REA’s May Encore Auction: Record-Breaking Sales and Vintage Treasures

The recent culmination of REA’s May Encore Auction painted a vibrant picture of the collectibles market, showcasing record-breaking sales and a cascade of vintage treasures that left enthusiasts in awe. The spotlight of the event shone brightly on the niche of set building, with collectors feverishly pursuing complete and near-complete classic baseball sets from the coveted 1950s era. This surge of interest underscored a prevailing trend in the market towards high-grade set building, where rarity and condition reign supreme.

One of the auction’s defining moments unfolded with the sale of a remarkable 1958 Topps near-complete set, missing only a single card, which commanded an impressive price tag of $126,000. Raking in at #13 on the PSA Set Registry with a pristine GPA of 8.00, this set stood as a prime example of the meticulous standards collectors hold for such comprehensive compilations. Following closely was the sale of a 1957 Topps complete set, holding the #24 position on the PSA Set Registry and boasting a GPA of 8.00, fetching a substantial $99,000. Not to be overshadowed, the bidding war also saw the 1959 Topps complete set, occupying the #29 spot on the PSA Set Registry with a GPA of 8.01, being clinched for $72,000.

The auction further stoked the flames of excitement with a nod to pre-war rarities, igniting fervent interest and setting new benchmarks. A captivating lot was the 1909-1911 T206 Ty Cobb Bat Off Shoulder card with the elusive Uzit Back, graded PSA FAIR 1.5, that ignited spirited bidding, ultimately making history with a sale price of $54,000, setting a precedent for its grade paired with the distinctive back. Adding to the allure was the sale of the 1933 R319 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth card, which changed hands for $30,000, marking a record value for its VG-EX 4 grade.

The auction’s grand total featured over 3,600 items crossing the virtual gavel, amassing a staggering sum of nearly $1.8 million from a remarkable 63,000 bids. Some other stellar performers included the likes of the 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie card, PSA NM-MT 8, which commanded $52,800; the 1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron Rookie card, PSA NM-MT 8, securing $36,000; and the 1907 Wolverine News Postcard spotlighting a Ty Cobb Portrait Rookie, SGC FAIR 1.5, fetching an impressive $29,400. Not to be overlooked were iconic pieces such as Mickey Mantle’s 1951 Bowman #253 Rookie card, PSA EX 5, going under the hammer for $25,200, alongside a flurry of other noteworthy sales that enthralled the collecting community.

REA President Brian Dwyer reflected on the auction’s triumphs, emphasizing the strong results and the rekindled enthusiasm for high-grade set construction. Dwyer expressed his optimism, foreseeing a promising trajectory for future events and the collectibles industry, buoyed by the current wave of excitement and engagement.

As the dust settles on this remarkable auction spectacle, REA sets its sights on the horizon, preparing for the upcoming June Encore Auction set to kick off on June 13. Following closely will be the expansive Summer Catalog Auction, commencing on July 23, aligned with the 44th annual National Sports Collectors Convention. REA’s presence at Booth #6032 promises a continued celebration of collectibles excellence, ensuring that the fervor for unique pieces and historical treasures remains ablaze in the hearts of enthusiasts and collectors alike.