As promised I will cover 5 items from the Robert Edward Auctions 2013 auction. With the number of unique, rare, expensive and highly collectible items, picking just 5 is near impossible. I am sure if anyone went through the catalog, they would have their own favorites, but here are mine.

Lot #5 – Panel of 4 1912 Boston Garter Cards.

I collected baseball cards when I was a kid, and drifted into golf cards more in my college days. I had never seen nor heard of these sort of cards, as someone growing up in the Midwest, these would have Never been available for sale in Nebraska back in the early 1900’s.

Even a single sample card from the 1912 Boston Garter set would be an extraordinary centerpiece in even advanced collections. These do occasionally hit the large auction houses from time to time, and sell for crazy money.

According to REA auction “. In all our years, we have had the good fortune to offer exactly three examples at auction (Mathewson in 2004, an example of Bescher in 2007, and an Eddie Collins in 2012). Presented is one of the greatest prizes in all of card collecting: the only uncut panel of four H813 1912 Boston Garter cards known to exist, featuring the following four cards: Frank Chance (HOF), Fred Clarke (HOF), Hal Chase, and Bob Bescher.”

The 1912 Boston Garters are quite unique in that each features a player in the dugout, without pants, in the midst of getting dressed, proudly displaying his Boston-brand garters – through an open window you can see scenes of the ballpark in the background. Lastly in case you are not sure who your half- dressed player is, their name is displayed on their suitcase next to them getting dressed. Classic.

These are very colorful oversized cabinet like cards (which are basically 4” by 8” each so the panel would be 16” by 8”) and the lithograph artwork screams turn of the century. This items is ultra-rare in that only 20-30 examples of singles cards are basically known, and never before has an “uncut” panel featuring multiple players shown up in any collecting circles.

Apparently this item was dug out of the attic in a find by iconic dealer of vintage baseball cards – The Mr. Mint, Alan Rosen. Rosen has been the self -proclaimed face of the hobby for many years appearing on numerous television shows, morning news broadcasts, and even has written a book or two. Rosen has had some incredible “finds” in his career, and this would surely rate as one of the most unbelievable in terms of rarity and uniqueness.

According to REA – cards are in an uncut “accordion style” strip (that naturally folds along the lines provided) actually raises some interesting questions. Some of the very few known 1912 Boston Garters cards appear to have very rough edges, as if they were torn apart as opposed to cut. Perhaps those cards were long ago (in 1912) torn along the fold lines from uncut strips exactly like this one?”

The back of each card has an advertisement for Boston Garters but otherwise there are no numbers to the cards, which is common on an issue such as this that is just trade cards.

One of the more unique items I have seen in this or any other catalog…and also very valuable.

The reserve on this lot in the auction was set at $50,000. Currently the bidding has hit $150,000 and we still have 10 days of bidding to go.

Makes you want to head home and start looking through your grandparents boxes of unmentionables and socks…..

Stay tuned tomorrow for one of the rarest boxing cards to hit auction.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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