HALL OF FAME PLAQUE POSTCARD, BOLDLY SIGNED BY BABE RUTH, REALIZES $62,150 AT MULTI-ESTATE SALE HELD MARCH 28-29 BY PHILIP WEISS AUCTIONS

(OCEANSIDE, N.Y.) – A sepia postcard, depicting a Hall of Fame plaque of baseball legend Babe Ruth and boldly signed by the Bambino himself, sold for $62,150 at a two-day, three-session multi-estate sale held March 28-29 by Philip Weiss Auctions. It was a new record for a signed postcard by Ruth – or any other player – by about 33 percent. It was but one in a collection of similar postcards.

babe-ruth.jpg “The Babe Ruth card was the linchpin piece of a remarkable Hall of Fame plaque postcard collection,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. “Ruth’s signature was incredible, with strong ink on the front.” Other top lots from the group included Grover Cleveland Alexander ($31,640) and Eddie Collins ($19,775). The remainder (including Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner) were above estimate.

The weekend event featured more than 1,500 lots – mostly fresh-to-the-market merchandise from prominent estates and collections. Between 50 and 100 on-site bidders were in the room at any given time, at Philip Weiss Auctions’ spacious gallery, located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside, N.Y. Phone and absentee bids were active, while 200-300 people bid online, via Proxibid and iCollector.

“It was a good sale, one where the high-end and rare items fetched nice high prices,” Mr. Weiss said, adding the gross was around $600,000. He said he was particularly pleased that medical devices and calculating instruments did well enough that he would offer them again in the future. “I had no idea what to expect, because we’d never sold them before,” he said, “but there might just be a niche there.”

pascaline-calculator.jpg The star of the category was a Pascaline Calculator — a mechanical calculator made for adding currency. It soared to $21,470. Manufactured in the 1950s, the device features a series of square openings along the top of the casing, and eight wheels. To enter a digit, a stylus is inserted between the appropriate wheel’s spokes and the wheel is turned until stopping at the bottom (like dialing a phone).

Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.

A Louis XVI-style marble-top side cabinet with gilt bronze marquetry (circa 1920s) gaveled for $15,820. The piece featured three drawers over two drawers flanked by cupboards, and was raised on acanthus capped scroll feet. It measured 36 inches high by 76-1/2 inches wide by 28 inches deep.

An oil on canvas painting by an unknown artist from the School of Rubens, depicting a woman with leopard skin scarf and crown on her head, went to a determined bidder for $9,040. The work was nicely framed and was in very good condition. It measured approximately 15 inches by 18 inches.

sevres-urns.jpg A pair of 19th-century Sevres urns, with gilt bronze rams’ heads for handles and acorn finial on the lid, topped out at $5,085. The urns, perched on excellent gilt bronze stands, featured romantic scenes on the front and extensive landscapes on verso. Each urn was approximately 20-1/2 inches tall.

Philip Weiss Auctions has several big sales planned for the remainder of spring. The April 24-25 auction will feature important estate merchandise, to include Russian works of art; rare Gorham silver; an ivory and cloisonne tankard; a super Sevres Napoleonic urn; antique advertising; coin-ops; pedal cars; trolley posters; and toys.

May 8 will feature toy trains. May 9 will be the centerpiece date of the spring calendar, with a two-part auction featuring stamps and coins, rare books, autographs, manuscripts and posters. The May 30 sale will feature toys and sports.

Philip Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at (516) 594-0731, or you can e-mail them at [email protected]

To learn more about the company and its calendar of upcoming auctions, to include the April and May sales, and to view color images, you may log on to www.prwauctions.com

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