Presented is an remarkable collection of six uncut sheets of 1925 W504 Universal Toy and Novelty cards, each featuring a larger team card and sixteen individual player cards, representing multiple complete sets of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees for a total of 102 cards. These cards were sold in sheets and were intended to be cut apart by youngsters. This is the original uncut form in which they were issued. W504 Team sets representing the three New York area teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Giants) and the Washington Senators were issued by The Universal Toy and Novelty Company (as noted, this lot includes only the Yankees and Dodgers).
Each team is widely recognized as a set unto itself, as this is how they were issued, and each sheet measures 5.5 x 13 inches. All W504 Universal Toy cards are very scarce, but the Yankees (and Giants and Senators) players have always been considerably rarer than the Brooklyn players. In fact, in the early days of organized collecting, collectors were unaware that Universal Toy and Novelty even issued sets for teams other than Brooklyn. Even the American Card Catalog lists only Brooklyn players as being issued. Most of the uncut W504 sheets of Brooklyn players and, to the best of our knowledge, all of the very few uncut W504 sheets of Yankees (and Giants) players in the hobby (including these very Yankees sheets) long ago originated from the collection of Dr. Lawrence Kurzrok. (And we ought to know! Future REA president Robert Lifson purchased Kurzrok's entire inventory of W504 sheets in 1975; at the time, the existence of the Yankees and Giants in W504 were virtually unknown; included were a total of eighteen Brooklyn sheets, three Giants sheets, and twelve Yankees sheets; the Brooklyn sheets were $18 each but because of their greater rarity the Giants and Yankees were $25 each; in the same deal 160 high-grade T202 Triple Folders were $4 each and an additional 150 T202s in lesser grade were $2 each. Those were the days! A scan of the 1975 letter from Dr. Kurzrok presenting the deal is pictured online for collectors' amusement. Dr. Kurzrok was one of the great pioneers of card collecting, who, from the 1930s through the 1960s, amassed what may have been the largest card collection in the world.)
The Dodgers and Yankees W504 sets include six Hall of Famers in total: Vance, Grimes, Wheat, Huggins, Ruth, and Hoyt. The Yankees set, of course, is of special note, as it includes Babe Ruth. Interior cards, including Ruth, are Nr/Mt-Mt. The sheets have moderate edge and corner wear, but still present in overall Excellent condition, which is exceptional for W504 sheets because they are printed on relatively cheap "strip card" stock. This is an important collection of W504s featuring two of the three New York teams from an era in card collecting in which few sets were issued. They are also rare and, being photographic cards and including a larger team card, very unusual and substantial for strip cards. We have only ever offered one complete set of New York teams (comprised of one strip for each of three teams) of W504s in more than two decades (and have never even seen a sheet of Washington players). This is an outstanding and substantial collection of six W504 sheets, rarely seen and long ago originating from Dr. Kurzrok's original find. Total: 6 sheets. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $6,518