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1939 and 1946 Editions of American Card Catalog by Jefferson Burdick - Incredibly Rare First Edition! John Wagner Provenance!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,000
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, along with a seldom-seen 1946 edition, of the American Card Catalog by legendary card-collecting pioneer Jefferson R. Burdick. The offered pair have the extra special distinction of once belonging to legendary collector John D. Wagner of Pittsburgh (not the Hall of Famer, but one of the most prominent of all pioneer collectors, and well known as one of the earliest collectors ever to acquire the rare T206 Honus Wagner). Wagner collected in the very early days of the hobby, and a treasure trove of his correspondence with other collectors, including a prolific back-and-forth with Jefferson Burdick himself, was recently made available at Hunt Auctions, which is where these catalogs originated. Interestingly, REA President Robert Lifson as a youngster had the honor of personally knowing Wagner, and actually had the privilege meeting, dealing, and talking cards with him around 1980! (To read about this, and Wagner's insight into the legendary T206 Wagner as recounted to Lifson, visit this Net54 thread: http://net54baseball.com/showpost.php?p=1420468&postcount=11.)
As noted on the title page of the first edition, the volume was published precisely on June 1, 1939. This is only the third 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. 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. 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. 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. The catalog (6 x 9 inches) is complete with original covers, presents beautifully, and is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall, wtih light wear to the front and back covers and at the corners of the interior pages. The 1946 edition (6 x 9 inches) is tightly bound, with light fading along the spine. Excellent overall and accompanied by a 1949 supplement. This is a superb pair of very rare early hobby reference guides. Total: 2 catalogs. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,000
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