Robert Edward Auctions has, for many years, conducted some of the most highly anticipated auctions on the hobby calendar. This year, the sight of their catalog will undoubtedly bring some joy and excitement to thousands of collectors hunkering down at home. On Friday, the company launched their first catalog auction of the year, which features more than 2,900 items, including a slew of heavy hitters that are sure to turn heads. With nearly $3,000,000 in bids placed during the first 24 hours of the auction, collectors are definitely taking notice and enjoying the distraction.
The auction kicks off with an incredible, newly discovered W600 Sporting Life cabinet card of Ty Cobb, which we chronicled earlier this year. Considered Cobb’s rookie card, only five examples are graded between PSA and SGC. In the first 24 hours, the card has soared to $240,000. Not far behind is another prominent W600 cabinet, this one featuring Honus Wagner in his rookie offering. Graded 3.5 by PSA, the card sits at $108,000.
As usual, Babe Ruth is no stranger to the top tier of auction offerings, and a quartet of offerings from early in the star’s career have already delighted collectors in the opening hours of the sale. A 1915 Red Sox team postcard featuring the baby-faced Ruth is at $72,000 while a Type 1 photograph from the same year, featuring Ruth in a pitching motion, is at $63,000. Both are expected to crack six figures by the time the dust settles. A high-grade 1916 M101-5 rookie card of Ruth moved up quickly, sitting at $156,000 after the first day, while a tough-to-find Collins-McCarthy card from 1917 racked up $42,000 worth of bids.
In the first 24 hours of the auction, over 10,800 bids were placed on the 2,919 lots offered in the auction. Company officials said the opening day was one of the best ever, with unique bidder participation up 20% over the same period last auction. “We are pleased to be able to present another incredible offering this spring, and we’re thankful that collectors turned out with the force they did on our opening day,” said REA President Brian Dwyer. According to Dwyer, the company closely monitored developments around the country on a daily basis, interacting frequently with clients and vendors before committing to moving forward with the auction as scheduled. “The overwhelming feedback we received was that collectors were anxiously anticipating the auction, excited by the prospects of what we might be offering and appreciative of the sense of normalcy it would bring.”
In typical REA fashion, the auction has a little something for everyone, with cards and memorabilia spanning 1865 to 2019 from every major sport. Non-sport cards and Americana is well represented as well. Particularly noteworthy this auction, according to Dwyer, is the selection of unopened packs and boxes as well as the quality of the original photography. More than 200 lots of unopened material are spread throughout the auction, highlighted by an extremely rare 1967 Topps baseball cello box and a factory sealed case of 1993 Upper Deck SP baseball, one of the most popular modern card sets ever issued. Both items are the first of their kind to be offered at auction in a long time, and each is expected to exceed $50,000 when the hammer drops. In addition to the significant 1915 Ruth photo mentioned earlier, a photo from Ruth’s first appearance in a Yankees uniform in March 1920 hits the block along with Type 1 images of Cobb, Gehrig, and Mays that will bring five figures each.
Bidding continues through Sunday, April 19. A complete viewing is available at www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com as is the opportunity to register to bid or request a free catalog. The company is already working on assembling its next auction, slated for this summer.
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Assembled quietly by a Midwestern collector for many decades, the collection contains a host of classic cards and exciting treasures.