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Free Downloadable Guide to Identifying Materials in Antiques

Fan Jaz container

Learn how to identify everything from glass to metals to cloth in sports collectibles and other items.

Antique Printing Processes Identification Part 5 of 6: Miscellaneous Processes

T220 Silver Coburn with man

A look at collotype, gravure, serigraphy and other printing processes used in vintage sports cards and memorabilia.

Looking at the Photos of George Grantham Bain

Honus Wagner, 1918

A look at the work of one of the most collected early 1900s sports photographers.

Antique Printing Processes Identification Part 4 of 6: Color Lithography

1910 Tuxedo Tobacco Christy Mathewson Ad Sign

Used extensively on sports cards and memorabilia more than a century ago, color lithography was responsible for some striking cards and ads.

Sports Collector’s Guide to Identifying Glass

Expensive antique lamp shades are often lead glass, and very heavy.

Learn about many standard types of glass you’ll find in some sports memorabilia, including lead crystal, cobalt, milk glass and blown glass.

A Look At Victorian Sports Trade Cards, Scraps and Die Cuts

1888 'Scrapps Tobacco' Die Cuts, Baseball Dan Brouthers (HOF) Detroit. Baseball collectors used to erroneously think these were tobacco cards, thus the name.

Some are rather standard; others show a 19th century sense of humor. Victorian era trade cards, scraps and die-cuts pose a fun challenge for collectors.

Editions, Proofs, States and Other Aspects of Fine Art Sports Prints

Handwritten limited edition numbering on the bottom border of a print

This column looks at several parts of fine art prints, including things you’ve likely heard of before but mayb have never known what they exactly meant: press proofs, artists proofs, states, limited editions, etc. EDITIONS Fine art prints are often printed in editions. An edition will contain a finite and often known number of prints. […]

Real vs. Not So Real: Tips on Authenticating T206 Cards

T206s from a Goldin Auctions near set sale

The most famous card in the world is often the target of counterfeiters. Here are tips on spotting a fake Honus Wagner and authenticating T206s as a whole.

Video: Quick Tip for Authenticating Antique Photos

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Learn this simple and quick technique for determining whether a photograph is old rather than a modern reprint.

Antique Printing Processes Identification Part 3 of 6: Intaglio Prints

Aquatint of a baseball game

In the third of a series, David Cycleback helps you learn how to identify engravings, etchings and other intaglio prints.

Antique Printing Processes Identification Part 2 of 6: Relief Prints

Relief printing, such as used to make this 1913 baseball card, has been used commercially for decades.

A look at a common process used to print antique baseball cards, posters, magazines and more.

Identifying Antique Commercial Printing Processes: Part 1 of 6

Relief printing: Ad for 1926 Red Grange football movie

A series of articles will help provide keys to authenticating and dating sports cards, posters, signs and other memorabilia created through commercial printing processes.

Guide to George Burke’s Baseball Photos

A young Joe DiMaggio

Learn how to identify and date some of the best vintage baseball images ever made with this guide to George Burke baseball photos.

Guide to Authenticating Pre-War Baseball Cards

Ever wonder how experts can tell a real T206 Wagner from a counterfeit?

David Cycleback drops some knowledge from the book he wrote on authenticating pre-War baseball cards.

Not Quite Cards: A Look at Sports Card-Related Memorabilia

1930s Diamond Matchbooks from their popular football, baseball and hockey issues.

Matchbooks featuring players, cigar labels, flip books, scorecards, season passes and more provide options for collectors seeking something different.

Vintage Sports Memorabilia Questions and Answers

1874 full page Harper's Weekly woocut print of the Philadelphia Athletics including a young Cap Anson at bottom right.

Topics include Harper’s Woodcuts, authenticating World Series rings and photography.

Vintage Baseball Cards Q & A

Sweet Caporal cigarette packs with a 1909 tax stamp.

The following are answers to email baseball card and related questions I’ve received in the past. If you have any questions for my column, feel free to email me at [email protected] QUESTION: What is a baseball card progression proof? ANSWER: Progression proofs were proofs, or test prints, that were used by the printers to test […]

Home Runs, Brawls and Foul Balls

1957 Brawl at Brooklyn's Ebbits Field, including Gil Hodges, Walt Alston, and Eddie Mathews (41) throwing a punch at Don Drysale.

Images from a New Jersey man’s collection of vintage New York baseball photos.

Identification Tips for Beginning Collectors of Sports Paintings

Gerry Dvorak acrylic painting of Buck Leonard signed by both.

Learn how to identify the different types of sports paintings and how to spot reproductions.

From Harry Hooper to Greta Garbo: A Look at Celebrity Photos

Boston Red Sox baseball star Harry Hooper
(1910s news service photo by George Grantham Bain).
Bain was a full time New York photographer 
in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Originally 
working for United Press, he formed the 'Bain News
Service' in 1898. Amongst advanced collectors of
early baseball photographs Bain is well known. 
Bain's original photographs, which are often snapshot
sized (small) with cool and steely tones, often have 
the Bain News Service stamp on back. As the news 
service went out of business and Bain himself died 
in the first half of the 20th century, the existence of 
this stamp on the back is significant towards 
identifying a photo as an original.

Collectors of original photographs have plenty of options but like any specialty, knowledge is critical to building a meaningful collection.