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Lot # 658 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1949 Bowman Complete Master Set (252) Plus 70 of 72 Gray Backs

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $20,145

Presented is a complete master set of 252 cards from the 1949 Bowman series, one of the most popular and classic of all baseball-card sets, plus an additional seventy (out of seventy-two) gray-back variations. Missing only #21 (gray back) and 50 Robinson (gray back) for a complete run of white and gray backs (the gray-back Robinson from this collection, which graded NM/MT 88 by SGC, is being offered separately in this auction due to its extreme high grade). The offered master set consists of the 240 basic cards plus the twelve variations with front (name printed on front) or back (script name) changes. Cards #1-3 and 5-73 were available in either white or gray stock. Many rookie cards of Hall of Famers are featured in this classic postwar issue, highlighted by Richie Ashburn, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Robin Roberts, Early Wynn, and Bob Lemon. This set has been consigned by a pioneer collector who did most of his collecting during the 1960s and 1970s and collected with a very keen focus on condition, eye-appeal, and completeness. His determined efforts to acquire all possible versions of a card, including the many Hall of Famers which had to be purchased in duplicate, culminated in the assembly of this near-complete "ultimate master set."

Condition: 36% Ex-Mt to Nr/Mt, 52% Ex, and 12% lesser (included among the 12% lesser-grade cards are approximately two dozen cards that show evidence of having been cut from a sheet and have an Excellent or better appearance). All cards are very pleasing and exhibit bright colors and crisp focus, with light corner wear the only noticeable flaw on many of the cards. We have selected nineteen cards to be graded and encapsulated by SGC. Keys: #1 Bickford (Vg-Ex+), 11 Boudreau (Vg-Ex+), 23 Doerr (Vg-Ex+), 24 Musial (EX/NM 80), 26 Kell (Vg-Ex+), 27 Feller (NM+ 86), 29 Kiner (Ex), 33 Spahn (EX/NM 80), 36 Reese (NM 84), 46 Roberts RC (NM/MT 88), 50 Robinson (EX/NM 80), 60 Berra (EX/NM 80), 65 Slaughter (Ex+), 70 Furillo RC (Ex-Mt+), 84 Campanella RC (EX 60), 85a Mize NNOF (Ex), 98a Rizzuto NNOF (Ex), 100 Hodges RC (NM+ 86), 110 Wynn RC (NM+ 86), 111 Schoendienst (Ex), 162 Roe RC (Ex), 175 Appling (Ex+), 194 Branca RC (Nr/Mt), 210 Gordon (Ex-Mt), 214 Ashburn RC (NM+ 86), 224 Paige (EX 60), 225 Coleman RC (Ex+), 226 Snider RC (NM 84), 229 Lopat RC (Ex), 233 Doby (EX 60), and 238 Lemon RC (EX/NM 80). Variations: #4, 78, 83, 85 Mize NOF (Ex), 88, 98 Rizzuto NOF (Ex-Mt), 109, 124, 126, 127, 132, and 143. The common variations grade Vg-Ex to Ex with two better. Gray Backs: 70 of 72 and missing only #21 and 50 Robinson for completion. Condition is 27% Ex-Mt or better, 32% Ex, 17% Vg-Ex, and 24% lesser. Keys: #1 Bickford (Ex+), 11 Boudreau (Vg-Ex+), 14 Simmons RC (Gd), 23 Doerr (Fr), 24 Musial (EX 60), 26 Kell (Pr), 27 Feller (EX/NM 80), 29 Kiner (Pr), 33 Spahn (EX/NM 80), 36 Reese (EX 60), 46 Roberts RC (Ex-Mt+), 60 Berra (Vg-Ex+), 65 Slaughter (Ex), and 70 Furillo RC (Ex).

1949 Bowman is the most underrated set in terms of rarity among Topps and Bowman sets issued between 1948 and 1955. We rarely see 1949 Bowman sets, let alone master sets with almost all possible card combinations included. The offered set presents an outstanding and extremely rare collecting opportunity to acquire an exceptionally attractive complete set (plus almost all variations and front/back combinations) of this very popular issue. The equivalent SMR value for just the nineteen graded cards (not including the additional 303 ungraded cards!) is $6,710. Total: 322 cards (complete set of 240 plus 12 variations and 70 gray backs). Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000++. SOLD FOR $20,145

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