14 1952 Bowman Unissued Original Artworks

Christie’s East offered these 14 original 1952 Bowman paintings of never-issued cards in its October 1992 Sports Memorabilia Auction.

They were offered as Lot 93 with the following description:

14 original Bowman paintings of cards that were never issued. Players depicted include C. Lavagetto, M. Martin, J Hopp, C. Van Cuyk, G. Shuba, J. Merson, V Trucks, B Thorpe, T. Moore, B. Addis, J. Wilson, B. McCoskey, R. Gumpert, and J. Dobson. Each card measures 5 x 7 in.

The estimated value was $8,000-10,000.

Christie’s reference to R. Gumpert should have been Bill Henry, the second-to-last card on the bottom. Randy Gumpert has a 1952 Bowman card.

Bowman scrapped more than 14 players from their 1952 set; I previously shared Bill Dickey’s unissued original artwork that Ron Oser Enterprises sold in April 2000, REA sold artwork of an unidentified Detroit Tiger, and The Topps Archives has a post that shares Gelman’s find of 29 original Bowman art pieces including 15 who did not appear in the issued set. Those 15 (the 14 from Christie’s plus Bob Kennedy) were re-printed by TCMA in 1982 as a 1952 Bowman Supplement set (no Bill Dickey or unidentified Detroit Tiger in the supplement set).

Beckett describes the 1952 Bowman extension set as follows:

In 1980, 15 unissued pieces of artwork initially intended to be used by Bowman Gum in their 1952 baseball card set were discovered. This set consists of 15 cards made from this original artwork. The backs have been created to resemble the original 1952 series, and the set has been numbered 253-267 (the next 15 cards in the 1952 Bowman sequence). The facsimile autograph on the original 1952 Bowmans has been omitted from the cards in this set. This set was originally available from the producer for $3 per set.

For completeness, Heritage sold the original art for the 1952 Bowman Bob Kennedy card in May 2020 for $1,110. I’ve also included photos of the unidentified Detroit Tiger and Bill Dickey cards.

Also, check out my earlier post, 1952 Bowman Baseball Original Artwork, Proofs, And Retouched Cards, for more about the Willard Ramsdell and Cliff Mapes cards.

1952 Bowman Chuck Hunsinger Original Football Card Artwork

You don’t see original artwork used for the 1952 Bowman football large and small issues up for sale very often, and when you do, they’re pricey! Even in 2000, when Ron Oser offered this example featuring Chuck Hunsinger, it had a minimum bid of $375 and was the first they had ever offered.

The brightly colored piece was described as 4” x 6 1/8” with minor corner wear; otherwise, it was in excellent condition. Oser included the example card in the lot.

Over the years, REA has sold most of the publicly offered examples (since they were first offered during Guernsey’s Topps Auction in 1989 with estimates of $300-400 per lot – more on these another time). Three of the priciest have been the card artwork for:

#28 Kyle Rote – $2962 in the spring of 2013

#29 Hugh McElhenny – $2666 in the spring of 2013

#61 Leslie Richter – $2340 in the spring of 2024

1969 Topps Reverse Artwork Uncut Sheet With Clemente

This 11 1/2’’ x 13 1/2’’ piece of original artwork originates from Guernsey’s Topps Auction of 1989 and features 12 drawings, including the one used on Roberto Clemente’s card 50.

The sheet’s 12 different drawings represent the cartoons and pieces of trivia used on the back of the following player’s cards: Davenport, LeMaster, Aguirre, Pappas, Taylor, Clemente, Barton, Versalles, McBean, Alou, Carroll, and Glass.

The auction featuring this item in December 2001 highlighted that the card number had been penned on the artwork and that a Topps Auction stamp was on the otherwise blank reverse.

Here’s the back of Clemente’s 1969 Topps card featuring the final cartoon and trivia.

Original Artwork For The Unproduced 1958 Topps Don Drysdale and Early Wynn Card

I ran across this incredible original artwork of Don Drysdale and Early Wynn in an April 2000 Ron Oser Enterprises auction catalog. They advertised it as an unissued original that didn’t make the cut for the 1958 Topps series.

The striking piece was described as being 4 1/2” x 6”

1958 Topps wasn’t the first set to feature multiple players on a card. 1953 Bowman Color had a Rizzuto/Martin card and a Berra/Bauer/Mantle. 1954 Topps had the O’Brien Brothers’ card. 1957 Topps had the Yankee’s Power Hitters and, my favorite, the Dodgers’ Sluggers.

Topps then included Slugger’s Supreme, World Series Batting Foes, and Rival Fence Busters in the 1958 set before expanding to 17 baseball combination cards in their gigantic 1959 release.

If you know anything else about the history of the Drysdale/Wynn card, please let me know. Oh, what could have been!

Update 1: Keith Olbermann wrote, “It’s possible. But Wynn didn’t go to the White Sox until 1958 and Drysdale didn’t make an all-star team until 1959. It’s much likelier this is from the ’59 ASG or World Series, and was rejected from the 1960 set.”