Spring, 2021 Auction - Closes April 3, 2021
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/4/2021

Easily the most popular and significant postwar baseball card, the 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle has surpassed the now-overused term "iconic," moving into uncharted territory as the hobby boom continues.  Atop the want list of thousands of collectors, experienced and novice alike, it is often stated that the 1952 Mantle and T206 Honus Wagner are the best-recognized cards in the hobby, transcending collecting itself to the point where non-hobbyists can identify each card on sight.  Certainly, owning any '52 Mantle is a badge of collecting honor, and in recent months has, in the higher grades, moved into investment-grade territory.

Occasionally in the auction business, a successful sale will yield another amazing consignment.  Our summer, 2020 auction featured a wonderful 1952 Mantle from a noncollecting family, which ultimately sold for a then-record $51,000 despite the lack of a numeric grade.  This sale attracted the attention of another family with a similar situation - a gorgeous 1952 Mantle, which had been tucked away in a trunk with the patriarch's childhood belongings for decades, untouched by anyone, not even exposed to light!  We could barely contain our delight when we viewed the first cellphone photos of the card.  It was when it arrived at our offices - carefully packed - that we nearly jumped for joy.  As gorgeous as the cellphone photos were, they did not do the card justice.  Finding undiscovered examples of the hobby's most important postwar card doesn't happen often. Finding examples this beautiful happens even less frequently.

The card is simply stunning, rich with original color and gloss, the surface virtually flawless, the color vibrant and bright.  Bright white borders give way to sharp edges, the corners revealing the tiniest bit of handling, most notable at the top right.  Centering is outstanding for the issue, slightly above 55/45 to the southwest on the canvas; not at all distracting, with plenty of border on all four sides.  Measuring perfectly, the card is as close to "pack fresh" a '52 Mantle as we've handled - and PSA agreed, assigning a superb grade of EX+ 5.5, some combination of centering and the lightly-touched corners keeping the card from a higher holder but certainly not detracting from its considerable aesthetic appeal.  The card would certainly not look out of place in a higher holder.

The past year has obviously been one of incredible growth and explosive prices in the hobby, as new collectors and investors alike discover the magic that is card collecting.  Of course the most important of cards receive the greatest benefit to this expansion, in terms of collector interest and price appreciation.  The 1952 Topps Mantle, over the years, has proven that no price is too high; as soon as one example sells for a record price, another tops it.  No sooner did a PSA 9 example eclipse $5 million in a private transation early this year than a PSA 8 sold for $1.6 million, tripling the previous record price.  Lower grades followed suit, with the first EX specimen breaking the six-figure barrier in February.  It seems there is no ceiling for this card, as picking up an example at virtually any price has proven to be an excellent investment almost instantly after the purchase.

This is a spectacular card, with stunning color and rich gloss seldom seen this issue, even in higher-grade examples.  A stunning example, fresh to the hobby, seen by PSA for the first time just a few weeks ago.

Stunning 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle (HOF) - PSA EX+ 5.5 - Fresh to the HobbyStunning 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle (HOF) - PSA EX+ 5.5 - Fresh to the Hobby
Stunning 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle (HOF) - PSA EX+ 5.5 - Fresh to the Hobby
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $164,681
Number Bids: 29
Auction closed on Sunday, April 4, 2021.
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