The unique looking cards had to be cut from boxes of a “candy and jewelry” product issued around 1912 by J. Koenigsberg of New York. Heritage Auctions will offer all of them in its final major catalog auction of 2020. They say the consignor has been holding them since the 1930s, having acquired them when the original owner died in battle during World War I.
The value of the 21 cards is difficult to estimate since so few exist but Heritage says the Cobb alone should sell for at least $20,000.
The collection also revealed nine other cards that weren’t known to exist until now, including Mordecai Brown, Zach Wheat and Eddie Cicotte as well as the second Christy Mathewson and Nap Lajoie cards ever to be discovered. Hall of Famers Eddie Collins and Ed Walsh were also part of the find. All of the cards have been authenticated and graded by SGC.
The Cobb card is in color and pictures the legendary outfielder in the same pose as collectors know well from his T206 and W600 portraits that had been taken by photographer Carl Horner.
The cards are unnumbered with blank backs. The front contains the player’s photo, name and team printed on the bottom.
The set is broken down into two types: Smaller black and white cards which are considered Type 1 and color versions that are Type 2.
While the box advertised a series of 100 players, fewer than half that many are known to exist.
The cards are set to hit the auction block beginning November 19.