LYNBROOK, N.Y. – Three complete sets of significant, early Magic: The Gathering cards from 1993 – the complete Alpha, Beta and Arabian Nights sets, with many BGS-graded examples in each – sold for a combined $608,215 at an auction held June 26th by Weiss Auctions, online and in the gallery at 74 Merrick Road in Lynbrook. The auction posted an overall gross of $830,000.
Magic: The Gathering cards are hugely popular and highly sought after by collectors. The initial sets, released in 1993, were the limited Alpha and Beta sets of cards, before the Unlimited format was introduced. The first expansion, Arabian Nights, was released in December 1993, after the Limited Editions were printed and sold out. The cards’ popularity never abated over the years.
Graded standout cards included Alpha Black Lotus, 8.5; Alpha Mox Pearl, 9.5; Beta Time Vault, 10.0; Beta Black Lotus, 9.0; and Beta Earthquake, 9.5. Many others were graded at 9.0 and 9.5. “These cards were offered as complete sets and not broken up into multiple lots. That gave investors a chance to get a complete set in one fell swoop,” said Philip Weiss of Weiss Auctions.
The Magic: The Gathering complete 1993 Alpha card set was by far the top lot of the auction, finishing at an astounding $423,750. It was the second set for MTG, with a print run of just 1,100 rare cards. The set was complete with 295 black bordered cards. There were 39 cards that had been BGS graded, including many rare and powerful cards. There were also 249 ungraded cards.
The Magic: The Gathering complete 1993 Beta card set was the runner-up top lot of the auction, garnering a final bid of $175,150. It was the first set for MTG, with a print run of just 3,200 rare cards. The set was complete with 302 black bordered cards. There were 39 cards that had been BGS graded; these included many rare and powerful cards. There were also 263 ungraded cards.
Finally, the Magic: The Gathering complete 1993 “Arabian Knights” card set rounded out the trilogy, commanding $9,315. It was the first MTG expansion set, complete with 92 cards. There were 78 unique cards, of which 14 had variants with darker colored and colorless mana symbols and with smaller text in the colorless mana symbols. Five cards in the set had been BGS graded.
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which featured strong internet and phone bidding, as well as a nice crowd in the gallery. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
A scarce cotton U.S. Centennial flag, with the stars in the canton arranged to read “1776 1876”, measuring 45 inches by 28 inches, with some scattered tears and staining, made $8,190. Also, a collection of ten British Campaign medals spanning nearly a century, 1855-1950, all of them identified, changed hands for $7,250. The medals included three Military Crosses for Bravery.
A wonderful ¼ plate ambrotype image of Confederate Col. Wharton J. Green, dated 1861, went for $7,910. Col. Green originally organizes the 2nd North Carolina Battalion at Richmond, Va., and received authority to raise a regiment for Brigadier General Henry A. Wise’s Legion, to be known as Colonel Green’s Independent Regiment. Green was born in St. Marks, Fla., in 1831.
An Allen & Ginter non-sports card collection from the 1880s, more than 600 pieces in all, rose to $5,050. Most of the sets, if not all, were incomplete, but the collection featured sets that included Flags of All Nations, Birds of America, Fish from American Water, Fans of the Period, World’s Smokers, Prize & Game Chickens, World’s Beauties, Fruits, American Editors and many more.
In addition to live bidding in the gallery, there was also online bidding available, via the two platforms Proxibid.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee bids were also accepted.
Weiss Auctions has two big auctions planned for back-to-back days later on this month. On Wednesday, July 24th, at 10 am Eastern time, it will hold a toy and train sale, highlighted by Part 3 of the Joseph P. Cutrofello collection of toy trains; Part 2 of an incredible 1950s-1960s TV, Western and movie toy collection, all boxed pieces; and tons of diecast vehicles, many boxed.
Then, on Thursday, July 25th, also at 10 am, Weiss Auctions will present a sale that will begin with around 100-150 lots of rock ‘n’ roll and Hollywood material, followed by fine art and estate merchandise that will include jewelry, high-end paintings, prints, bronzes and more. The rock ‘n’ roll items will feature signed Beatles, Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix and BB King.
Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731; or, you can send an e-mail to Philip Weiss at Phil@WeissAuctions.com. For more information about Weiss Auctions and the auctions slated for July 24th and 25th, visit www.WeissAuctions.com. Updates are posted often.
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74 Merrick Road
Lynbrook, New York
About Weiss Auctions
Weiss Auctions is a full-service auction company specializing in the liquidation of estates and collections featuring fine art, antiques and collectibles.