View Full Version : Card Collector's Bulletin, 2/1/55 -- Old Judge article, auction

01-21-2016, 11:00 PM
Among the old hobby publications in my collection are 20 issues of Card Collector's Bulletin, mostly from the 1950s. (Actually, I also have photocopies of the first 8 issues from 1937-38, which I got from George Vrechek, but I'm not counting those.) The earliest of the original issues I have are 11 consecutive issues from #92 through #102, dated October 1, 1954 through June 1, 1956, when it was being edited by Charles Bray. During this period, the front page would consist of an article on some card-related topic (which sometimes continued on the second page), the next several pages would consist of ads and shorter articles, and the last 8 or 9 pages would consist of Bray's "Mail Card Sale", generally including 500 to 600 lots. At first I thought this was an actual sale, because there are prices shown for each lot, but it was actually an auction -- the back page of each issue showed the "Prices Realized" for the previous issue's mail card sale. I guess the prices shown were estimated prices, to give people some idea of what Bray guessed the cards were worth.

I know Leon has posted scans of some of his copies of the Bulletin, but as far as I can tell those are mostly from the 1930s and 40s, plus an issue from 1961 that he posted last year. (My latest issue is from March 1975.) Below I've posted scans of the first nine pages of issue #94, dated February 1, 1955. Or at least the first nine pages I have -- I suspect that the front page has been somehow lost, because this issue lacks the "Card Collector's Bulletin" letterhead, date, and issue number at the top of the front page like all the others have, and somebody has handwritten "2/1/55" at the top in pencil. (I can tell from internal evidence that this is issue #93 because it has the auction results from #92, and #94 has auction results from this issue.) Like the other issues I have, this one is dittoed and stapled together.

Of particular interest to this board is what's on the front page -- an article about Old Judges by Walter Corson, with his plans to compile a checklist. On the fifth page there's also an item about the Old Judge Spotted Tie cards and their relation to Kalamazoo Bats, and an item about Carl Sandburg donating 15,000 tobacco cards to the Library of Congress. The last three pages I scanned below are the first three pages of the Mail Card Sale (out of eight devoted to the sale/auction in this issue). The third of these pages includes the baseball cards, including T200, T202, T205, T206, T207, N172, N680, N284, and 1950 and 1951 Bowman sets. Somebody (I assume the original owner) has written the prices realized in pencil next to the estimated prices. He didn't write in the price realized for lot 148, consisting of 187 T206s (I guess the 47 in parentheses is number of duplicates?), but I see from issue 96 that it went for $4.50, below the $7.48 estimate. But lot 151, 50 (+9?) Old Judges, went for $16.25.


01-21-2016, 11:17 PM
Thanks for taking the time to post these. There are some famous names seen in the ads like those of Wirt Gammon and E.C. Wharton-Tigar, who we can now apparently refer to as "Ed", since that's what they called him here. I think it's noteworthy that Burdick's ACC classifications were the norm not too many years after their 1939 debut.

The ads are really not all that different from the ones you'd see thirty years later in The Trader Speaks and other publications. There was so little info and so few hobbyists that a lot of incorrect assumptions were made about scarcity, size of sets, etc.

Great stuff to read here.


01-22-2016, 02:10 AM
One word: INFLATION. The prices seem so ridiculously low. Maybe the same will be said of our card collections in 60 years.............

01-22-2016, 11:42 AM
Now that I look at the auction listings again, I don't think the numbers in parentheses refer to number of duplicates. In lot 160 he specifies "9 excellent, 1 duplicate", and in several of the lots he specifies "assorted", with no correlation to whether there is a number in parentheses, including lot 159 which says "158 (9) assorted, dups".

Assuming that the first number for each lot is the total number of cards, and based on the prices realized for this auction, here are the per-card values for the baseball sets in 1955:

T200: 85 cents
T202: 15 cents
T205: 7 cents
T206: 3 cents
T207: 20 cents
N172: 32 cents
N690 Kalamazoo Bats: $1.43 (I assume that N680 is a typo for N690)

He also had 3 N284s lumped together in a lot with 4 N508s (women playing baseball), which sold for $2.30, or 33 cents a card.

T218s were going for about 4 cents, T220s for 5 to 7 cents.

01-24-2016, 10:03 AM
n172 Spotted Ties- - "all have a rather ragged looking necktie" ....classic....

Thanks for posting this CCB...

01-24-2016, 10:57 AM
Not so ragged, LOL

01-24-2016, 11:58 AM
Not so ragged, LOL

A most beautiful card, if I might say. I thought you (and a few others) would snicker at that comment concerning the ragged ole ties.