Subscribers to our newsletter will be able to read our exclusive interview with the US auctioneer Philip Weiss today (December 28). During our chat with Philip, we asked him which niches of collectibles will be big in 2012...
"Baseball memorabilia," he told us without pause. And one auction house which no doubt agrees with him is HA.com (Heritage Auctions), whose upcoming sales include "the finest collection of vintage baseball-themed board and arcade games ever assembled."
The Dr Mark W Cooper collection is currently being offered, in its entirety, via a Private Treaty sale by HA.com.
The Cooper Collection will be
Among the collection's highlights are numerous baseball cards. These are rightly described by HA.com's Chris Ivy, Director of Vintage Sports Memorabilia, as, "The best-known documentation of baseball's rich history ... the rare early cardboard that bears the faces of great players."
"The purest expression of diamond worship, however, may well be the board and arcade games that have echoed all the eras and great players, and nowhere is this made more evident than in Dr. Cooper's amazing collection."
Amazing provenance, condition and also rarity will be offered in droves by the Dr Mark W Cooper collection. If you're looking to peruse a world-class baseball memorabilia collection, then this is it.
In fact, the Cooper Collection is one of just 21 collections featured in Stephen Wong's celebrated hardcover Smithsonian Baseball: Inside the World's Finest Private Collections.
HA.com has pledged to "understand and respect Dr Cooper's wish that the collection remain intact." And a good thing, too, considering that the collection is a veritable trove of baseball's evolution over the years.
Specimens in the collection range from several 19th century memorabilia examples bearing the images of gloveless fielders and underhanded pitchers. Card games, meanwhile, include players whose collectibles are even scarcer than their tobacco and candy counterparts.
Big historic names include Cap Anson and Buck Ewing as well as Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.
As the years went on, Cooper's collection expanded to include more technologically-advanced games. Mechanical coin operated games and classic penny arcades will appear for sale.
Given the past and ongoing performances of sports memorabilia, it's no surprise that both Philip Weiss and HA.com have plenty of faith in baseball collectibles.
Baseball collectible 'blue chips' include Ty Cobb.
In the past six years, the value of a single-signed Ty Cobb ball has risen by 333%. That's an increase from $1,500 to more recent prices of $5,000 (as seen in an eBay auction on September 28, 2010).
Watch this space for more news on HA.com's sale of the Dr Mark W Cooper collection.