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Highlights From A Holiday Auction

December 29, 2020

A record-setting Holiday auction was just held and demonstrated the strength in demand for cards and memorabilia.   There were over 2100 items up for sale and many of the items had remarkable results; only 78 items failed to sell, so the sell-though rate was an astonishing 96.3%!

giannis antetockounmpo holding a basketball for in a Panini prizm black mosaic basetball card in a milwaukee bucks uniformThe top lot was a 2013-14 Prizm Black Mosaic Basketball card of Giannis Antetokounmpo; it was a unique card, as there is only one, and bidding started at $100,000.  The card set a record for the highest price of an unsigned trading card when is sold for $950K ($1.17M w/p). (A signed Antetokounmpo card sold for $1.812 M this past September.)

album cover featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono kissingThe item that caught my attention brought the second-highest price in the sale – it was a signed album by John Lennon, titled Double Fantasy, which was released in November 1980.  On the evening of December 8, 1980, a “fan” waited outside the Dakota apartment building for Lennon and had him sign his copy of the album… that fan would later be identified as Mark David Chapman.  Chapman then stashed the album in a flower planter at the entrance of the Dakota and waited for more than 5 hours for Lennon and Ono to return… at which point he shot and killed John Lennon.

The building superintendent found the album, turned it over to the police as evidence, and about a year later, the police were kind enough to return it to the super.  The album has been sold several times, first by the super in 1999 to a private buyer for $150K, then again in 2010 for $850K.  This time around the bidding started at $400K and when the lot closed, the consignor took a small loss as the album sold for $750K ($922.5K w/p).

2009/10 Panini Stephen Curry Signed Patch Rookie Trading card in blue and gold Warriors uniformComing in a respectable third place was a 2009/10 Stephen Curry signed Patch Rookie Card (#10/25); the starting bid was just $10K and received 50 bids before it ended up selling for $501K ($616.2K w/p).

Additional items that deserve an honorable mention are a 1999 Pokémon Charizard 1st edition card that sold for $300K ($369K w/p); a 1948 Jackie Robinson Rookie card that sold for  $326K ($401 w/p); and a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie card that made $176K ($212 w/p).

LeBron James basketball refractor trading card in a Clevland Cavaliers blue uniformAlso of note is that Howard bought a card at this sale to fund our retirement (we should only be so lucky); a 2005/06 Topps “Refractor” LeBron James card, starting bid was $200 and with just 2 bids he got it for $225 ($277 w/p…😊).  We now own 2 basketball cards … what a collection!

And one more note – all the w/p prices include a 23% premium, which means that the purchases were made using a credit card – if you pay with a check, money order or wire, the premium is 20%…hope those buyers plan on doing something really fun with their credit card points!