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1911 M116 Sporting Life Blue Background Partial Set (14/24) Including Five Hall of Famers
Starting Bid - $1,500, Sold For - $5,333
Presented is a high-grade collection of fourteen different (plus one duplicate) 1911 Sporting Life Blue Background cards, highlighted by five Hall of Famers and Hal Chase, all graded and encapsulated by SGC (all submitted by REA). M116 Sporting Life cards were issued in subsets of twenty-four cards per series. The most distinctive (actually the only distinctive) 24-card subset of this classic issue is also the series which includes most of the greatest stars of the set. The prized Blue Background series is by far the most desirable M116 series of twenty-four cards. The twenty-four players in the Blue Background series were also issued with standard white backgrounds. The Blue Background series has always been especially appreciated by collectors for its scarcity and distinctive style, as well as for its unparalleled concentration of quality players (Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, etc.). These twenty-four cards were the first series issued; obviously, Sporting Life wanted to introduce the M116 set with a series including many of the greatest stars of the day. All twenty-four chosen subjects were very prominent players. The fifteen Blue Background cards in the collection are as follows: Chief Bender (HOF, EX/NM 80), Mordecai Brown (HOF, EX/NM+ 82), Frank Chance (HOF, EX+ 70), Hal Chase (EX+ 70, highest graded), Eddie Collins (HOF, NM 84, 1 of 1, highest graded), two Davis (EX/NM+ 82 and VG 40), Gibson (NM 84), Jordan (NM 84, 1 of 1, highest graded), Nap Lajoie (HOF, EX 60), Leach (NM/MT 88, 1 of 1, highest graded), Lord (VG/EX+ 55), McQuillan (NM 84, 1 of 1, highest graded), Tenney (EX+ 70, 1 of 1, highest graded), and Thomas (EX/NM+ 82). Each card is well centered with sharp corners; all are bright and clean, both front and back, and with boldly printed reverses. M116 Sporting Life is one of the most significant and highly collectible issues of the 1910 era. Though traditionally valued similarly to tobacco cards of the era, they are considerably scarcer than their tobacco-card counterparts (such as T205 and T206). The distinctive style of the Blue Background cards, and inclusion of so many major stars, makes this series of great interest not just to M116 set collectors, but to collectors who are interested in a representation of the M116 set without tackling the entire 287-card set (327 including variations). This is a very impressive-looking group with numerous highlights which would be a tremendous addition to any M116 or prewar-card collection. The equivalent SMR value (factoring in the seven half grades at the lower whole-grade level) is $5,895. Total: 15 cards. Reserve $1,500. Estimate $3,000++. SOLD FOR $5,333
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