Another unopened sports card time capsule is about to reveal itself to the world.
What is believed to be the only surviving complete unopened box of 1958 Topps football cards—and the original Topps shipping case—will be offered in Robert Edward Auctions’ fall catalog that’s set to open for bidding on Friday. An added bonus for the buyer: There’s a Jim Brown rookie card showing face up on one of the packs.
The box and case are a relatively recent discovery, having been consigned to REA earlier this year. Both were on display at this summer’s National Sports Collectors Convention but until now, the hobby’s latest vintage wax find has been kept relatively quiet.
The box contains 24 packs, all in pristine condition. An original Topps advertising sheet was folded inside the box. The case, also believed to be one-of-a-kind, originally held 24 boxes.
Brooklyn to Bobbitt
The case still has the computer punch card affixed to one of the side panels that shows the case was shipped by Topps in Brooklyn, NY to Bobbitt Candy Company in Enid, Oklahoma. Bobbitt Candy is no longer in operation but was a local confectionery six decades ago when Brown was in his second year as a star running back for the Cleveland Browns and wax packs sold for a nickel.
Where the box was found and who found it remains a bit of a mystery. REA President Brian Dwyer told us the consignor is serving as an intermediary for the owner. However, it’s believed the person who originally owned the empty case and box was in some way related to the candy company where it was originally shipped 59 years ago.
According to Aaron Preston, an archivist with the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, Bobbitt Candy was a wholesaler in Enid at the time. The owner, Carl Bobbitt, opened a confection shop in a different address and it stayed in business through much of the 1960s.
Year of the Wax Find
Some 1958 Topps wax and cello packs are known to exist but this is the first time a complete box has been uncovered. The discovery comes on the heels of a seven-figure find of vintage sports and non-sports boxes dating from the 1940s, 50s and 60s that was pulled from a Tennessee attic and sold at auction through Mile High Card Company in two separate auctions earlier this year.
“We are expecting it to fetch a price into the six figures,” Dwyer stated. “But we’re very excited to watch the bidding and see where this unique piece ends up.”
“Condition wise, it appears that Topps produced this box yesterday!,” he wrote in a letter of authenticity. “This amazing wax box and wax packs inside could not be improved.”
Hart says it’s believed five and sometimes six cards are inside each pack.
The 1958 Topps set consisted of 132 cards, 31 of which are Hall of Famers.
While buyers of rare unopened material rarely open the packs, the existence of a potentially high-grade Brown rookie card might be tempting. A PSA 9 sold for $336,000 in February.
A lower grade 1958 Topps cello pack with an off-center Brown rookie on the front sold for $3,883 in 2015.