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1933 V353 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) Color-Process Proof Sheets (8) Featuring #1 Benny Bengough The 1st 1933 World Wide Gum Cards Ever Printed!
Starting Bid - $20,000, Sold For - $30,000
Presented here is one of the most extraordinary collections of uncut sheets of baseball cards in existence: Eight 1933 Candian Goudey uncut sheets representing the color processes for twenty-four low-number series cards, including card #1 Benny Bengough and seven Hall of Famers: #2 Dazzy Vance, 25 Paul Waner, 29 Jimmy Foxx, 31 Tony Lazzeri, 35 Al Simmons, 47 Heinie Manush, and 49 Frank Frisch. (Note: all of the card numbers referenced here are the American R319 1933 Goudey card numbers associated with the fronts; the Canadian Goudeys were numbered differently when they were issued in their final form with backs.) The eight color-process sheets offered in this lot are the actual color-proof sheets, printed in 1933 before quantities of the issued cards were produced. They were used by the printer to check colors, alignments, and for any other issues before production. These sheets are unique, and were obviously saved by the printer. Though their existence has long been known, they have been locked away in an advanced private collection for decades, ever since shortly after being discovered in the early 1980s by pioneer advanced collector Angello Savelli, and have never before been offered publicly.
The V353 World Wide Gum series (commonly referred as “Canadian Goudeys”) is identical in design to the American R319 Goudey counterparts on the fronts, but with differences on the reverses. These are all blank-backed sheets, which is particularly interesting as World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) sheets (and cards) are usually distinguished from the American series by their backs, which are numbered differently, with the text printed in French and English, or entirely in English. In this case, the backs are blank, with neither numbers nor text, so it would be reasonable to ask how one could even differentiate this Canadian Goudey sheet from its American counterpart. The answer is that it is not so easy! But very subtle differences in printing, colors, and card stock between the two Goudey issues make us confident that these are indeed 1933 Canadian Goudey sheets, since from the front the two series are virtually indistinguishable.
Each of these eight uncut sheets features twenty-four cards and is highlighted by one of the key condition rarities of the 1930s, #1 Benny Bengough, as well as seven Hall of Famers, including Jimmy Foxx, Tony Lazzeri, and Frank Frisch. The twenty-four cards on each sheet are as follows: #1 Bengough, 2 Vance (HOF), 3 Critz, 4 Schuble, 5 Herman, 25 P. Waner (HOF), 26 Cissell, 27 Connally, 28 Bartell, 29 Foxx (HOF), 30 Hogan, 31 Lazzeri (HOF), 32 Clancy, 33 Kress, 34 O'Farrell, 35 Simmons (HOF), 45 Benton, 46 Allen, 47 Manush (HOF), 48 McManus, 49 Frisch (HOF), 50 Brandt, 51 Grimm, and 52 Cohen. The eight proof sheets each feature a different color process as follows: 1) The final complete color process sheet (without backs printed). 2) Red, yellow, and blue printing. This is a fascinating sheet which is very close in appearance to a final-process sheet, but with the black printing missing. 3) Yellow and red printing sheet. 4) Yellow printing sheet. 5) Red printing sheet. 6) Pink printing sheet. 7) Blue printing sheet. 8) Black/blue printing sheet. (The preceding descriptions may be not be technical printing definitions of the processes represented, but they accurately describe the sheets as they appear.)
These eight sheets are a complete "set" of the color process proofs for these cards, printed for quality control and review. Each of these color combinations represents a step toward the printing of the first final process sheet with all colors. The first sheets (the simple single-color sheets) were printed first to check the strength of those colors. Typically, in the days that followed, the other sheets, using increasingly complex color combinations, were printed. There are punched holes in the top left card (#1 Bengough) and bottom left card (#47 Manush) on each sheet, which allowed for the sheets to be bound together (in "book form") for review all at once and for easy future storage in company reference files. The 1933 Goudey set is the first of all modern gum-card issues and the most important of all Goudey issues. The V353 World Wide Gum (Canadian Goudey) set represents an ambitious effort by Goudey to issue a corresponding set for the Canadian market, a project they continued with the 1934 R320 Goudey issue until releasing a stand-alone set the following year, the 135-card V355 series.
Also included are the printer's cover sheets, which are blank protective pages that were placed on the top and bottom of the sheets while bound together. The top protective sheet features a handwritten notation on front, which reads "Baseball Series/Benny Bengough #1/Sept 33." A second note alongside reads "Dec 1 43/Take off (illegible)." While these sheets have never before been offered publicly, we are aware of one other uncut sheet from the V353 World Wide Gum low-number series featuring Bengough, which was clearly associated with the offered collection of eight at some point in time. That sheet, which features fully printed backs and a front identical to the final-process sheet offered within this collection, and also has two matching punch holes, is (as we go to press) one of the prize items in the current inventory of BMW Sportscards, where it is priced at $59,000 for the single sheet. For some reason, 1933 Goudey sheets featuring Bengough are particularly rare (and in fact we think may be the rarest of all 1933 Goudey sheets). The only other 1933 Goudey sheet including Bengough that we have ever seen offered was an American final production sheet that appeared as Lot 532 in REA's Spring 2010 auction (which sold for $32,213).
Any uncut 1933 Goudey sheet would be a highlight in even the most advanced collection. The offered sheets, representing the final process plus seven color processes, are an extraordinary and unique collection. It is a miracle that they have survived! Only one other set of eight color-process sheets (with different cards, which do not include Bengough or the other stars of this sheet) is known to exist, and that set was discovered at the same time.
Each sheet is perfectly clean and crisp, with a flawless surface, perfect edges, and strong corners. The filing punch holes are perfect. The blank backs are clean (two small black spots are present on the back of the yellow-only sheet, of no consequence and mentioned strictly for accuracy). The sheets are in overall Near Mint condition, with the individual cards all in Nr/Mt-Mt or Mint condition (obviously the two cards that have punch holes would not grade Nr/Mt-Mt or Mint, but they are otherwise essentially flawless). This is a remarkable collection of eight color-process sheets from the 1933 Canadian Goudey series, representing one of the great treasures in the entire world of baseball-card and uncut-sheet collecting. Dimensions: Each 14.25 x 11.5 inches. Total: 8 uncut sheets. SOLD FOR $30,000
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