From a remarkable original painting from a 1927 Saturday Evening Post cover to thousands of pristine vintage cards and sets and Negro league rarities, the April 29 Robert Edward Auction will provide bidders with a vast array of material.
Bidding starts April 10 by fax, phone or the Internet via the Robert Edward’s site and on eBay Live Auctions. Robert Lifson, president of the Watchung, N.J., auction house, expects the total sales for the event to exceed $5 million. Coming to the block will be some 1,400 lots of baseball collectibles dating from 1787 to 1987.
Among the highlights is a previously unknown 1912 T202 Hassan Triple-fold tobacco store advertising display featuring Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, (shown at right, reserve $50,000) and a newly discovered 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth rookie card in fair to good condition ($10,000). A similar card in higher grade sold for $243,000 at the 2005 Robert Edward auction.
The oldest item in the sale is an extremely rare children’s book, A Little Pretty Pocketbook, by John Newberry, published in 1787 by Isaiah Thomas, Worcester, Mass. It is of particular historic significance because it is the first-known appearance in print of the word “Base-ball.” From later periods will be many rarities in all areas including: more than 200 lots of pre-1900 baseball cards and memorabilia; display pieces; original art; rare pinbacks; autographs; graded cards; tobacco cards; caramel cards; regionals; 1930s gum cards; Topps and Bowman sets; bats, gloves, uniforms, and other equipment.
There will also be many baseball collectibles from more recent times, including a 1972 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants game-used and signed uniform that will come up for bids, with a reserve of $5,000. The auction also includes Thurman Munson’s last Yankees pinstripe uniform from 1979 (both shirt and pants), also with a reserve of $5,000.
Among the items of special interest will be: an original 19-by-25-inch painting by illustrator Allan Stephens Foster (1892-1934), “Safe on Base,” which appeared on the cover of the May 28, 1927, edition of The Saturday Evening Post ($25,000); the finest 1910 T206 White Border complete set to ever come to auction as a set (the 520 cards, all graded by PSA, have a reserve of $50,000); a newly discovered 1931 postcard of Josh Gibson produced by Harrison Studios, Hot Springs, Ark., signed twice, is of special significance as Lifson describes it as the first-ever known card of Josh Gibson from his playing days ($5,000); the only known baseball signed by Effa Manley, the newly elected and first woman to ever be a member of the Hall of Fame ($1,000); an extremely rare 1869 Peck & Snyder advertising trade card featuring baseball’s first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings ($4,000); a 1910 collection of (297) T210 Old Mill Tobacco cards ($10,000); hundreds of 19th-century baseball cards, including N167 and N172 Old Judges; an array of rare 19th-century cards, including examples issued by Four Base Hits Tobacco, Yum-Yum Tobacco, G & B Gum, and Allen & Ginter, as well as many rare 19th-century baseball cabinet cards; hundreds of Cracker Jack cards issued in 1914-15; and thousands of 1910-era baseball tobacco cards, one the largest selections to ever be offered at auction.
The card section also features the No. 1 set on the PSA Registry of E90-1 American Caramel (119 of 120 cards, $20,000); and complete Topps and Bowman sets from virtually every year, including a complete set of 1952 Topps with the rare high-number cards ($5,000).
An imposing lineup of game-used equipment includes what Lifson called “one of the finest selections of game-used bats to ever come to auction,” including Babe Ruth (three different examples), Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, George Sisler, Hank Aaron, Harry Hooper, Eddie Mathews, Duke Snider, and 1919 Black Sox star Joe Jackson; three Mickey Mantle bats, including the only circa 1961 Mantle game-used bat known to exist signed by both Mantle and Maris ($10,000); a bat used by Joe DiMaggio in the 1947 World Series ($5,000); and a 1928-30 Rogers Hornsby signed and game-used bat ($10,000).
Other highlights: a 1907 softcover book, History of Colored Baseball by newly elected Hall of Famer Sol White is offered ($2,500); a 1965 Al Kaline, Detroit Tigers game-used flannel road jersey, worn during the season and in the World Series ($5,000); a 1937 Rock-Ola World Series arcade electronic game ($10,000); an Official American League (Harridge) ball signed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig, graded PSA/DNA 8.5, the highest grade ever received by a Ruth/Gehrig ball ($10,000); and a 1967 Mays-signed and game-used MacGregor glove with a LOA from Mays ($5,000).
Additional items of special note include: a newly discovered find of (12) 1910 Schmeltzer’s Sporting Goods pins, including two Joe Jacksons and three Ty Cobbs – Cobb was previously unknown, and previous to this find fewer than 12 Schmeltzer’s pins in total were known to exist ($20,000); a selection of nonsport original card artwork from many sets, including three never-before-offered original 1962 Topps Mars Attacks original paintings ($5,000 each); the highest-graded 1940 Superman Gum Inc. complete set ($2,500); a large selection of PSA, SGC, and GAI-graded key cards from the most popular baseball card sets, including 1933 Goudey and T206; a vg-ex example of legendary T206 rarity, Eddie Plank, one of the finest known ($10,000); a 1910 T210 Old Mill Tobacco card featuring Joe Jackson as a minor leaguer in very good condition ($10,000); a 1933 Goudey No. 106 Nap Lajoie graded PSA 6 ($5,000); complete sets of 1933 and 1934 Goudey; a 1933 Goudey uncut sheet ($4,000); an extraordinary collection of unique copyright registration cards from the files of the Goudey Gum Co.; uncut proof sheets of the first 1952 Topps cards ever printed; and many baseball-related display pieces, including an 1913 Barnum & Bailey “Famous Elephant Base-Ball Team” circus poster ($1,000).
The auction also includes a selection of high-quality comic, pop culture and Americana items. In addition to nonsport cards dating from the 1880s to the 1960s, the Americana section is highlighted by: the earliest known Bob Dylan (Bob Zimmerman) handwritten poems, dating from 1956 and saved by a high school friend, accompanied by a photo of Dylan on a motorcycle with his friend ($1,000); a Feb. 6, 1955, Elvis Presley original concert poster – the date Elvis met Col. Tom Parker – one of only six examples known ($10,000); and “The Ambler Collection” of original Golden Age Comic Books, comprised of 390 books saved and consigned by their original owner, to be offered intact as a collection.
Copies of the 500-page full-color catalog (shipping April 7) are available free. To review the catalog online or to receive a complimentary copy of the catalog, visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com, or call (908) 226-9900.