A near set (96 of 97) of T215 Pirates Cigarettes Baseball Set sold for $800,000.00 (or $960,000.00 including a 20% buyers premium). This easily ranks as one of the most expensive sets ever sold.
Below is another incredible item. It is a 1897 Page Fence Giants Negro League Team Card that sold for $16,000.00 ($19,200 with premium).
I'll let the auction description explain the historical importance of the piece,
1897 Page Fence Giants Trade Card Auction Link:
J. Wallace Page, the founder and owner of the Page Woven Wire Fence Company of Adrian, Michigan forged the all-black Page Fence Giants in 1894, doing so without any official league affiliation. The independent team's history would be brief (1894-1898) but enormously significant. As one of the elite African-American teams of its era, the Page Fence Giants played their first game on April 9, 1895 and traveled by train in a private custom-made railroad car featuring sleeping quarters, a cook (who also pitched), and a porter. This mode of transportation not only promoted the team and its sponsor but also avoided any "issues" with segregated public hotels and restaurants. The players were organized by Bud Fowler and Grant "Home Run" Johnson. Selecting men for both physical talents and social skills, this was no group of hard-drinking, uneducated social malcontents—terms that could describe some white ball players of the time. In fact, the team boasted no fewer than five college graduates. Never playing as the "home" team, the Giants appeared in more than 100 different towns, compiling a record of 118-36-2.
In 1896, Charlie Grant replaced Fowler at second base. The Page Fence Giants claimed honors as the top team in black baseball by beating the Cuban Giants 10 games to 5. The next season, the Giants went 125-12 fueled by an astounding 82 consecutive wins. Sadly, the 1898 tour was the club's last, sending the players to other teams including the newly formed Chicago Columbia Giants for the 1899 season.
As one can imagine, items from this era—the infancy of organized African-American baseball—are few, and they're rightfully treated as cherished mementos. The clearly identified subjects date this precious relic to the 1896-1898 era; an exact date is impossible to ascertain. The team roster includes Geo. Taylor, Geo. Wilson, Grant "Home Run" Johnson, Joe Miller, "Billy" Holland, A.S. Parsons (manager), Pete Burns, Fred Van Dyke, Wm. Binga, Chas. Grant and Vasco Graham along with an assortment of early baseball gear.
No premium auction is complete without a T206 Wagner coming up for sale.
This example in poor condition sold for $160,000.00 ($192,000.00 with premium).
1909 T206 White Border Honus Wagner Auction Link:
Some of you may remember a post I made in May about a recent find concerning the origins of the W555 Baseball card set. It sold at the auction for $23,000 ($27,600.00 with premium).
1910 Jay S. Meyer "Base Ball Snap Shots" Original and Complete Uncut Box Auction Link:
Below is a CDV featuring the 1875 Hartford Blue Stockings featuring Candy Cummings, the inventor of the curveball. This card sold for $17,000.00 ($20,400.00 with premium).
The auction description is below:
1875 Hartford Blue Stockings CDV Featuring Candy Cummings Auction Link:
The 1875 Hartford Blue Stockings, or the "Dark Blues" (or, even more simply, "the Blues"), finished a respectable second in the final campaign of the National Association at 54-28, edging out Philadelphia by one game. (This was an era when total wins was the determining factor, not the won-lost percentage.) The downside was found in the fact that they were still 17 wins behind Harry Wright's champion Boston Red Stockings, which posted a phenomenal 71-8 record. The Hartford team's failure to overtake their rivals was not due to any lack of trying, particularly on the part of one of the most important figures in 19th Century baseball, Hartford's leading pitcher William Arthur "Candy" Cummings (1848-1924). Candy, so called because his pitching was as "sweet as candy," enjoyed his finest year in 1875 for the Blues. He went 35-12 for the season with an ERA of 1.60. His fellow pitcher Tommy Bond had a good season too, winning 19 and losing 16. But even the combined wins of both Hartford hurlers couldn't beat Al Spalding's brilliant 55-5 season total for Boston. Cummings went on to post a great won-lost percentage the following season, as well, but it would prove to be his last as a player.
Hartford's ace is credited with inventing the curve ball and would have probably been awarded a place in Cooperstown based just on that fact. However, it should also be remembered that it was only two years after this photograph was taken when Cummings assumed the position of president of the first Minor League circuit—the International League. It seems probable that Cummings' 1939 election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame is due as much to his status as a pioneer baseball executive as to his creative pitches in his playing years. Still, despite his importance to the early history of the game, images of Cummings are extremely rare, with only a handful known to exist. This carte-de-visite is one of the only career-contemporary views of the player ever discovered, presenting its magnificent recording of Cummings in uniform with the 1875 Hartfords. Clear and very clean, this sepia team photo possesses excellent contrast, making it all the easier to locate the diminutive Cummings as the player standing in the center of the rear row.
Below is video showing off some of the Mastro Auction items displayed at the National Convention.
Mastro Auctions: National Sports Collectors Convention Auction: