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Lot # 503 (of 1641)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1948 Topps "Magic Photos" Multi-Sport Near-Complete Set (247/252) Plus Album and Uncut Panel

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $3,851

Presented is an extraordinary collection of 1948 Topps "Magic Photos." Rarely offered near-complete set of 1948 Topps "Magic Photos" consisting of 247 different of the 252 subjects in the set, missing only the following five cards for completion: three baseball (#4 Indians/4-3, 14 Gehrig, and 19 Cleveland Indians/3rd), one basketball (#4Q), and one football (#3R). Condition composite: 70% range from Vg-Ex to Ex (includes a few slightly better), and 30% range from Gd to Vg (including all the baseball players). Most assume that the first Topps card issues were in 1951. In fact, the very first Topps card issue was the unusual "Magic Photos" set of 1948. This was also Topps' first baseball-card set. Among the nineteen subsets comprising the collection of 247 subjects are sixteen baseball players (out of 19 in the subset) including Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Mack, Johnson, Alexander, Mathewson, Hornsby, Speaker, Young, Sisler, Tinker, and Evers. Other subjects represented include boxers (Dempsey, Tunney, Jeffries, Willard, Johnson, Louis, etc.), and various nonsport topics, including famous movie stars, buildings, famous personalities, cowboys, championship dogs, etc. These "self-developing" cards (7/8 x 1-7/16 inches) were called "Magic Photos" because when issued they had blank fronts, and the sepia photos on the fronts could be developed by youngsters by exposing them to the sun. This set has always been very popular among nonsport collectors, but its great significance as Topps' first baseball card set has never fully been appreciated by baseball-card collectors. This may be due, in part, to the fact that the self-developing process produced very inconsistent results, and many cards that have survived have photos, which are very poorly developed. In terms of overall condition and photo quality, this near-set is one of the finest assemblages of this unique issue we have ever seen. The photo quality is far better than the norm, with the majority having pleasing contrast and detail. Only a few have images that are partially developed. This is a very significant and scarce early Topps issue, which has always been somewhat overlooked by collectors, perhaps because of its unusual design and dimensions. The set is accompanied by an extremely rare six-card uncut panel (#2J, K, L, O, S, and 11J), an album issued to store 126 of the cards (subsets "A-H"), and thirty-two duplicates, including ten boxers. Total: 281 items. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000+.
SOLD FOR $3,851

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