We’re learning a little more about how the find of vintage unopened material, including that one-of-a-kind partial box of 1948 Bowman baseball, came to be. Mile High Card Company recently received the consignment that’s already considered one of the better unopened discoveries of all-time.
The boxes, some full and some with a few packs missing, mostly date from the late 1950s and early 60s. They originated with the family of a confectionery company that produced trading cards during that time period and probably acquired them as part of competitor research.
The consignor, based in a southern state, contacted Mile High and owner Brian Drent was quick to jump on a plane and corral them for the company’s upcoming auction. The boxes had been stored in a vintage Stroh’s beer case, where they had sat virtually untouched for 55 years or more.
The owner, who’d found them in his 90-year-old aunt’s attic after the death of her husband, knew they were valuable but according to Drent, his estimate was far less than what it’s expected they will sell for at auction.
The 1948 Bowman box included 19 of the 24 packs that would have originally been produced by the Philadelphia-based company. The seal on one of the packs was broken. It contained five cards and three large slabs of bubble gum. The five cards remained atop the gum and were in exceptional condition. Two featured Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto, one was a Warren Spahn rookie and there were two cards of Walker Cooper. All were in exceptional condition.
Since there has never been a sale of 1948 Bowman wax packs, it’s hard to know what that the partial box will sell for but at $15,000 per pack as some have speculated, the haul would be $285,000.
The entire collection included:
- 1959 Full Ted Williams full wax box.
- 1961 Fleer football full wax box
- 1961 Topps football full wax box
- 1961-62 Fleer basketball full wax box
- 1962 Topps football near full wax box (20/24)
- 1960 Fleer Baseball Greats near full box (20/24) – Ten of the packs have mildew damage, the other 10 packs are NM to NM/MT.
- 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats near full box (20/24)
- 1962 Fleer football near full box (19/24)
- 1961 Nu-Card Scoops baseball near full box (23/24)
What’s it all worth? Seven figures seems within reason but we’ll find out soon. The auction opens May 30 and runs through June 15.