A restored copy of the famed T206 Honus Wagner sold for a record price of $420,000, as Memory Lane wrapped up its Holy Grail Rarities Auction. Graded ‘Authentic’ by PSA, the card’s history can be traced back some 50 years. It last sold in a public auction in 2011 for $188,000. The price attained by Memory Lane makes this copy the most expensive Authentic example ever sold. Sixty-nine bids were made between the auction opening on November 19 and the late Saturday/early Sunday night close on December 15, 2018.
The auction also included the number 2-rated 1962 Topps Baseball Master Set on the PSA Set Registry. The 613 cards were sold individually for an aggregate total of $285,557. Every card offered was graded 8 or higher, with the vast majority at PSA 9 or 10. Leading the pack was the only Harmon Killebrew card ever to reach a 10 grade, which sold for $13,781.
The only signed 1928 Lou Gehrig Exhibit card on the PSA Population Report, one carrying ‘9’ autograph grade was the second highest-selling lot in the auction, netting $76,800—a record price for any Gehrig signed card offered at public auction.
In all, auction proceeds totaled over $2.67 million. All prices include a 20% buyer’s premium.
Pre-War era cards drew plenty of interest from bidders. A 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson graded PSA 3 closed at $47,376, setting a record for the card in that grade.
Collectors of the M101-5 set had the rare opportunity to land one of only six known copies of the short printed Bobby Wallace card. Graded 6, it sold for a record-smashing $22,735. Wallace was replaced by Zach Wheat not long after the presses began to roll.
Ty Cobb cards again proved to be hugely popular in a strong vintage market. A PSA 5 1914 Cracker Jack hammered at $40,176, a PSA 9 from the famous Black Swamp Find ended at $37,776; a T206 Green Portrait graded PSA 5 sold for $19,780 while a PSA 5 Red Portrait reached $10,270, a record price for the grade. Other Cobb sales included a PSA 5 E90-1 ($10,615); a PSA 5 Close Candy ($14,060) and a T227 graded 4.5 which netted $11,982.
Other pre-War cards of note included a T206 PSA 7 Walter Johnson portrait ($14,337), a 1909 E102 Set of 25 Cobb graded PSA 4 ($19,913) and an 1887 Old Judge (N172) Ed Delehanty rookie graded PSA 5 ($15,734).
Numerous post-War cards rating among the best known examples were offered in the auction including a PSA 8.5 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle which set a new record for the grade at $32,976. A PSA 8 1948-49 Leaf Stan Musial rookie closed at $25,776 while a PSA 9 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra rookie changed hands for $21,576. One of the three 1965 Topps Hank Aaron cards ever to reach a 10 grade went for $19,176, while a 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie graded PSA 10 sold for $25,776. Football collectors gravitated toward the only PSA 10 1970 Topps Joe Namath, which rocketed to $19,135.
High-end cards of a much more recent vintage take a backseat to none in the current market and MLI’s auction had a pair of standouts. A 2009 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Mike Trout autograph (# to 50) sold for $44,400 while a 2007-08 Exquisite Kevin Durant rookie auto reached $41,380.
For complete results and to get information on consigning to the company’s Spring Auction, visit Memory Lane’s website.