October Legends and Americana Ending November 14th
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/15/2015

Offered is an uncut partial sheet holding twenty-five designs from the “High Number” series of 1952 Topps baseball cards. Legendary for their scarcity, famous for their content, and exceptional in their beauty, these stunning cards are avidly collected as single pieces. They are virtually never seen in this uncut form, which traces directly to the factory floor in the immediate aftermath of production. According to our research, this is the only known 1952 uncut sheet that contains a Mantle card.

At the time of its release, the 1952 Topps Baseball set of 407 cards was the most ambitious and revolutionary gum card issue ever seen. Using colorized black-and-white photographs instead of paintings, the cards were substantially larger than the offerings of Topps’ rival, Bowman, and the backs featured statistics instead of a paragraph of text. In other words, the '52 Topps gum cards were “game changers“ – the first truly modern baseball cards. And from the moment they hit the shelves, '52 Topps cards were a hit with consumers. Just as Jackie Robinson had changed baseball forever, the 1952 Topps issue – with its new large size and the inclusion of what would become the most sought-after card in the hobby – was destined to inspire all future generations of card collectors.

When Topps issued its fifth and final series of “Giant-Size” baseball cards in 1952, however, the company could not have known that the new product would become the most famous and, card-for-card, the most valuable release from its era. Leading off the roster of players included in the last group was the first Topps depiction of Mickey Mantle, which even today continues to be esteemed among the most popular cards of all time. With no precedent to allow anticipation of demand and realizing – perhaps belatedly – that the final series would coincide with the end of the baseball season, sales of '52 Topps “Highs“ suffered from the inevitable autumn shift of attention toward football, basketball and hockey. So, ultimately, Topps miscalculated: in a circumstance that in today’s hobby is regarded as unbelievable, too many 1952 Topps “High Numbers” were made. In one of the most fabled events in card collecting history, Topps – acknowledging a need to empty some warehouse storage space – filled a barge with cases of surplus 1952 “High Numbers“ in 1960, and dumped them into the Atlantic Ocean! Today, of course, the 1952 Topps set is one of the most difficult modern sets to complete, and it is most notable for its card number 311, picturing Mickey Mantle.

This incredibly rare, uncut partial sheet features card number 311 in the upper left corner, and its gallery also displays the likenesses of Jackie Robinson, Hoyt Wilhelm and Bobby Thomson, along with twenty-one others. The '52 Topps cards were printed 100 cards to a full press sheet, and this eye-catching, one-fourth segment appears to have been a bottom-right, 25-card section. Its front surface shows some scuffing and staining with edge wear, small tears and nicks. The sheet has a horizontal fold between the second and third row of cards, as well as a crease that runs through the Schultz and Chapman designs. The Mantle card concedes abrasions to the surface along the left and top portions. The backs also reveal condition discrepancies consistent with the handling and storage of a large item, including edge wear, staining and abrasions, particularly around the perimeter. Somehow, this partial sheet escaped the cutting process, the infamous ocean dump, and the widespread tendency to dispose of “obsolete” paper items. Its survival is a mystery, but a delightfully intriguing one. Here is an amazing partial sheet, from the most rare and desirable portion of the famed 1952 Topps Baseball set.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $84,845.00
Number Bids: 18
Auction closed on Sunday, November 15, 2015.
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