Collect.com Auctions is accepting bids through June 18 for its debut sale. Currently, there are some great deals and some frenzied bidding for marquee lots.
First impressions are always important, thus the Collect.com Auctions staffers are tickled about the prospect of rolling out a remarkable complete set of 1898-99 National Copper Plate Portraits being front and center to launch the first auction.
“It’s rare enough to find one or two of these Copper Plate Portraits or even a handful at auction, but this is the first time that a complete set has ever been offered,” said Steve Bloedow, auction director. He could have added that it’s most likely the only complete set that ever will be offered. “The Portraits look virtually the same as they did 100 years ago; to me, the front and back canvas covers to the portfolio are another one-of-a-kind bonus to an already amazing opportunity.”
The Copper Plates make a nice starting point to an inaugural sale that features nearly 900 lots of striking memorabilia, turn-of-the-century to postwar vintage cards, signed baseballs, game-used jerseys and bats, autographs and a significant non-sport array. “We are extremely pleased with the response and the anticipated impact from our debut auction,” Bloedow continued.
Were there no Copper Plates, there would be plenty of others to step into the spotlight: a side-written 1939-40 Al Simmons bat (MEARS 9.5), a Jack Johnson autograph on a sepia-toned photo or a 61-by-33-inch American flag with signatures from all of the members of the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team, including Coach Herb Brooks.
Babe Ruth is in the house with a single-signed Western League ball and another one-of-a-kind entry, a complete set of “Headin’ Home” advertising cards graded between BGS 5 to a killer BGS 8.
Cap Anson, arguably the game’s preeminent 19th-century figure, is presented here in a studio photograph, a campaign poster, hardcover book and baseball currency pieces, along with Allen & Ginter and Mayo Cut Plug cards. The 90th anniversary of the infamous Black Sox Scandal is noted with a 1919 souvenir record book, sketch books, booklets and programs, along with cut signatures from five of the principals from that historic moment in baseball history.
The initial Collect.com Auctions sale is further enhanced with a half-dozen original paintings from two of the giants in the sports art realm: Charles De Simone and Darryl Vlasak. De Simone’s amazing 20th Century Baseball Series is represented here by Ernie Banks, Brooks Robinson and Stan Musial, all classically framed; Vlasak’s super-realism never looked better than in enormous framed masterpieces of Joe Jackson, Walter Johnson and a combination portrait of Babe Ruth and his HOF manager, Miller Huggins.
Autographs, solo or in major deployments, turn up in a unique 1984-98 Chicago Bulls team sheet from the club’s official scorer (roughly 300 signatures); a single-signed Jordan basketball that includes an explicit photo match from the souvenir program from the signing; a Rittenhouse Twilight Zone Autographs complete set of 98; a team-signed ball from the 1934 Cubs with Cuyler, Herman, Hartnett and Klein; or single-signed balls from the likes of Jackie Robinson and Grover Alexander.
There are also items from George Brett’s personal collection, including a 1993 presentational jersey signed by the entire 1993 Royals club, his Hall of Fame fantasy camp uniform (signed) and a HOF logo bat with 50-plus signatures, including Sandy Koufax. All autographed items in the auction come with JSA certification.
There’s plenty for card collectors, including a number of lots of groupings of turn-of-the-century tobacco and candy issues, plus Depression era gum issues rarely offered as complete sets, including a seldom-seen Fatima Team Card near-set of 14, an assortment of 1914 B18 Blankets (including Joe Jackson) and a lot of (21) 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders.
The former description also includes Cracker Jacks from 1914 and 1915 (shown), a host of strip cards, Allen & Ginter World’s Champions and a large number of groups of 1909-11 T206 White Borders, most in collector grades that can invite broader participation than in many traditional auctions.
There’s a collector-friendly grade 1933 Goudey set, a 1934 Goudey complete set and a huge group of 1935 4-in-1 Goudeys, a 1938 Goudey complete set and a number of 1948 Leaf singles, including Ruth, Robinson, Williams and Musial. The pioneering 1935 National Chicle Football issue is offered here as a near-set, with a PSA 6 Rockne.
As is typical, the grades bump up in postwar issues, yielding in this instance a super-nice 1956 Topps Baseball complete set and a pair of blazing near-sets from 1953 and 1954 Red Man Tobacco (shown), plus vending boxes from 1976 and 1978 Topps, high-grade unopened cellos from 1968-70 Topps Baseball and complete or near-complete boxes from 1973 Baseball (24 packs from Series 4), 1972-73 Topps Basketball and 1979-80 Topps Hockey.