CLEARWATER, Fla. — Despite being a relative newcomer to the live auction community, Blackwell Auctions focused on bringing unique and estate-fresh items, including rare cabinet photos and 1956 Topps baseball cards, to its bidders both live and online through LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable during its June 10 auction. The Americana auction rewarded those efforts with some nice surprises.
Cabinet Photos Feature Late 19th Century Leaders
Early in the Americana auction was a collection of 17 cabinet photos of international representatives to the 1876 Centennial Exposition. Most all of these men were prominent figures in politics, the sciences, engineering etc., in their respective countries. Each of the men signed the back of his photo, and most of them inscribed a sentiment to Joseph M. Wilson, the Chief Architect of the Expo and co-designer of the Main Exhibition Building. The lot sold for $4,920 (incl. buyer's premium) on an estimate of $1,000 to $1,500.
Lot 90 was a 14k gold Waltham pocket watch. This particular watch has the U.S. presidential seal engraved on the lid and an inscription on the inside beginning with the phrase, "From the President of the United States" and bearing a 1904 date. The watch was awarded to a British ship captain by President Theodore Roosevelt in recognition of his rescue of American sailors from a sinking ship. Sold for $9,300.
1956 Topps Baseball Cards Double High Estimate
The highlight of the Americana auction was lot 100: an unspeakably rare, uncut 1956 Topps Baseball
full production sheet of 110 cards. The sheet features than a dozen Hall of Famers. The lineup includes wo Jackie Robinson cards, Ted Williams, two Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente and others. According to one source, fewer than 10 of these uncut 110-card sheets of 1956 Topps Baseball cards are known to exist. That item sold to the floor for $32,200, crushing a presale estimate of $9,000 to $15,000.
Lot 123 was an original Los Angeles Police Department badge #7, worn by Hollywood Police Division Lieutenant H.B. "Jack" Wallace, who served from 1904 to 1925. A motorcycle patrolman early on, Wallace lost a partner during a high-speed pursuit in 1910. Accompanying this badge was Wallace's 14k gold retirement badge, set with two diamonds, a sapphire and a ruby. The full-sized, solid gold badge weighs 93.1 grams (right at 3 troy oz.). Engraving on back reads, "Presented to HB Jack Wallace by members of the Hollywood Police Division and Friends, from Nov. 29, 1904 to Feb 9, 1925." The badges brought $7,500.
Lock of Hair Adds to Daguerreotype
Brisk bidding on lot 162 — an 1852 daguerreotype of American artist Thomas Hicks, which included a lock of his hair — brought the opening bid of $500 up to a final price of $13,200. Other Hicks items, including a signed CDV and the artist's personal scrapbook, far exceeded presale expectations.
Blackwell Auctions' next event is July 15.
For more information, visit www.BlackwellAuctions.com.