One of two known original copies of the famous Charles Conlon photo of Ty Cobb sliding hard into third base during a game about 110 years ago sold for $390,000 as Robert Edward Auctions wrapped up its final catalog sale of 2020.
Recently discovered by REA in an old-time collection, the photograph is the better condition of the two known; the other example transacted privately for $250,000 within the last few years.
The PSA Type 1 photo generated 52 bids before the cyber hammer fell in the wee hours of Monday morning.
Another Cobb item also sold for a six-figure price. One of a small number of T206 Cobb baseball cards featuring an ad for his own brand of tobacco netted $204,000 including the buyer’s premium. The same card sold last year for $156,000.
REA President Brian Dwyer says the auction was the company’s largest of the year with more than 3,400 items generating $10.2 million and a record amount of bidders participating. In all, over 75,306 bids were placed during the auction’s 16-day run. Ten items sold for over $100,000.
Graded SGC 2, the card is one of only 55 graded examples of cards produced with an ad for the Pennsylvania newspaper.
While REA’s catalog was, as usual, packed with thousands of vintage cards, modern issues also had their place with one of the 317 PSA 10 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie cards selling for $150,000, which briefly set a record price.
The card’s rise has been nothing short of meteoric. Prior to the REA sale, the last PSA 10 Jordan rookie sold at public auction went for $124,230 in November. A year ago Monday, Heritage Auctions sold a PSA 10 for $36,000. Two years ago, prices for PSA 10 Jordan rookie cards were hovering around $20,000. A box of ’86-87 Fleer basketball packs soared to $126,000 in the REA sale.
The auction included multiple 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards, headlined by a PSA 7 example that went for $156,000.
Other vintage sales included an autographed 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig ($156,000), a 1914 Cracker Jack Christy Mathewson SGC 40 ($138,000), a PSA 8.5 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card ($111,000) and a PSA 8 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie card ($96,000).
A 12-box case of 2012-13 Panini Prizm basketball reached $144,000 while a 2000 SP Authentic Football case potentially containing multiple Tom Brady rookie cards netted $54,000.
Complete results can be found on the company’s website.