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1939 American Card Catalog by Jefferson Burdick Plus Rare 1939 U.S. Card Collectors Bulletin
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,629
Robert Edward Auctions has always had a great reverence for hobby history, so it is a special honor for us to present these fascinating relics of card-collecting history in this auction. Offered is an extraordinarily rare 1939 first edition of the American Card Catalog by legendary card-collecting pioneer Jefferson R. Burdick along with a 1939 printing of the United States Card Collectors Bulletin. The latter is something that we have never seen before. Its cover is similar to that of the ACC except it is printed on green stock and obviously bears a different title. Both of these volumes originate from the collection of a very old-time hobbyist who was active in the 1930s and 1940s. As noted on the title page of the American Card Catalog, it was published precisely on June 1, 1939. While we have had other early editions (from the 1940s and 1950s), this is only the second time REA has ever had the privilege of offering the historic 1939 first edition of the American Card Catalog, which differs substantially in design and format from later editions (the first example we handled was offered in REA's Spring 2013 auction as Lot 485 and realized $4,740). In many ways this volume represents the birth of organized card collecting in America. Burdick is universally recognized as the "Father of Card Collecting." His American Card Catalog was the first serious attempt to document and categorize cards for collectors. It was the American Card Catalog that assigned to such sets as T206 and R319 the catalog reference numbers still in use today. In addition to the primary catalog section, it is fascinating to see the advertising section in the back of the 1939 ACC, with ads from legendary collecting pioneers such as Charles Bray, Lionel Carter, and even Jefferson Burdick himself. Following the advertising section are two sections of supplemental pages (dated 1940 and 1941). The Card Collectors Bulletin, which was also the brainchild of Burdick along with Charles Bray, was first issued on August 1, 1939, with the goal "to be of every possible service to the hobby." A total of twenty-four issues (#1-7 and 14-30, dating between 1939 and 1944) are housed inside this volume as Burdick produced each issue with punch holes to allow for easy storage within the same cover held in place by metal clasps. 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, just months after completing this lifelong project, and his collection is among the most famous ones at the Met. The catalogs (6 x 9 inches) are complete with original covers and present in Good to Very Good condition with technical faults visible on the covers and along the spine as well as natural wear to the fragile corners. Total: 2 books. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,629
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