Heritage Auction Galleries held its latest Sports Collectibles Signature Auction May 2-3 in Dallas. The auction realized $3,683,484 for 877 lots.
“Any potential consignors concerned that the stormy U.S. economic climate might throw a shadow over the collectibles market should have had those fears eliminated by this event,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions for Heritage. “In both trading cards and memorabilia, we saw estimates obliterated in some of the fiercest bidding wars we’ve ever witnessed.”
As expected, the top price of the auction was paid for ownership of the T206 Honus Wagner.
“While any Wagner is tremendously desirable, this example was admittedly low-grade, yet the price realized of $227,050 surpassed that of several superior examples sold in recent years,” said Ivy. “And the T206 Plank posted a result of $77,675, nearly doubling the prices realized for the same grade examples that have sold at auction over the past several years.”
While tobacco cards sold well, Ivy pointed to candy cards as arguably the hottest of them all.
“The 1910 E93 Standard Caramel Honus Wagner PSA NM 7 realized $20,315,” said Ivy. “The 1911 E94 Close Candy Ty Cobb PSA EX 5 closed at $17,925. Each of these prices marks the highest ever achieved for the cards’ respective grades at auction.”
The pre-auction buzz surrounding the sale of the “Arkansas Find” of PM1 pins proved to be justified, as the grouping of nine realized $109,940 total.
Yet again, it was game-worn jerseys that anchored the memorabilia portion of the Signature auction, with Duke Snider’s 1958 Los Angeles Dodgers jersey and “Pistol Pete” Maravich’s rookie shirt realizing $65,725 and $50,788, respectively. Ivy also pointed to strong results for Bob Gibson and Freddie Lindstrom gamers, saying “Hall of Fame flannels provided some of the biggest fireworks of the auction session.”
Autograph collectors likewise turned out in force, providing solid prices throughout the auction.
“The incredible Jackie Robinson letter announcing his retirement garnered $22,705,” noted Ivy, “and a Babe Ruth signed bat climbed even higher, to $28,680.”
Ivy also referenced the price of $22,705 for a Hall of Fame plaque signed by Jesse Burkett – “by far the highest price ever paid for a single autographed Artvue postcard in sports auction history.”
Other highlights of the auction included:
1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stock-
ings trade card PSA “Authentic”: $22,705
“This result has only been topped once in auction history,” said Ivy, “and that was by a card that had not been trimmed as this example had been.”
1911 Bishop & Co. PCL Type 1 (E100) Buck
“According to our records, this is the first time an
E100 has even approached, much less exceeded,
the $10,000 mark,” Ivy explained.
1933 Goudey Baseball high-grade near set
“One of the highest prices ever realized for this
gorgeous gum set,” noted Ivy.
1953 Topps Baseball high-grade complete set
“This was one of the top five prices ever achieved
for a ’53 Topps set,” Ivy said.
1973 Topps Comics test issue high-grade
complete set (24): $20,315
“Once again Heritage proves what it can do with
highly rare pieces,” stated Ivy. “Only one other
such set has sold at a major auction house in
recent years, and this was the greater price.”
1961 Phil Goyette York peanut butter glass:
“There wasn’t a jaw in the auction room that
wasn’t on the floor when the hammer fell on this
lot,” said Ivy.
Circa 1947 Babe Ruth single-signed baseball,
PSA NM-MT+ 8.5: $50,788
“A stunning Babe Ruth single, worthy of a stunning
price realized,” said Ivy.
1932 New York Yankees team-signed baseball:
“A price topped only once, at the famed Barry
Halper auction in 1999,” Ivy noted.