Pieces of multiple long-time private collections—many coming to auction for the first time—are headlining Hunt Auctions’ newly launched April Premier Live Auction.
Leading off the sale is the third installment of the “Texan Collection” of historic sports cards. Curated over a 40-year period, the collection is one of the finest assembled of its type with the initial two offerings establishing record pricing for several card issues.
Items offered in the current catalog include the breakup of an exceedingly scarce complete set of 24 1912 Helmer Tobacco L1 Baseball Leathers. The oversized leather premiums were issued in exchange for coupons packaged with their “Turkish Trophies” line of tobacco products. The coupons could be exchanged for a T3 baseball cabinet card (10-15 coupons), S81 silk (20-25 coupons), or the top premium which were the offered leathers (35-50 coupons). Given the required number of coupons and limited population of surviving examples, the Helmar L1 Leather set are considered to be among the most valuable baseball premiums ever issued.
Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and other Hall of Famers and stars of the day are among those up for auction, with each being sold individually.
Another grouping within the “Texan Collection” is a master set and unique uncut sheet of 1909-11 S74 Baseball Tobacco silks. The sheet may well be the lone surviving example consisting of a total of 156 S74 baseball tobacco silks including numerous star players in duplication such as Cobb and Mathewson.
Also being offered in the auction is the first installment of an extensive collection of autographed vintage cards. The collection consists of thousands of pieces and will be sold over a period of several years. Numerous Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, and Joe DiMaggio signed cards from the 1940-60s period will be sold in addition to many other star players such as Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Wilt Chamberlain, and Johnny Unitas.
The collection was assembled by one collector over several decades and is being offered to the public for the first time.
Pre-War collectors are chasing one of only two known examples of the rare 1887 Four Base Hits Tobacco Orator Jim O’Rourke card (SGC 60 EX). Only 21 Four Base Hits cards have ever been graded and authenticated. The O’Rourke card is expected to bring a six-figure price.
Rounding out the vintage sports card portion of the sale will be the first offering from a substantive collection of vintage unopened packs dating from the 1940-70s. The collection included hundreds of items as obtained by a private collector and will be sold over the course of several auctions.
“Texan Collection” and Vintage Sports Card Highlights
-1912 Helmar L1 Baseball Leathers (Est. Range $500-$25,000 each)
-1909 S74 Baseball Tobacco silks uncut sheet (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
-“Ty Cobb” tobacco tin c.1912 (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
-1909 T-212 Obak tobacco card set with Chic Gandil (Est. $4,000-$8,000)
-1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle #101 PSA 8 (Est. $20,000-$40,000)
-1952 Topps Willie Mays #261 autographed card (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
-1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle #101 autographed card (Est. $15,000-$25,000)
-1953 Topps Mickey Mantle #82 autographed card (Est. $7,500-$12,500)
-1956 Topps Jackie Robinson #30 autographed card (Est. $5,000-$10,000)
-1957 Topps, 1959 Topps, 1954 Bowman, 1963 Topps, 1960 Topps baseball unopened wax packs (Est. Range $500-$3,000 each)
-Rare 1968 Topps 3-D Roberto Clemente (PSA NM 7) (Est. $15,000-$25,000)
-1986 Fleer Michael Jordan #57 (SGC 8.5 NM-MT+) (Est. $15,000-$25,000)
A number of other private collections that have been consigned are also in the auction including one focused on vintage game worn jerseys, game used bats, and early photography dating from the 1890s-1970s period. The offering will take place over a number of auctions including many unique vintage game worn jerseys. Three private collections of music and popular culture related materials will also be sold within the auction consisting primarily of autographed items from the great music legends of 1950-90s era.
-Autographed 1989 Mario Lemieux NHL All-Star Game jersey (NHL provenance) (Est. $20,000-$40,000)
-Scarce Stew Johnson ABA Pittsburgh Condors uniform c.1971-72 (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
-Frank Frisch rookie era professional model baseball bat c.1916-20 (Est. $5,000-$10,000)
-Olaf Henriksen Boston Red Sox home uniform c.1912-14 (Photo match) (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
-Scarce 1926 Alphonse Tommy Thompson Chicago White Sox road uniform (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
-1911 Christy Mathewson autographed photograph (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
-Frank “Home Run” Baker single signed baseball (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
-Scarce Tommy Connolly single signed baseball (Est. $15,000-$25,000)
Bidding is underway and will close with live, online bidding on Saturday, April 24. More information is available on Hunt Auctions’ website.