1910/11 Sweet Caporal hockey cards bring $158,500 in Canada

An incredibly rare complete set of Canada's earliest hockey cards, the 1910-1911 Sweet Caporals, have sold as part of an online auction.

1910 Sweet Caporal hockey cards
Only one other complete set is known to have sold, which was assembled by Montreal hockey expert Carleton McDiarmid

The set of 45 postcard-sized collector cards sold for $158,678, after attracting 31 bids. However, they failed to beat the price achieved by the only other complete set known to have sold at auction, which was owned by Montreal hockey buff and collector Carleton McDiarmid. That set sold for $165,000 in 2009, shortly after his death.

Any individual card from this iconic series is considered rare, so a complete set is almost unheard of. The cards feature of combination of both portraits and full-body studio poses of some of the greatest players from the pre-NHL days of the sport and provide a fantastic historical record of some now-defunct teams, such as the Renfrew Millionaires, Quebec Bulldogs and Montreal Wanderers.

As for the condition of the set in question, all of the cards contained were of a gradeable level and had been examined by the respected SGC grading company prior to the sale. Just a few cards in the collection were graded at EX+ 5.5, though the majority were EX-5.

Holding the EX-5 grading was perhaps the most sought after card in the hobby, that of Georges Vezina, the legendary Montreal Canadiens netminder.

On April 19, a unique example of the first ever baseball card will appear at auction with an opening bid of $50,000. Stay on top of the sports memorabilia market with our free weekly newsletter, bringing you all the latest auction previews, results, investment advice and features durect to your inbox.

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