The package of eight 1952 Topps Baseball packs offered by Morphy Auctions sold Wednesday for $873,000. The price includes a 23% buyer’s premium.
The packs, housed inside a cello overwrap, can be traced back to 1991, when two collectors each purchased a brick from the original owner. One of the buyers chose to break open the overwrap and either sold or opened the remainder of the packs. Inside one pack was a 1952 Andy Pakfo (card #1 in the 1952 set) that was later graded by PSA and remains the only Gem Mint 10 example.
Collectors might recall seeing the unusual item at the National Sports Collectors Convention in 2019 where it was on display at the Baseball Card Exchange booth with a price of $575,000. BBCE sold the brick two years ago to a private collector.
The brick was the headline item in an auction that included dozens of other vintage packs and boxes as well as single cards, lots and sets dating back to the early 20th century. A total of 51 bids were placed on the 1952 packs.
“For weeks leading up to the auction, there was massive interest in all of the sports cards, but none more so than the Topps baseball brick. Many hundreds of potential bidders followed the progress of absentee bids online each day. We knew it would fly,” stated Dan Morphy, founder and president of Morphy Auctions.
Morphy says a private collector bought the 1952 packs but didn’t want to be identified.
Other unopened material in the auction that sold Wednesday included a 1970-71 Topps Basketball 1st series box that netted $116,850.
Also sold: a rare 1973-74 OPC Hockey 2nd series box ($45,510), a 1971-72 Topps Hockey box ($22,140) and a 1975 Topps Baseball cello box ($15,990).
The cards were sold in the first of a three-night auction that also included vintage toys. The first session, featuring the cards, Star Wars toys and other items totaled $2.4 million.