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1933 R319 Goudey Uncut Sheet with Five Hall of Famers Including #181 Babe Ruth
Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $36,000
Complete and extremely rare 24-card production sheet of 1933 R319 Goudey "Big League" Chewing Gum cards (featuring the twenty-four cards numbered from #166 to #189), highlighted by #181 Babe Ruth, one of the key cards in the set and one of the most famous cards in the collecting world. Any uncut 1933 Goudey sheet would be a highlight in even the most advanced collection, but a sheet with Babe Ruth (and there are very few) naturally has an even greater universal appeal, and can be easily appreciated as a museum-caliber card-related display piece by any card collector. Fewer than one hundred Goudey sheets from all baseball series are known to exist and only a small number of these include Babe Ruth. This sheet includes four additional Hall of Famers: #168 Goose Goslin, 187 Heinie Manush, 188 Rogers Hornsby, and 189 Joe Cronin. The 1933 Goudey set is the first of all modern gum-card issues and the most important of all Goudey issues. Uncut sheets of Goudey cards are extremely rare and among the most popular and sought-after of all baseball-card sheets.
Goudey sheets have always been considered the blue-chip staple of vintage uncut sheets, the standard against which the desirability and rarity of all other vintage uncut sheets are compared. All Goudey sheets originate from two sources: the files of Goudey (most but not all of which surfaced in the collecting world in 1969) and the William Gardiner Collection. The offered sheet originates directly from the William Gardiner Collection. William Gardiner was a very enthusiastic collector: as a youngster he lived near the Goudey offices and was able to acquire uncut sheets directly from Goudey for his personal collection. Unlike most youngsters who would be so lucky, he saved all his sheets in virtually perfect condition. In total, Gardiner had about thirty-five sheets, including two 1933 Goudey "Triple Ruth" sheets and several 1934 Goudey high-number sheets with #106 Lajoie. One of the special qualities of the William Gardiner sheets is that they were all in high-grade, with no tape or glue stains on the front or back, no proofing check marks, no erasures, or any other imperfections which are usually found on Goudey file sheets. Most Goudey file sheets have tape along their edges from being mounted into a large sample book or glue remnants on their reverses or proofing-related imperfections. Many of the Goudey file sheets have undergone restoration over the years, in some cases to a very minor degree. Some are in poor condition. But the William Gardiner sheets had no such imperfections: all were perfectly preserved pure full production sheets. Gardiner sold all his uncut Goudey sheets in the 1970s. Today all of the finest baseball Goudey sheets, including this example, originate from the small but extraordinary collection of William Gardiner.
The sheet is spectacularly bright and clean, with bold and vibrant colors, and a stunning overall Excellent appearance. The sheet is largely free of creasing or wrinkling, with only a few insignificant surface wrinkles in the top right corner, and only light, even wear at the corners, including a small ink dot along the edge of the top right card, #183 Walberg, mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy. Due to its size these minor flaws have no impact on the sheet's extremely impressive and extraordinary display value. The reverse of the sheet is perfectly clean and boldly printed, with only two unobtrusive spots of paper loss in the top two corners of the sheet. The #181 Babe Ruth card, located in the top row, is virtually flawless (both front and back). This is an incredible representation of one of the greatest treasures in the card-collecting world, an uncut sheet of 1933 Goudey gum cards featuring five Hall of Famers, including the incomparable Babe Ruth. SOLD FOR $36,000
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