Sweet Caporal cigarettes weren't just for baseball. A 98 year-old hockey card set proved worthy of respect in Classic Auctions' latest sale.
It's the Canadian equivalent of a complete set of T206 baseball cards--but far more scarce.
A completely graded 1910-11 Sweet Caporal postcard set, perhaps the only one of its kind ever to be sold at auction, drew heavy interest from vintage hockey card collectors last week when Classic Auctions sold it for $143,607. With the 17.5% buyer's premium, the final realized price was $165,213. 19 bids were entered for the set, which had been the highlight of longtime hockey collector Carleton McDiarmid's exceptional collection. 33 of the 45 cards in the set had been graded excellent or better by SGC. The set features players from the five franchises of what was the precursor to the NHL.
Another highlight of the auction was the the sale of the oldest championship ring ever to be sold, an 1893 model believed to have belonged to George Lowe. He was part of the successful Montreal team which dominated hockey in the late 19th century. The ring sold for $$65,344 including the buyer's premium.
Bobby Orr jerseys are still magical and Classic has auctioned a few in recent years. The company offered Orr's 1970 NHL All-Star game sweater. High bid was $27,709. It was one of several high profile jerseys in the auction. An autographed game-worn 1977-78 Hartford Whalers Gordie Howe jersey sold for $15,811. The rogue league's long-established competitor was, of course, the NHL and a Guy LaFleur Montreal Canadiens jersey from that season, worn in the Stanley Cup finals, was sold for $19,159. Henri Richard's Habs jersey from the 1968 Stanley Cup brought $15,244. The retired stars surpassed the 2005-06 rookie jersey of Sidney Crosby, which still rocketed to $11,166.
Among the hockey memorabilia and cards offered with high bids:
- 1923 Howie Morentz rookie contract $26,994
- 1885 Montreal AAA championship medal (earliest known hockey award) $17003
- 1972-73 Canadiens Stanley Cup banner from Montreal Forum $11,878
- Jean Beliveau's 1965 Conn Smythe trophy $13,858
- 1979-80 OPC Wayne Gretzky rookie card BVG 9.5 $15,114