Lot # 32: Extremely Rare 1934 Takashimaya Stores Babe Ruth Postcard PSA Authentic Altered w/ Original Glassine Envelope – One of Only Four Existing Examples on the COMBINED PSA & SGC “Pop” Charts!

Category: 1921-1939

Starting Bid: $1,500.00

Bids: 16 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Winter Rarities '23 Auction",
which ran from 12/10/2022 12:00 PM to
1/7/2023 7:00 PM




(LOT 32)
Extremely Rare 1934 Takashimaya Stores Babe Ruth Postcard PSA Authentic Altered w/ Original Glassine Envelope – One of Only Four Existing Examples on the COMBINED PSA & SGC "Pop" Charts!

RARE RUTH!!! The illustrious card hobby continues to realize extraordinary price tags for Babe Ruth's rarest cardboard subjects issued during his playing days. In fact, it is Memory Lane that has fetched some of the most amazing record-breaking prices for Ruth black & white issues over the past year, including staggering figures such as $65k for a PSA 4 VG-EX 1927 E126 American Caramel Ruth; $91k for a PSA 4.5 VG-EX+ 1922 Neilson's Chocolate Sultan of Swat marvel, and $36k for a PSA 6 EX-MT 1924 Willard's Chocolate Bambino example. Indeed, there certainly seems to be no limits with regard to the potential price tags for some of the scarcest Babe Ruth cards.

With this in mind, we are proud to present one of the rarest of all Babe Ruth issues, a seldom surfacing PSA Authentic 1934 Takashimaya Ruth postcard sized marvel that stands as one of only four examples listed on the COMBINED PSA and SGC Pop Charts! Ultra-scarce to say the least, its irrefutable paucity level far surpasses even some of Ruth's most exalted cards including his iconic 1914 Baltimore News and 1921 Frederick Foto subjects. Issued during the renowned 1934 Tour of Japan, it was distributed in limited numbers at a single event, with Ruth's unparalleled popularity amongst his captivated Japanese fanbase ultimately prompting its creation. Issued by the popular Japanese Takashimaya department store, this card was a promotional giveaway, and was available to only the first 3,000 customers who entered the store on that single day's event.

Further enhancing this highly receptive marketing ploy, the Takashimaya Department Store also offered a free ticket to the Tour of Japan baseball game that day to any customer who purchased a minimum three-yen worth of goods. All this pertinent information is documented in Benzai Babe Ruth Robert K. Fitts publication - Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan (University of Nebraska Press, 2012). Fitts duly noted the card's extreme scarcity by quoting in his book: "No known copies of this card survive, making it the rarest of all Babe Ruth cards." While Fitt's statement turned out to be inaccurate since we currently know of a minimum of four existing examples, it certainly resides as one of the Bambino's rarest cardboard mementos. The iconic spring training image is easily recognizable since it was originally struck by the legendary Thorne Studios in the late 1920s, later utilized to create a popular postcard sized artifact used by Ruth to sign for his ardent admirers.

While the sepia-toned Ruth batting central image has eluded any glaring flaws, retaining a majority of its original mesmerizing appeal, there are several modest vertical creases and a sheen residue situated along the left edge. While we cannot pinpoint the exact reason for the Authentic-Altered PSA assessment (possibly an edge trim or the aforementioned residue), of utmost significance is this museum worthy offering's outstanding eye appeal and utmost rarity – to coin the phrase "try and find another one!" Of critical note, the Takashimaya's store logo appears in the lower left corner, the perimeter edging including four right-angled corners is sharp, and the blank verso is relatively clean. The final superlative is the original glassine envelope included with this obscure Ruthian gem, the first one we have ever seen. Miraculous to say the least, the clear envelope includes an abundance of Japanese writing on the obverse side and has likewise survived the past 89 years in fine condition. A colossal Babe Ruth cardboard rarity, it merits the highest hobby accolades via its undisputed existence as one of the scarcest of all Sultan of Swat cards on the planet!

MIN BID $1,500
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