Just added this one:
And once posted this at www.Net54baseball.com:
Previously posted some of this before, but it seems apt...
In my endless quest for all signed pre-war cards, I recently discovered a T201 Mecca double-folder that had been beautifully signed by its subject Lefty Leifield. While I have come across a few of these in my endless searching and already own one of the finest examples this particular autographed T201 Leifield carries a very special provenance in addition to the players signature. Indeed, this particular tobacco card was once owned by none other than the Godfather of baseball cards himself, Jefferson Burdick. How do I know this? Because Mr. Burdick stamped his name right on the back not once, but twice.
Even the most casual collector of vintage baseball cards knows who Jefferson Burdick is. That he was a trading and baseball card collector. That he cataloged his cards in the American Card Catalog (ACC), which is still used today. For instance, the T206 set received its name from its designation in the ACC. And Burdicks collection is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where a small part of his collection is always on display in the American Wing.
Sadly a small amount of Burdicks ultimate collection has fallen victim to theft. We sometimes see evidence of this when cards surface in the market with stamps identifying them as gifts of Burdick and property of the Met. Two such examples are set forth below:
However, despite the efforts of unscrupulous card thieves, there is no doubt that the bulk of Burdicks enormous hoard is firmly a part of the Mets permanent collection.
But, every card collector worth his salt knows that hoarding is only part of the fun. The moment you stop collecting may signal a final stage in the collecting journey but what about all of those cards that your acquired and then sold or traded along the way? Are they any less part of your collection when the inevitable move comes? Collectors love to buy, sell and trade. And we know that Burdick was at least trading cards by the mid-1930s. In his first Card Collectors Bulletin (CCB) on January 1, 1937, Burdick listed the first Collectors Directory of known card collectors. 15 of the earliest known collectors, including their specific collecting interests, was on page 1:
It is also well known that Burdick would share and trade cards with these collectors. For example, Lionel Carter received his 1933 Goudey Lajoie from Burdick when Burdick learned that Carter was unable to locate one for his collection. And many old-time collectors would stamp their names on the backs of their cards, oftentimes so that the cards would not get inadvertently comingled with the collections of others. Thus, a collector would send a stack of cards to another collector for a potential trade, without fear that he would not receive his untraded or unsold cards back.
It appears that Burdick did just that. As you can see on this broad array of vintage cardboard, Burdick routinely stamped his name on cards, whether the subjects were boxers, Olympians or great explorers.
Skeptics may say that anyone can stamp J. Burdick or Jeff B. on the back of a trade card. But the E80 Jack Johnson also contains an ornate B, which at least one reputable collector identified on the back of another card when he was researching Burdicks collection at the Met. This B marker provides a significant anchor of provenance, for on the Johnson we also see the stamp Jeff B. which is also on the Sheppard and Leifield. And the Sheppard and Leifield also have the same Jeff Burdick. stamp, which is also on the Lockwood. There is little doubt that all of these cards come from the same collection, and that they were at one point in time a part of Jefferson Burdicks active or less permanent, pre-donation collection.
Today a collector would be ill-advised to stamp his own name or initials on the back of his antique baseball cards. But consider that Burdick passed away in 1963, and that these cards have changed hands any number of times before and since. Burdick may have only held these cards in his possession for a brief period of time. But, because he stamped them, Burdicks association with these cards endures for as long as they remain collectibles. We constantly celebrate Burdicks legacy when we collect baseball cards. Because Burdick stamped these cards, we are able to feel a little closer to that history.
A copy of George Vrecheks fantastic article about the Burdick stamp on the T218 Sheppard is available here:
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