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Unique 1952 Bowman Uncut Proof Sheet Including Mickey Mantle (Ex-George Moll Bowman Company Archives Collection)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,333
Presented is an extraordinary and, very likely, unique 1952 Bowman baseball uncut proof sheet with nine different third series cards including one of the most perfect and noteworthy examples of #101 Mickey Mantle that could possibly exist, and which by chance and good fortune happens to be in the ideal center spot of the nine-card sheet. This remarkable proof sheet has an equally remarkable provenance: It originated many years ago directly from the personal company archives of legendary Bowman executive George Moll, and in fact was one of the highlight items of the entire George Moll Estate Archives. The George Moll Archives were kept by George Moll as his most prized hobby-related possessions, and upon his passing in 1984 were sold and eventually dispersed to the four corners of the collecting world. The archives were kept in special leather-bound books that were assembled by Bowman for George Moll to keep as file copies. In many cases, proof sheets were used to supply the cards for this special purpose, but because the sheets (which normally had thirty-six cards) were too big for the albums, they were cut into panels or small sheets (as was the case here) for the official Bowman archive albums. This is a proof sheet with blank backs, and because this is a proof sheet, the colors are slightly stronger and bolder than usually seen, and the blank back has been neatly divided by pencil lines into "card sections," with the card number handwritten in the corner of each card "box." The printing of this sheet predates the printing of production quantities of the 1952 Bowman set, and the lines and card number notations on the back are part of the internal company proofing process, and possibly even represent the actual assigning of card numbers prior to production. There are also three small check marks neatly written on the backs of three of the cards (#73, 91, and 100). This sheet was obviously used by Bowman in the production of the set to ensure that the cards were each properly numbered. The cards appearing on this sheet are #73, 74, 75 George Kell, 91, 92, 93, 100, 101 Mickey Mantle, and 102. The front of the sheet has a Nr/Mt to Mint appearance (with the corner cards displaying just the slightest hint of minor corner wear). The key card #101 Mickey Mantle has naturally been protected on all four sides by the surrounding cards, and is in MINT condition. The reverse of the sheet, as stated above, has production related marks. This is an extremely significant, almost certainly unique, proof of 1952 Bowman key card #101 Mickey Mantle, one of Mantle's most important cards, and one of the most famous of all 1950s bubble gum cards, presented in the ideal center position of an uncut nine-card proof sheet, with an impeccable and enormously significant provenance. Dimensions: 6-1/4 x 9-3/8 inches. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $5,333
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