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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2016

Graded NM 7 (ST) by PSA. Hall of Famer, in his debut-year appearance on Topps gum cards. The positive impact of this superb collectible's obverse presentation and the phenomenal depth of the colors that combine to yield its depiction simply cannot be overstated. As a component of Topps' flagship "Giant Size" '52 card production, and as an aesthetically magnificent example of the company's first Mickey Mantle commemorative, this piece is a majestic, thrilling sight.

In contemplating the quality of preservation enjoyed by this immensely pleasing card, it's perhaps instructive to make note of its special place in the industry. The '52 Topps Mantle card occupies a unique and important hobby niche. Coveted far beyond most of its contemporaries, demand for the piece – even copies with much lesser attributes than this one's – continues to expand. This, in the face of an ever-contracting supply that was already marked by perennial insufficiency. As we all know, just a small number of #311's were printed, and paper drives, thoughtless parents and eastward-bound Atlantic Ocean barges accounted for the destruction of far too many copies. Beyond that, more than three decades' worth of price guide mania, hotel buying trips and relentless attic scouring have diminished a collector's chances of casually or serendipitously encountering a genuine '52 Topps Mantle to near-zero. Yet, here is this beautiful, unfaded, barely touched piece. The circumstances that brought about its most fortuitous survival also, ironically, explain its single, nominal liability.

How has this card retained such a fresh appearance for so many years? Like all cardboard items, this one can't speak, but it can nevertheless silently divulge one of its secrets: most of its life has been spent in the safe, secure shelter of an album that was created to preserve and protect photographs. The book's thin-plastic overlay shielded the Mick from rubbing, handling and disturbance, in general, of its surface, edges and corners. On the card's reverse side, faint striations consistent with the protective page's design can be discerned under close scrutiny. These very light, linear traces of superficial toning pose no meaningful distraction from the boldly printed stats and bio (which many enthusiasts have doubtless memorized). In fact, the lines provide assurance that the card's back also benefits from a fundamentally never-touched state.

In essence, then, the observer of this Topps Mantle rookie card is looking at a collector's dream. This is a spectacular piece which, in the manner of a Persian rug, harbors an insignificant "fault" to thwart labels that imply aspirations toward perfection. Its relatively modest grading assessment ignores the flawless hues in the cardfront's illustration, its sharply cut borders and its luminous character. Near Mint condition, qualified as noted.

Stunning 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card – PSA NM 7 (ST)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $86,040.00
Estimate: $80,000+
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Sunday, May 8, 2016.
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