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Thread: 1997 Topps Gallery Peter Max Signature Serigraphs - Facts, Fakes and Discussion

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Post 1997 Topps Gallery Peter Max Signature Serigraphs - Facts, Fakes and Discussion

    1997 Topps Gallery - Great set from the '90s which is a 180-card set released exclusively to the hobby in late Summer of 1997. The set is divided into four themes: Veterans, Prospects, Rising Stars and Young Stars each with their own unique design. Each card is printed on 24-point card stock with a high-gloss film and foil-stamped. Really nice quality IMO.

    Hard to believe but there were 24 packs to a box, eight cards per pack (hobby only) and the MSRP was $4! Whoa...

    Anyways, this release had few insert (five to be exact) and one of them was a very iconic (IMO) set which was the Peter Max Signature Series Serigraphs. There were only 10 players and each was hand numbered to 40 by Peter Max and the odds to hitting one of these guys was 1:1,200 packs!

    The ten players in the set were:

    1. Derek Jeter
    2. Albert Belle
    3. Ken Caminiti
    4. Chipper Jones
    5. Ken Griffey, Jr.
    6. Frank Thomas
    7. Cal Ripken, Jr.
    8. Mark McGwire
    9. Barry Bonds
    10. Mike Piazza

    As for the set, who is Peter Max, etc. - Topps commissioned famed pop artist Peter Max (Here is his website: www.petermax.com) to create this ten-card set. The cardbacks feature a commentary on the subject by Max. In addition, a limited number of cards were autographed by Mr. Max. Topps announced that only 40 copies of each card were signed by Max. Max signed the cards before the glossy coating was slathered on the card, making counterfeit signatures extremely difficult. Keep reading...

    Real quick, keep in mind that the Peter Max Serigraphs insert set (essentially the base insert set of these) were 1:24 packs or 1 per box and are the base insert, extremely similar to this set.

    So this is where things get really interesting. It's an iconic set (IMO as I said) but the base inserts are identical to these other than the Peter Max autograph and hand numbering serial number /40. There isn't even any language on the card which tells you what you have versus the base insert. The only real difference or piece to pay attention too is the "glossy coating was slathered on the card" which is on top of his signature.

    Player collectors can agree this is a very tough set, valued high and rarely seen. I have the Albert Belle and will post it below. It took me FOREVER to acquire my copy and it's not leaving the PC I have thought about just getting it slabbed as Authentic to help keep its condition, etc. Anyways, I believe this set is relatively flooded with fakes or people trying to fake. IMO I have seen a lot of these surface recently with no serial number and all the sellers say is "It's a Topps replacement" and then they just kick the can down the road. Well if that's the case, WTF?! I mean I think it's a great set and a tough '90s set but IMO it's one that gets tapped with fakes from time to time.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts on the set? Have their guy? Have the entire set?

    Thoughts on fakes? Am I the only one who hates seeing a signed version with no serial number?

    Show off your guys if you have it! Here is my Albert Belle:

    The Albert Belle Collector
    Belle Personal Collection: 2,609/2,888 - 90.3%


    Accomplished my impossible quest for +90% in October 2016

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Example of no serial number: Griffey Jr., sold for ~$300

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1997-Topps-G...p2047675.l2557

    Example of slabbed serial numbered: Griffey Jr., sold for best offer (no idea on price)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1997-TOPPS-P...p2047675.l2557
    Last edited by MansGame; 07-28-2014 at 11:14 PM.
    The Albert Belle Collector
    Belle Personal Collection: 2,609/2,888 - 90.3%


    Accomplished my impossible quest for +90% in October 2016

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Example of Ripken serial numbered, sold for ~$250

    But damn, smashed in a screw down ooooooooooo, hope that card peels off there for the winner

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAL-RIPKEN-J...item233cf18390
    The Albert Belle Collector
    Belle Personal Collection: 2,609/2,888 - 90.3%


    Accomplished my impossible quest for +90% in October 2016

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    A_Pharis's Avatar
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    Iconic set and an iconic artist. I had a chance to buy one of his originals, once. Let's just say it was "out of my range".

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    Senior Member Pinbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinbreaker View Post
    The Griffey sold for $449.99

    You can see the price when you click on "Print" in the right edge of the original auction/BIN..

    Great trick!

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    Senior Member gvsu96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Pharis View Post
    Iconic set and an iconic artist. I had a chance to buy one of his originals, once. Let's just say it was "out of my range".

    The sea was angry that day my friends.

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvsu96 View Post

    Yea, I actually really like his work but if I'm not mistaken, it's pretty $$$$$
    The Albert Belle Collector
    Belle Personal Collection: 2,609/2,888 - 90.3%


    Accomplished my impossible quest for +90% in October 2016

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    Senior Member gracecollector's Avatar
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    In late summer 1997, Topps ambitiously attempted to bridge the worlds of baseball cards and fine art in the sophomore edition of its Gallery brand, dedicated to “The Art of Collecting.” To achieve these ends, the company commissioned renowned pop artist Peter Max (b. 1938) to paint portraits of ten of Major League Baseball’s finest players. Unveiled to the world—with much fanfare—at an April exhibition in Max’s Midtown Manhattan studio, these bold works of art were essentially then miniaturized to the standard 2" by 3" size and inserted into packs. The end result of this unprecedented collaboration between canvas painter and card printer was an insert set—dubbed Peter Max Serigraphs—which is stunning in its beauty and highly desired for its collectability. Inserted at a rate of 1 in 24 packs, each card features a dynamic player photo surrounded by an explosion of psychedelic color, a Max trademark.

    Topps and Max, however, seriously upped the ante by having the artist autograph and serial number 40 of each card, creating a pod of white whales that has eluded many player collectors to this day. Inserted into just 1 in every 1,200 packs, the odds of pulling a specific player climb to a lottery-like 1 in 12,000.

    These cards were signed (and thus handled) by Max prior to the application of the UV coating. After returning them to Topps (and thus further opportunities to ding a corner or scratch a surface), the cards were given the glossy treatment and then randomly inserted into packs. So many were apparently damaged that Topps was forced to issue replacement cards, which do not feature the hand numbering of the pack-pulled variety. Additionally, a handful of less-than-ethical individuals were mailing their regular serigraph cards to Max for his signature and then trying to sell the aftermarket autos as the genuine article. Fortunately, PSA is attuned to such shenanigans, and would unequivocally refuse a red flip (signifying here autograph and card authenticity) to any such cards. Authentic cards show a consistent sheen across the entire surface of this card when placed under direct light, which is indicative of an under-the-surface (UV coating) signature.

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    @gracecollector - That's a great post to add to this thread. First off, that's crazy to think that individual players would jump to 1:12,000 packs essentially. Also that they indicate how cards could be damaged and how many were returned for replacements. That is nuts and then they acknowledge the fact that people were even trying to send the basic insets to max to sign and push those off as real.

    Man irritating really. Do you think PSA and/or BGS know how to correctly ID a pack inserted one versus not? The entire glossy finish thing is really odd and just something that makes little sense or really has much of a black/white ID in my opinion.
    The Albert Belle Collector
    Belle Personal Collection: 2,609/2,888 - 90.3%


    Accomplished my impossible quest for +90% in October 2016

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    Senior Member RStadlerASU22's Avatar
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    I am not sure why they replaced any without the hand numbering replaced also...??? Then destroyed any damaged , or non replaced replacements after a year or whatever. So only one serial numbered copy in good condition made its way out. Doesn't seem to be a tough thing to handle

    Ryan
    ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ODDBALL, REGIONAL, TEAM ISSUED, VARIATIONS, AND TOUGH CARDS OF WILL CLARK AND MIKE BROWN



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    Quote Originally Posted by RStadlerASU22 View Post
    I am not sure why they replaced any without the hand numbering replaced also...??? Then destroyed any damaged , or non replaced replacements after a year or whatever. So only one serial numbered copy in good condition made its way out. Doesn't seem to be a tough thing to handle

    Ryan
    Max signed and numbered them himself, then they were returned to Topps for the "glossing." So when a card was sent in to be replaced, if Topps added a serial #, it would be on top of the gloss, with the signature underneath the gloss. Maybe that's why they neglected to number the replacements? Orrrr, maybe they did number the replacements, and the wave of unnumbered ones we are seeing are extras that slipped out the back door?

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    Senior Member gvsu96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MansGame View Post
    Yea, I actually really like his work but if I'm not mistaken, it's pretty $$$$$
    This was under $1000. It's a mixed media piece so they are "cheaper".
    The sea was angry that day my friends.

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    Senior Member RStadlerASU22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goobmcnasty View Post
    Max signed and numbered them himself, then they were returned to Topps for the "glossing." So when a card was sent in to be replaced, if Topps added a serial #, it would be on top of the gloss, with the signature underneath the gloss. Maybe that's why they neglected to number the replacements? Orrrr, maybe they did number the replacements, and the wave of unnumbered ones we are seeing are extras that slipped out the back door?
    Yeah I understand , if Max's auto was under the gloss that's all that would matter really . It would have eliminated non serial numbered ones (and non Tipos/Max serial numbered) in the market if handled properly. And thus creating 40 legit serial numbered ones available. The sending to Max TTM to have him auto could have been solved by both Topps and Max.
    1. Topps should have stamped or labeled the auto versions as such , which they failed at
    2. Max should have signed the legit ones in certain color(s) and any TTM in colors not used
    3. Max shouldn't sign them
    4. Max should have personalized any TTM
    5. Max should have signed in one location on legit ones and in a different location on TTM

    All this was possible and, yes, there still would have been issues if you didn't know the details, but it was all possible

    Ryan
    ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ODDBALL, REGIONAL, TEAM ISSUED, VARIATIONS, AND TOUGH CARDS OF WILL CLARK AND MIKE BROWN



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    Quote Originally Posted by RStadlerASU22 View Post
    Yeah I understand , if Max's auto was under the gloss that's all that would matter really . It would have eliminated non serial numbered ones (and non Tipos/Max serial numbered) in the market if handled properly. And thus creating 40 legit serial numbered ones available. The sending to Max TTM to have him auto could have been solved by both Topps and Max.
    1. Topps should have stamped or labeled the auto versions as such , which they failed at
    2. Max should have signed the legit ones in certain color(s) and any TTM in colors not used
    3. Max shouldn't sign them
    4. Max should have personalized any TTM
    5. Max should have signed in one location on legit ones and in a different location on TTM

    All this was possible and, yes, there still would have been issues if you didn't know the details, but it was all possible

    Ryan
    Yeah I agree with you. I actually believe Topps probably did in fact number the replacements that were released, and the non-numbered versions are ones that slipped out the back door (similar to the slew of 97-99 "Proofs" and "Protoypes" that have surfaced the past few years. If my memory serves me, I had never seen an unnumbered version of this card before 2007-2008. If they were sent for replacements in 97-98, wouldnt they have showed up back then?

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