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Buck Barker's Personal 1960 and 1968 Editions of American Card Catalog by Jefferson Burdick Plus Additional Hobby Correspondence
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $600
Robert Edward Auctions has always had a great reverence for hobby history, so it is a special honor for us to present these extremely important relics of card-collecting history in this auction. Offered is an exceptional collection of material originating from the personal collection of hobby pioneer Buck Barker, including his personal copies of the 1960 and 1968 editions of the American Card Catalog, in which he is listed as an Associate Editor, as well as a treasure trove of additional hobby-related correspondence.
Written by legendary card-collecting pioneer Jefferson R. Burdick, who is universally recognized as the "Father of Card Collecting," the American Card Catalog was the first serious attempt to document and categorize cards for collectors. It was the American Card Catalog which assigned to such sets as T206 and R319 the catalog reference numbers still in use today. Burdick spent the last twenty years of his life organizing and mounting his vast collection in albums for permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He died in 1963, within months of completing this lifelong project, and his collection is permanently housed as one of the most famous collections at the Met.
The offered 1960 and 1968 editions of the ACC are entirely original, with covers intact. The 1960 edition (6 x 9 inches) bears a simple hardcover-cloth binding, which has slightly loosened along the spine. Slight wear is visible at the corners of the pages, which otherwise remain in Near Mint condition. Barker's address ink stamp is visible on the inside front cover. The 1960 edition is well used and contains numerous notes in Barker’s hand. The 1968 edition (5.5 x 8.5 inches) is bright and crisp in softcover, with minor loosening of the binding evident and a small crease visible on the front cover. In addition to the primary catalog section, it is fascinating to see the advertising section in the back of the 1960 ACC, with ads from legendary collecting pioneers such as Charles Bray, Lawrence Kurzrok, Sir Wharton-Tigar, and even Buck Barker himself.
Accompanying these ACC editions is also an exceptional collection of documents relating to various aspects of the hobby. Among them is a postcard sent from Lionel Carter to Buck Barker dated April 1960, which reads:
"Dear Buck:/The American Card Catalog arrived today./A truly outstanding job. Well put together, attractive, quality printing on quality paper, the pages lay flat when it is opened!!!/Can't see how it can be sold for only four dollars. Congratulations on a terrific job." The postcard is signed in blue ink by Carter.
Also included are thirty-seven pages of Barker's typewritten additions and corrections to the ACC, including notes as to how certain sets were issued, what subjects comprise a set, measurements, catalog numbers, etc., which were compiled between 1960 and 1966. Some or all of these corrections and additions were compiled into a 32-page stapled copy of "Card Catalog Additions 1960-1970" produced by Edward Broder, which accompanies (back cover detached). In a typewritten note from Broder to Barker dated December 1969 (included here), Broder thanks Barker for his assistance and for the idea of contacting Woody Gelman and Charles Bray for contributions to his catalog.
A handwritten list of set values according to the 1972 Card Collectors Company is also included and is entirely fascinating in and of itself! ($693 for a 1952 Topps set, $270 for a 1951 Bowman set, and $16 for a 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set are among some of the highlights. Also interesting to note is the value of a "Rare Leaf" set - the forty-nine short-printed cards which have always been so tough- at $800.) Also included is a typewritten letter to Barker from the Library of Congress acknowledging his 1967 donation of an American Card Catalog. Lastly, a few newspaper clippings from the 1970s and 1980s relating to the hobby (presumably which Barker found interesting enough to keep) are neatly tucked inside his copy of the ACC along with other assorted catalog clippings.
The two volumes included in this lot, of course, are a superb pair of early hobby reference guides, but are of enormous significance as the personal copies of early hobby pioneer Buck Barker! This is an exceptional collection of fascinating and historically significant hobby-related material. Total: 2 catalogs plus additional correspondence. SOLD FOR $600
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