If the sports card hobby had a national archives, Jefferson Burdick’s original American Card Catalog would be the item you’d see under glass with a security guard standing next to it. Burdick, the godfather of cardboard, literally wrote the book by which the hobby has organized itself for more than eight decades. Now, an original copy of his work, along with dozens of issues of one of the earliest collecting publications, are up for sale.
Hunt Auctions is offering the extremely rare 1939 American Card Catalog original edition by Burdick – bound with a 31 issue run of his “Card Collector’s Bulletin” in its current internet and phone auction.
Bidding could reach $3,000-$5,000 for what the auction house calls an “important historical record as relates to baseball card collecting and the formation of the organized hobby and categorization system that remains in use today”.
The book, string bound between a pair of black 6.25″x9.5″ covers, is entitled “United States Card Collectors Catalog”. Also housed within, and behind a title page, are 30 successive issues of Burdick’s “Card Collector’s Bulletin” beginning with 1939 number (1) and ending with 1944 number (30). The volume also contains a 1946 edition of American Card Catalog.
Bound with holes at the left edge in the quaint fashion of a do-it-yourself hobbyist as Burdick was, the book remains well-preserved with some light wear and the occasional loose page.
A number of pages throughout the Bulletin issues have handwritten marks/notations from the collector who owned it 75 years ago.
Bidding for the item, which leads off Hunt’s April auction, continues through April 1 at HuntAuctions.com.