Uncut Sheet of Unissued R327 Diamond Stars

Sotheby’s offered this circa 1935 uncut sheet of Diamond Stars when they sold Copeland’s collection in 1991. The cards were meant to be the high numbers for the R327 set issued by National Chicle Gum Co.

In the lot’s description, Sotheby’s wrote, “This sheet turned up in a discovery of material from the relative of a printer for The National Chicle Gum Co. which included a few uncut sheets and several pieces of original artwork (issued and unissued). The offered sheet is the only known copy.”

When SCP auctions resold the sheet in April 2016 for $62,256, they included the following photos for the lot, including the back (Sotheby’s sold the sheet framed).

Here’s the full description from the 2016 SCP Auction:

The 1934-36 R327 Diamond Stars Baseball set is one of the most beautiful ever produced. Its unique art deco renderings, player selection, and other eclectic nuances have captivated generations of collectors. Although the final checklist for the multi-year set reaches as high as #108, apparently there were plans to take it higher. The proof lies in this lone surviving copy of a 1936 R327 Diamond Stars Baseball uncut sheet showing 12 more cards that made it to the drawing board and beyond.

This spectacular uncut sheet turned up in a discovery of material back in the 1980’s from a relative of a printer for the National Chicle Company, producers of the Diamond Stars series. Also included in the find were a few regular issue uncut sheets and some baseball original artwork (both issued and unissued). The magnificent piece offers 12 art deco images of 13 players, including one featuring Hall of Fame St. Louis Browns teammates Rogers Hornsby and Jim Bottomley, one of the first multi-player cards produced in a major card issue in the 1900’s. Also included on the sheet are Hall of Famers Vernon “Lefty” Gomez and Goose Goslin plus Phil Cavaretta, Lon Warneke, Mel Harder, Benny Frey, Pete Fox, Linus Frey, Rip Collins, Roger Cramer, and Gene Moore. All have crystal clear images with outstanding color and detail. This is the only Diamond Stars high series sheet and cards known to exist. Sheet has full production front with printer’s marks and a blank back. One very slight crease crosses the lower right corner in the white outside of the card images. This unique sheet was originally offered in the 1991 Sotheby’s Copeland Collection Auction. A few years later it sold for an amazing $75,000. In 1997 it was displayed at the National Sports Gallery in Washington, DC. One of the finest known uncut baseball card sheets in the hobby in beautiful high grade condition.

Absent from the hobby for almost 20 years the time has come for another collector to become the steward for this extraordinary one-of-a-kind rarity. In an era of collecting where the hunger for rarity, “low-pops” and 1 of 1’s is ever increasing, this historic pre-war “cardifact” is sure to whet some appetites. SCP Auctions is honored to present the one and only 1936 R327 Diamond Star uncut sheet of never issued high numbers.

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