000/$7,500+; res. $2,500); 1971 Ron Santo Chicago Cubs Signed Game-Used Home Jersey (est. $5,000+; res. $2,500); 1956 Bucky Harris Detroit Tigers game-used road complete uniform (Jersey, Pants, and Cap); circa 1880 Deacon White catcher's mask, with ideal outstanding provenance (res. $5,000). This is an extremely historic item as White was the first professional catcher to ever wear a mask. Also: Moe Berg's 1923 Princeton University baseball jacket (res. $1,000); legendary one-armed ballplayer Pete Gray's 1945 St. Louis Browns game-used cap; and circa 1875 Deacon White Game-Used Baseball Pants - The Earliest Known Major League Baseball Uniform Item! (1,000, 2,500+).
Other Sports: Sports other than baseball are also represented by a significant selection of extremely high quality items, including 1937-1945 Don Hutson Green Bay Packers Game-Used Home Jersey with Phenomenal Provenance (res. $10,000); 1986-1987 Michael Jordan Game-Used Chicago Bulls Home Jersey (res. $5,000), one of only four Jordan Bulls jerseys ever graded a perfect A10 by MEARS; 1979-1985 Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers Signed Game-Used Home Jersey (est. $2,000/$3,000; res. $1,000); 1997 Dan Marino Miami Dolphins Signed Game-Used Road Jersey with LOA from Marino (est. $2,000/$4,000; res. $1,000); 1976-1978 Bob McAdoo New York Knicks Game-Used Jersey (est. $3,000+; res. $1,500); 1992 John Elway Denver Broncos Signed Home Jersey (res. $1,000); 1980-1982 Herschel Walker University of Georgia Jersey (est. $2,000; res. $1,000); 1960-1963 Jim Taylor Green Bay Packers Game-Used Road Jersey (est. $5,000+; res. $2,500); 1977 Pele New York Cosmos Home Jersey (est. $5,000+; res. $2,500), and an extremely Rare 1999 Augusta National Golf Club Masters Jacket (res. $2,000).
Non-Sport Cards: An incredible selection of nonsport card related items, the finest ever offered by REA, are yet another highlight section of the sale. In addition to the fifty lots represented by the astounding 1930s unopened box and pack find (modestly entitled in the catalog "The Greatest Unopened Find In The History of the Universe"), thousands of nonsport cards dating from the 1880s to the 1960s are included. Most important among them is the legendary 1879 N519 Marquis of Lorne - Thos H. Hall - The World's First Tobacco Insert Card!!! One of only four examples known (including two in museums), this is the first example of one of card collecting's most important and historic rarities ever offered by REA. The 1936 R60 Gum, Inc. "G-Men & Heroes of the Law" Complete Set: #2 PSA Registry (est. $5,000/$10,000; res. $2,500) and the 1933 R73 Goudey Indian Gum Complete Set are two particularly strong highlights. Also offered is a rarely seen complete 24-card set of R90 1935 Gum, Inc. Mickey Mouse and the Movie Stars Complete Set (est. $3,000/$5,000; res. $1,500). Any Mars Attacks original artwork is a special prize in the nonsport collecting world. The 1962 Topps Mars Attacks original artwork for card #1 "The Invasion Begins" is an incredible highlight, an iconic painting by Norm Saunders that is perhaps the best nonsport card artwork in existence (est. $30,000+; res. $15,000).
Copies of the 672-page full-color premium catalog (shipping April 9) are available free. To review the catalog online, to learn more about Robert Edward Auctions, or to receive a complimentary copy of the catalog, or to inquire about consignments, visit www.robertedwardauctions.com. Robert Edward Auctions is currently assembling their next sale. For further information contact: Robert Edward Auctions, PO Box 7256, Watchung, NJ or call (908)-226-9900.
For over 30 years Robert Edward Auctions has specialized in all areas of historic baseball collectibles, as well other sport, non-sport, and Americana collectibles including political and campaign memorabilia, autographs and manuscripts, and original illustration art. Robert Edward Auctions has been responsible for many of the most important baseball memorabilia sales including overseeing the sale of the $26-million Barry Halper baseball collection, universally recognized as the best and largest in the world; the legendary "Gretzky-McNail" T206 Honus Wagner card, $1.3-million; the uniform Yankee legend Lou Gehrig was wearing in 1939 when he gave his famous farewell speech, saying "Today, I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth", $306,000; and the 1854 Knickerbocker Trophy baseball, now on permanent exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York, at a then-record $72,000.