Pre-War Football Cards Highlight Collector Connection’s Monthly Auction

Several pre-war football rarities are found in this month’s Collector Connection auction

The Collector Connection’s auction this month includes a heavy emphasis on football. And of the items from the gridiron, several rarities from the pre-war era are the featured attraction.

Legendary player Jim Thorpe made his name in football. But before that career, he was a track and field phenomenon that starred in the 1912 Olympics. Thorpe, who would later add major league baseball standout to his list of athletic achievements, won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 games while representing the United States.

Some of Thorpe’s most prized contemporary cards feature him not as a football player, but as an Olympian.

The Collector Connection’s auction has two of his famously rare postcards from the games — Granbergs Olympiska Spelens (Olympic Games) postcards issued in or around 1912. Both were produced in Sweden, where the games occurred (Stockholm).

One (shown here) is an individual card of Thorpe, graded an SGC 3. The other, pictures Thorpe and other competitors at the start of the 1,500m race in the Pentathlon. The 1,500m postcard is an SGC 6.5 (highest of any graded by SGC or PSA). A third Thorpe postcard is a domestic issue from his hometown of Carlisle, PA, as the city honored him (as well as fellow Olympian Lewis Tewanima and legendary football coach Pop Warner).

Speaking of Warner, he’s also the subject of another rare piece in the auction.

The legendary coach is featured on a 1907 cabinet photograph bearing his image. The cabinet features a stunning picture of the iconic football personality.

The cabinet photograph, too, has a fantastic history. It comes from the estate of William S. Newman, who actually played for Warner as an All-American at Cornell. Newman would stay close to Warner after his collegiate playing days, as the two went to coach at Carlisle in 1907.

The 7X9 photo (including the mount) also comes with a letter of authenticity from RMY Auctions.

If you’re looking for traditional cards, the auction has plenty of those, too.

The highlight there, certainly, is a complete 1926 Shotwell set of Red Grange ad-backed cards. The set is the advertising back set and is rarely up for auction as a complete series. The Collector Connection, in fact, could identify only two other public sales of a complete set in the last 20 years.

Tucked away in a longtime family collection, these are, of a sort, ‘new to the hobby,’ and recently graded by SGC for this sale.

More pre-war cards exist in the auction with a trio of football cards from the 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set. All graded by PSA, the auction features the cards of Grange, Thorpe, and coach Knute Rockne. Other gems include a slick SGC 8.5 of Tom Jones in the 1935 National Chicle football set.

Bidding is open in the auction and will continue till until Sunday, October 2. New users can register for the auction here.

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