Posts Tagged ‘Mrs. Claus’

Here’s a Gifford signed on the front

In 1992 Portraits on April 16, 2013 at 12:43 am

gifford signed on front

Here’s a Frank Gifford Pro Line autograph that sold this month on eBay that was signed on the front.

The only other Gifford I’d seen was signed on the back.

Shortly after publishing this post, I received an email from someone who has two Gifford certified autographs, one on the front and one on the back. He asked which is more rare. Here is what I wrote to him:

I really have no hard data about which is more “common,” which is a poor term because any certified Gifford auto is extremely rare.

I think most people prefer the autograph to be on the front. I’ve heard stories that Pro Line asked the players to sign on the back, even that they asked the players to sign on the bottom strip of the back where there is no writing. I’m not sure that these stories are true, but I don’t know that they’re false. If you look at the Santa and Mrs. Claus cards, those autographs, which obviously were done by the Pro Line folks themselves, are almost exclusively on the front. So why would they ask the players to sign on the back and then sign the Christmas cards on the front? Seems inconsistent.

But if they didn’t ask the players to sign on the back, why did so many of them do it? And why did so many of them sign the small strip at the bottom where there is no writing? I can see where some players might have done so because the photo on the front of their card is quite dark and the signature might not have been easy to see.

But despite any rumors about where the players were told to sign, I’ve heard and read complaints from collectors who think signing on the back is not as desirable as on the front. I think that desirability can have a great deal of significance to collectors. But if you get right down to it, this card is so hard to find that any Pro Line collector is going to be thrilled to acquire one, front or back.


Another Mrs. Claus variant

In 1992 Portraits, Oddities on December 27, 2011 at 7:03 am

Here’s another variant on the 1992 Mrs. Claus autographed Pro Line insert. This one has two autographs one it. Check out the photo of Santa. The Pro Line Santa Claus stand-in signed his framed picture for Mrs. Claus.

Very interesting. And once again, it makes me wonder how many are like this and what other surprises were/are lurking in those silver, black and white foil packs.

Holy North Pole! Mrs. Claus vs. Mrs. Santa

In 1992 Portraits, Oddities on December 24, 2011 at 2:35 am

Fellow Pro Line certified autograph collector Jayson Morand (whom you will be reading about from time to time) has discovered something ultra rare.

He got a certified, stamped card of Santa’s wife that was signed Mrs. Santa, not Mrs. Claus. I’ve never heard of one of these. But Jayson has one, and he forwarded me the scans (above). I’ll let him tell the story:

“I always had a 1992 Pro Line Portraits Mrs. Santa autographed card, but I picked up another one in a online auction a year ago. I was in the process of selling it recently when I realized that the one I had was signed ‘Mrs. Santa.’ The one I was selling was signed ‘Mrs. Claus.’ So I decided to keep it. I recently sent it to Dan Hitt at Beckett to get it incorporated in the next Beckett price guide.”

Fantastic find! It makes me wonder three things:
a) if whoever was signing those Mrs. Claus cards just wanted to screw with us collectors.
b) just how many were signed “Mrs. Santa.”
c) what other variations are out there … on any card.

We’ll discuss Muhammad Ali soon.

And make sure to head on over to Jayson’s website and check out his collection.

There’s all this talk about Santa Claus, but …

In 1991 Portraits, 1992 Portraits on December 20, 2011 at 6:03 am

If you’re collecting the entire run of certified Pro Line autographs, do you also collect the Santa Claus cards?

They’re certified. They’ve got the stamp. They’ve got an autograph. No idea whose signature it is. But unless Virginia knows something the rest of us don’t, it ain’t Santa’s.

And that’s my problem with the cards. The Pro Line Claus cards are fun, but I’m not interested in them for the purposes of collecting the set. Those just aren’t legitimate autographs.

I know my mind might change when, someday, I have all the cards and am desperate to continue the hunt. And when the search for the elusive Chris Miller Profiles cards someday dries up, I might search for the Clauses just to prolong the search for one more embossed, autographed card that I don’t have..

According to a few sources, Pro Set was the first to issue a Santa Card, in 1991. Then the Pro Line Santa (top of page) was released afterward. It may be obvious, but Pro Line was the first “autographed” Santa card. And it wasn’t enough to have a short print of autographed santa cards in addition to the “regular” Santa, which, I believe, also was a short print. But Pro Line also produced an autographed Santa that was numbered to 200. The first card was signed simply “Santa.” The second, numbered card has an autograph that reads “Santa Claus.” In 2010, Beckett said this numbered Santa insert is the most expensive of all the Santa Cards made since 1991. At the time it booked for $60, according to Beckett.

I’ll rant about the prices of Pro Line autographs (or any card, for that matter) in the Beckett guide some other time. But this adds to my frustration about the Santa card being part of the set. If you acquire a certified, stamped Santa card — but not the numbered one — do you still have to get the numbered one to finish the set? I suppose it depends on how much of a completist you are. But it vexes me that they added this make-believe autograph to the set. Then, it wasn’t enough to have one, they had to use the same card and add 200 more autographs with a gimmicky twist.

Why not add another card, one signed “Kris Kringle” that would be numbered to 50? Or one with a “Father Christmas” autograph numbered to 25? Where will it end? There are more names for Santa. All you need is a Sharpie and an embossing stamp with the Pro Line logo.

Anyway, in 1992, Pro Line produced another Santa chase card but added a Mrs. Claus, too, also signed and embossed. Here’s a picture of them (below).