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Auction anniversary of 1894 "Anonymous" John Dunlop reminds everyone to check their attics

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Don’t mock your crafty aunties, ladies and gentlemen. They could end up making you a fortune.

A Charlotte, Michigan family was cleaning the home of a late relative and came across a scrapbook containing what appeared to be some old, but possibly valuable trading cards.1894 N302 "Anonymous" (Courtesy Photo)

This May marks the four-year anniversary of that curious Mid-Michigan family selling one of those cards for $10,950.

Like many before and many in the years since, the question for what to do with these trading card relics befell to Lou Brown, owner of Legends Sports & Games and an established figure in the sports card industry.

In that heritage of nearly 40 vintage boxing cards was the “Holy Grail” of football cards – the 1894 N302 Mayo Cut Plug “Anonymous.” The N302 series is the first football-only card set and sole football product made in the 19th century.

Simply a photograph of Harvard University halfback John Dunlop, a prominent Ivy League football player of the time, “Anonymous” lends itself to a page in the history books because it’s the only card in the set without a player name or team name displayed. 

In terms of rarity, there are less than a dozen known Dunlops floating around in today's market.

But the Dunlop is just one of many great cards to pass through Legends’ walls.

February 2016 marked the authentication and sale of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, perhaps the most famous baseball card in history after the T206 Honus Wagner, for $15,900.

The Yankee was a staple in our store’s news feed as his cards kept finding their way to our Grand Rapids, Michigan location as later that month a 1951 Mickey Mantle rookie card and cut autograph kicked off our monthly ‘Legendary Pull’ card contest.

Celebrated treasures including the 1954 Topps Al Kaline and 1957 Topps Johnny Unitas rookies, a 1948 Leaf Stan Musial, 1916 M101-4 Blank Back Bill Donovan, and 1911 T201 Mecca Cigarettes Baker/Collins find temporary homes at Legends.

Driven by demand and interest in high-quality trading cards of bygone eras and golden ages, Legends actively seeks vintage cards to authenticate, purchase and complete sets in attempts to restore what was once considered lost 60, 70, or even 120 years ago.

For more information on vintage trading cards or other sports memorabilia, please sign up for our newsletter or connect with our trading card specific Facebook page, Legends Card City.

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