It only took 150 years, but there’s a new card discovery that will be making its way to an auction this fall.
Robert Edward Auctions’ fall auction, which is set to open on November 20, will feature a newly discovered 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings team CDV. The card, which had not left the greater Cincinnati area in the century and a half since it was produced, was recently graded by PSA as the only numerically graded example of the small version team card ever assessed by the company.
The card was purchased from its owner by a Cincinnati area collector who graded it and consigned it to REA at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention.
Any list of the most important baseball cards ever produced nearly always includes the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings CDV right near the top. In addition to its extreme rarity, the card is notable for depicting the very first professional baseball team, led by Harry and George Wright. Founded in 1869, the Red Stockings toured the country and compiled an incredible 92-game win streak. This success made the team legendary even in its own time and undoubtedly led to the formation of the first professional baseball league, the National Association, in 1871. The 1869 team CDV commemorates in many ways the dawn of professional baseball as well as the genesis of baseball card collecting.
While the CDV is rare in any form – SGC and PSA have combined to evaluate fewer than ten of the small versions – the newly disovered example is especially noteworthy for its rare advertising back variation. Featuring an advertisement for “Chadwick’s Base Ball Players Book of Reference for 1869,” the example can conclusively be dated to 1869. According to REA, this is the first example of that variation they’ve ever handled. Other back variations feature either advertising for Peck & Snyder or blank reverses, both of which could potentially date to 1870 when the Red Stockings team again toured the country.
Auction results for the team CDV have checked in all over the map, with factors like condition and image quality dictating how desirable a given example is to collectors. REA President Brian Dwyer believes that collectors will be attracted to this particular example given its backstory and the rare advertisement it features.
“Serious collectors know just how significant this piece is to our hobby and to the sport of baseball, and I think the final price will be driven by that history and the added appeal of the fact that it’s being offered for the first time with such a special ad back,” he stated. REA sold a trimmed Peck & Snyder variation in their most recent auction for $19,200. The starting bid on the new example will be $10,000.
REA’s upcoming fall auction will include the largest number of lots in company history. According to Dwyer, the auction includes “countless special cards and memorabilia pieces along with many thrilling new discoveries for which REA is known.” Bidding opens November 20 and ends December 8. New registrations are accepted at www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com.