A high-grade 1932 U.S. Caramel set was broken up and sold card by card, as Memory Lane Inc. put the cap on its Spring Fever Rarities Auction. The prize card in the set, a PSA 8 Babe Ruth sold for a record-setting $42,767, one of several new marks set as bidding wound to a close early Sunday.
In all, more than 900 lots were sold in the auction, realizing more than $1.24 million.
The 1932 U.S. Caramel set, with each card grading a uniform "8", was sold card-by-card after total bids for the 31-card set totaled slightly higher than the bidding for the complete set as a whole. The cards sold for approximately $213,000 combined.
Memory Lane also parted out a 1952 Bowman Large football set and 1955 and 1957 Topps Baseball collections.
“We had a lot of fun breaking some iconic sets,” said Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “This auction again showed the strength of high-grade vintage cards, whether they were Hall of Famers or cards from rare sets that collectors have on their want-lists.”
The selling price of the Ruth card, which included a 19 percent buyer’s premium, is nearly double what a PSA 8 example sold for less than seven years ago. The Lou Gehrig card was sold for $28,061 while the Rogers Hornsby brought $16,975.
Inside each of its catalogs, Memory Lane included replica cards from the set, each offering a $100-$500 discount off of the purchase of one of the lots.
Other vintage baseball cards setting new price records for their grade during the auction included a 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 which sold for $21,049, again nearly 100 percent higher than the last PSA 9 sold via another auction company just six months ago.
Collectors also bid to new heights for a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 8 ($9,944), a 1959 Topps PSA 9 Bob Gibson rookie card ($7,438) and a 1949 Bowman Roy Campanella PSA 9 ($7,512).
Ruth, Mantle, Clemente and other baseball icons again fared well. An early Ruth photo by legendary photographer Paul Thompson sold for $11,882. A 1970 Topps Tom Seaver graded PSA 10, rocketed to $10,644, a 1957 Topps Brooks Robinson rookie card graded PSA 9 brought $6,780, a 1961 Post Cereal Mantle graded PSA 9 sold for more than $3,000, while a hand-cut 1963 Jello Clemente graded PSA 9, sold for $4,248.
Among the most popular items in the auction were several lots of vintage unopened material including several 1970s boxes and a 1952 Topps wax pack, still sealed after 61 years and graded 8.5 by GAI. The pack sold for $15,432. A 1967 Topps cello pack, featuring a Mickey Mantle card on top and graded "8" by PSA, sold for $12,011.
Those collecting high-grade sets never shy away from the opportunity to land a PSA 10. That’s why the card of a Washington Redskins punter from 1971 soared to $1,550. The Mike Bragg card will surely help a collector’s quest to build the finest set of ’71 Topps football cards.
Hockey card collectors circled around a 1951 Parkhurst Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard rookie card graded PSA 8. When bidding closed, it had sold for $7,378.
With the busy summer months approaching, Memory Lane is making plans for its next catalog auction and you can expect to see some of those items at the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. Those who consign items to the auction will receive a free five-day pass to the show. Contact Memory Lane at (877) 606-5263 or visit their website.