Sometimes, it pays to try something new. Robert Edward Auctions, long known for producing voluminous catalogs to showcase some of the hobby's greatest items, completed an internet-only T206 set-break auction early Monday morning, and if the results are any indication, bidders loved the new offering. The auction netted $207,677 in total for the 522-card set of T206 White Border cards sold individually alongside several dozen duplicates. The total eclipsed all pre-auction estimates according to company officials. A total of 13,944 bids were placed in the ten-day auction.
A low-grade example of the legendary Eddie Plank rarity led all sales at $32,701. The Plank notably originated in the collection of Lionel Carter, who purchased it as part of an auction grab-bag lot in 1959 for $5. Following closely behind was another one of Carter's cards, the green background Ty Cobb, which realized $22,801. In total, the four Cobb poses graded Vg-Ex to Ex combined to bring $37,684. Other notable sales included a poor condition Magie error for $5,521, St. Louis variations of Demmitt and O'Hara combined for $7,442, and a Vg-Ex Carolina Brights common for $2,601.
The auction featured several impressive advertising back subsets, all of which attracted spirited bidding throughout the night. A complete Polar Bear subset of all 250 cards issued with this popular advertising back combined to sell for $50,981. The 48-card Southern Leaguer set issued with Old Mill backs realized $11,045 while the 34-card set of Southern Leaguers with Brown Hindu backs (14 were not printed with this back) hammered at a combined $26,608.
"The results of this auction reaffirm that T206 remains one of the hobby's most popular sets and that REA remains one of the hobby's favorite places to buy," said REA President Brian Dwyer. "Bidders embraced this offering wholeheartedly and numerous records fell in the process." Dwyer confirmed that a single consignor owned all the cards in the auction, a first for the company, and that similar offerings would be a possibility in the future. "We're always looking for ways to meet the needs of our clients, both on the buying and selling sides, so we'd absolutely conduct single-owner auctions and set breaks of high-quality sets if presented with the right opportunity."
In less than one month, REA's highly-anticipated spring auction will open for bidding. According to Dwyer, the auction will feature more than 2,700 lots when it opens on April 3. A pair of W600 Hall of Famers highlight the sale in the form of a newly-discovered Ty Cobb PSA 2 and a Honus Wagner PSA 3.5. Two early Ruth cards will be up for bid as well, with a 1915 Boston Red Sox postcard and a 1916 Sporting News rookie graded SGC 5.5 on the block. More classic cards, game-used jerseys, and some rare unopened packs and boxes are also sure to delight bidders when the catalog arrives.
For more information on the spring auction, to register to bid, or to request a catalog, you can visit www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com.