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Lot # 747 (747 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

1916 Gimbels Partial Set (156/200) Including 23 Hall of Famers

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $15,600

Presented is an extraordinary partial set of the exceedingly rare 1916 Gimbels cards consisting of 156 different out of 200 in a complete set, highlighted by twenty-three Hall of Famers and "Black Sox" stars Eddie Cicotte, Hap Felsch, and Chick Gandil. Missing the following cards for completion (five of which are offered as individual lots in this auction): #23, 38 Cobb, 51, 87 Jackson, 91 Johnson, 97 Lajoie, 151 Ruth, 161-188, 190, 191, 193-195, 197-200. This set is usually referred to as issued by the Sporting News, but the M101-4/5 sets were actually issued with a variety of advertising backs as well as with blank backs. The M101-4/5 sets were also issued as promotional vehicles for a number of regional businesses, among them Gimbels Department Store, which had locations in New York, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee in 1916. Fascinating research by vintage-card scholar Todd Schultz has turned up period newspaper advertisements which reveal that these cards were issued by the Milwaukee store in groups of twenty cards. (Todd's research, and copies of the ads, can be found here: http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=203319.) We are pleased to be able to support this theory by reporting that this partial set (along with the other Gimbels cards, including Ruth, offered in this auction) have been consigned by a Milwaukee-area family, who has kept these cards in their possession for decades! Of special note, especially given Todd's research, is that among the forty-four missing cards are thirty-seven out of forty from what would have been the final two installments of cards issued (#161-200). The three cards present from these series are among the lowest-condition in this lot, suggesting the possibility that the original collector missed the last two releases and tried to obtain them elsewhere, succeeding in acquiring only three.

Like most of the regionally issued M101-4/5 sets, we have never seen or heard of a complete set of Gimbels, which makes this partial set (and the five other key cards, including Ruth, presented in this auction) an extremely significant offering. To date, SGC and PSA have combined to grade only 119 examples (of all subjects) from this rare set. The offered collection, from which we submitted twenty-six cards to be graded and encapsulated by SGC, dramatically added to the known population. Condition of this partial set is 50% Ex, 20% Vg-Ex, 19% Vg, and 11% lesser. Gimbels cards (like all M101-4/5 related sets) have a glossy coated surface which is very susceptible to creasing. Almost all of the cards are clean and crisp, with light wear at the corners or tiny wrinkles the only noticeable flaws.

Keys: #4 Alexander (HOF, GOOD+ 35), 9 Baker (HOF, VG 40), 10 Bancroft RC (HOF, VG 40), 13 Bender (HOF, VG 40), 17 M. Brown (HOF, GOOD+ 35), 28 Carey (HOF, VG/EX+ 55), 32 Cicotte (VG/EX 50, Black Sox), 34 E. Collins (HOF, VG/EX+ 55), 36 Comiskey (HOF, VG 40), 41 Crawford (HOF, VG+ 45), 54 Evers (HOF, VG+ 45), 55 Faber RC (HOF, VG/EX+ 55), 56 Felsch RC (EX 60, Black Sox), 64 Gandil (VG/EX 50, Black Sox), 72 Griffith (HOF, EX 60), 84 Hooper (HOF, VG/EX 50), 86 Huggins (HOF, EX 60), 90 Jennings (HOF, EX 60), 107 Mack (HOF, EX 60), 112 Maranville (HOF, EX 60), 113 Marquard (HOF, EX 60), 116 McGraw (HOF, VG/EX+ 55), 142 Rixey Jr. (HOF, VG+ 45), 144 W. Robinson (HOF, EX 60), 146 Rousch RC (HOF, VG/EX+ 55), and 154 Schalk (HOF, VG/EX+ 55).

This is an extremely attractive partial set in very consistent grade throughout. The printed advertisement for Gimbels on the reverse of all cards is bold and crisp. This is the largest collection of Gimbels cards that we have ever seen or handled, and it would not surprise us to find out that this is the largest collection of Gimbels cards ever assembled. This is a tremendous partial set with countless highlights, including twenty-three Hall of Famers and three "Black Sox," that would be a significant and worthy addition to even the most advanced prewar-card collection. Total: 156 cards. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $15,600

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