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1993 Topps Porcelain cards?

MansGame

Active member
Sep 25, 2009
15,301
Dallas, TX
Does anyone have any information regarding this set? Own any? Beckett has added the 1993 Topps Porcelain set to player checklists and I have been trying to do some research on which cards were created (assume all) and how many copies and also the origin of where they were released or originally distributed.

It goes without saying that I am also in search of #635 which is Albert Belle if anyone has that laying around or can connect me with someone who does own it for sale/trade. I would toss some PayPal out to whoever could help me secure the card as a small token (~bounty) for my appreciation.

Any comments, feedback, etc. is helpful!
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,463
DaClyde is the master of all card porcelain it seems.

I think I may have purchased Thomas and Piazza in 1993, but they are buried at this time.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,463
I realized the Thomas cards were not buried, but MP is. My memory was off too. I did not have a 1993, but have 1994 and 1997.

I thought the boxes were supposed to be the serial number and assumed they were wrong, then I noticed the number on the box is the original Topps card number, so these are original as issued from Topps/R&N.

The 94 even has the receipt from where I got it in 1995 for $8! I guess 5000 was too many and they dropped it to 500.

IMG_7209.jpgIMG_7210.jpgIMG_7207.jpgIMG_7208.jpg

@DaClyde, not sure if you are still trying to catalog the various sets, but here are two you may or may not have noted already.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,463
I went to put the Thomas cards away and happened to open the box underneath and this was staring at me from the top.

IMG_7211.jpgIMG_7212.jpg

I think that a lot of these were just sold in retail settings, like hobby shops, discount stores, etc. I know any I have purchased came from hobby shops, either new as issued (the Thomas cards) or in some mark down bin like the Ruth. The certificates seem to talk about a limited firing time, so if you were to believe it, they only made them for a 30 day period. Of course, how many single cards could be made a day. My Thomas says limited to 30 days or 500 copies, whichever came first presumably.
 

gracecollector

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
6,465
Huntley, IL
I have a Grace 1993. Originally sold in a box with a wood stand and cotton protection pad, as shown in DaClyde's post. Made by R&N China (Carrollton, Ohio), not Topps. R&N just licensed the artwork from Topps, and used it on these porcelain cards as well as coffee mugs, collector dinner plates, and refrigerator magnets. My card was sold from a collectibles shop in Champaign, IL. Type of store that dealt in collector plates, candles, Precious Moments figurines, etc.

I'm pretty sure only popular players of the day were made, not nearly the whole set. Probably between 25-40 players. Never seen a checklist though. 1993 cards were an edition of 5000.

The 1993 was MUCH harder to find for me than previous years' R&N cards. I've bought it twice. First time seller sent it poorly packaged and predictably it arrived shattered in many pieces. I did get my money back, but it was several years before I found another.

93TOPPSPORCELAIN.jpg
 
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DaClyde

Active member
Jan 17, 2010
1,559
Huntsville, AL

So far, I have found evidence (meaning I've actually seen a scan or photo) of 145 of the 825 total that would make up a 1993 complete set. I have yet to find any piece of advertising media explaining how they were offered.

Here is the 2003 Standard Catalog's blurb about the set:
" Each card in Topps' 825-card set for 1993 was reproduced in a porcelain version. The thin, round-cornered porcelain cards are in the same size as the regular cards and exactly reproduce both front and back. Each card was sold shrinkwrapped on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" cardboard backing with a wooden display stand and numbered certificate of authenticity. The first five cards in the set, and every card with a number divisible by five, were produced in an edition of 5,000; all other cards were issued in an edition of 1,000. "

There are at least 3 versions of the Jeter, as the is the silver, the original issue #/1000 and another numbered something over 2000. Similarly, there were other issues for several superstar players where entire career sets were issued that overlap with the 1993 set.

I see Beckett used the checklist for the Topps Gold set, which makes sense, as I doubt anyone would have wanted porcelain versions of the checklist cards.
 
Last edited:

gracecollector

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
6,465
Huntley, IL
DaClyde,

I can't believe they did the whole set - how much market would there be for the commons and why don't more show up on worthpoint. Maybe they did but just doesn't seem likely to me.

Do you know anything about 1994 R&N Magnets? I read your page in the link provided and you list ones you've seen. No mention of any 1994's. I have this one in my Grace collection, using his 1994 Topps card image.

94RNCHINAMAGNET.jpg



So far, I have found evidence (meaning I've actually seen a scan or photo) of 145 of the 825 total that would make up a 1993 complete set. I have yet to find any piece of advertising media explaining how they were offered.

Here is the 2003 Standard Catalog's blurb about the set:
" Each card in Topps' 825-card set for 1993 was reproduced in a porcelain version. The thin, round-cornered porcelain cards are in the same size as the regular cards and exactly reproduce both front and back. Each card was sold shrinkwrapped on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" cardboard backing with a wooden display stand and numbered certificate of authenticity. The first five cards in the set, and every card with a number divisible by five, were produced in an edition of 5,000; all other cards were issued in an edition of 1,000. "

There are at least 3 versions of the Jeter, as the is the silver, the original issue #/1000 and another numbered something over 2000. Similarly, there were other issues for several superstar players where entire career sets were issued that overlap with the 1993 set.

I see Beckett used the checklist for the Topps Gold set, which makes sense, as I doubt anyone would have wanted porcelain versions of the checklist cards.
 

DaClyde

Active member
Jan 17, 2010
1,559
Huntsville, AL
Never seen the 1994 magnets before. I doubt all of the set was produced, either. A lot of the commons I've seen are still listed on eBay or completed and didn't sell. I did snag the Roberto Kelly for my player collection.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,463

So far, I have found evidence (meaning I've actually seen a scan or photo) of 145 of the 825 total that would make up a 1993 complete set. I have yet to find any piece of advertising media explaining how they were offered.

Here is the 2003 Standard Catalog's blurb about the set:
" Each card in Topps' 825-card set for 1993 was reproduced in a porcelain version. The thin, round-cornered porcelain cards are in the same size as the regular cards and exactly reproduce both front and back. Each card was sold shrinkwrapped on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" cardboard backing with a wooden display stand and numbered certificate of authenticity. The first five cards in the set, and every card with a number divisible by five, were produced in an edition of 5,000; all other cards were issued in an edition of 1,000. "

There are at least 3 versions of the Jeter, as the is the silver, the original issue #/1000 and another numbered something over 2000. Similarly, there were other issues for several superstar players where entire career sets were issued that overlap with the 1993 set.

I see Beckett used the checklist for the Topps Gold set, which makes sense, as I doubt anyone would have wanted porcelain versions of the checklist cards.
Have you tried reaching out to Rick Klein by chance? I don't know if he is on this board, but he is on facebook and linkedin for sure. I am pretty sure I have seen him comment on Net454 too. He worked for Beckett and may be able to provide some further insight on how they came up with the blurbs for each card/set listed in the books. We, as a community, know that their info was not always 100% correct, but maybe nobody ever bothered to relay corrections to them or Beckett never bothered to correct items pointed out by outsiders?
 

chris19978

Member
Aug 30, 2011
960

So far, I have found evidence (meaning I've actually seen a scan or photo) of 145 of the 825 total that would make up a 1993 complete set. I have yet to find any piece of advertising media explaining how they were offered.

Here is the 2003 Standard Catalog's blurb about the set:
" Each card in Topps' 825-card set for 1993 was reproduced in a porcelain version. The thin, round-cornered porcelain cards are in the same size as the regular cards and exactly reproduce both front and back. Each card was sold shrinkwrapped on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" cardboard backing with a wooden display stand and numbered certificate of authenticity. The first five cards in the set, and every card with a number divisible by five, were produced in an edition of 5,000; all other cards were issued in an edition of 1,000. "

There are at least 3 versions of the Jeter, as the is the silver, the original issue #/1000 and another numbered something over 2000. Similarly, there were other issues for several superstar players where entire career sets were issued that overlap with the 1993 set.

I see Beckett used the checklist for the Topps Gold set, which makes sense, as I doubt anyone would have wanted porcelain versions of the checklist cards.
Speaking to Nelson about this we came up with 2 one numbered to 500 and the other numbered to 5000. The 1000 was made for just the Rockies and Marlins players. I have also done my research any numbered to 1000 had always been a Rockies or Marlins players. Seeing it was their Inaugural year they were numbered differently. My understanding they made complete sets between 1993 to 1997 I have yet to see though I believe Nelson owns a few but I can verify two 1993 and 1997 as I own these. But I can see if I can find more out of 1994 to 1996. At this point and seeing as many Porcelain Jeter cards over the years never have I seen one numbered to 1000 and feel you are wrong on this matter please look on eBay and you will see all that are numbered to 1000 are Rockies and Marlin players.


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DaClyde

Active member
Jan 17, 2010
1,559
Huntsville, AL
Speaking to Nelson about this we came up with 2 one numbered to 500 and the other numbered to 5000. The 1000 was made for just the Rockies and Marlins players. I have also done my research any numbered to 1000 had always been a Rockies or Marlins players. Seeing it was their Inaugural year they were numbered differently. My understanding they made complete sets between 1993 to 1997 I have yet to see though I believe Nelson owns a few but I can verify two 1993 and 1997 as I own these. But I can see if I can find more out of 1994 to 1996. At this point and seeing as many Porcelain Jeter cards over the years never have I seen one numbered to 1000 and feel you are wrong on this matter please look on eBay and you will see all that are numbered to 1000 are Rockies and Marlin players.
Even a cursory search of eBay contradicts your 1000 theory.

32 Don Mattingly, Yankees, #/1000
116 Mark Lemke, Braves, #/1000.
224 Sid Bream, Braves, #/1000
565 Jerald Clark, Rockies, #/5000

This is my saved search, mostly trying to track the 1993 cards, and trying to filter out the others:

topps (ceramic,porcelain,porcaline,porcelin) -(hamilton, nba,ufc,nfl,stein,mug,babe,ryan,mantle,ripken,griffey,clemente)
 

chris19978

Member
Aug 30, 2011
960
Even a cursory search of eBay contradicts your 1000 theory.

32 Don Mattingly, Yankees, #/1000
116 Mark Lemke, Braves, #/1000.
224 Sid Bream, Braves, #/1000
565 Jerald Clark, Rockies, #/5000

This is my saved search, mostly trying to track the 1993 cards, and trying to filter out the others:

topps (ceramic,porcelain,porcaline,porcelin) -(hamilton, nba,ufc,nfl,stein,mug,babe,ryan,mantle,ripken,griffey,clemente)
If you read the 2003 Standard Card Magazine and it states the first 5 card in the set and every number divisible by 5 had a print run of 5000 all others are 1000. Now I don’t know about its accuracy but Mattingly at number 32 is not divisible by 5. Jerald Clark is at 565 and I can only assume they made 5000 of each rookie though it doesn’t state it because I have yet to see a Derek Jeter numbered to 1000 in my 10 plus years of searching but have seen multiple of 500 and 5000. I might not be totally correct but look at the 1000 and 5000 examples you posted and they look the exact same with a white version just numbered differently. What I will do is now take a look and see minus the commemorative sets if I can find a copy of the same card that has copies of both 5000, and 1000. What I understood on what I have read and know on these cards the 1000 was for certain players and 5000 for others. Now I don’t collect this set but I collect Derek Jeter and have never seen one numbered to 1000 as you stated. I have no clue as to why when reading what was printed on the Catalog which I own says only divisible by 5 yet Jeter is number 98 has one at 5000 though maybe all rookie cards were done in a print run of 5000. I will search for a player that has both 1000 and 5000 to see if I can find someone with both and get back to you on that.


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mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,463
As I said before, Beckett can and is wrong in numerous cases with their information. There is nothing to say they couldn't be wrong here again. Even if the issue was unpopular, you would have seen a few items pop up for sale. This was also right before the 94 strike, which put a dent in a lot of hobby related issues, both in popularity (less buying) and issued being cancelled or pulled.

I seriously doubt that 1000 of each common was made and actually distributed for sale. Maybe there is a still undiscovered warehouse horde of porcelain Mark Lemke's, Tom Candiotti's and the rest of the players nobody has ever seen, but I would bet they were not even made. I really don't know how much these cost when new in 1993, but given I paid $8 for a 1994 Frank Thomas in 1995 at a mall comic and card shop, I have to think most commons would fail to sell at a quarter of that price.

Thomas was huge in 1995, but even 5000 copies might have been a tough sellout number for him. Sell out 1000 Lenny Webster cards...impossible!
 

chris19978

Member
Aug 30, 2011
960
Randy Johnson 460 numbered to 5000
Eric Wedge 486 numbered to 1000
Steve Reed 461 numbered to 1000
Nolan Ryan 700 numbered to 5000
Barry Bonds 2 not numbered
Derek Jeter 98 numbered to 5000.

Now this was a look at all items on eBay completed and active and besides the Bonds and Jeter which contradicts the 5000 or 1000 method what is said on the magazine seems about right as The ones divisible by 5 are numbered to 5000 and the ones not are numbered to 1000. The Nolan Ryan which has multiple copies all show 5000. Again as I believe there are only 2 copies of each card and I would assume the Silver was sold as a set back in 1993 and why you just don’t seem them ever as someone has the entire set sitting in their basement, or storage unit untouched. For all we know there could be far less than the print run because I doubt they all sold out and the rest could have been trash when they were not sold. Seeing you have only tracked down a portion of the set some could not exist anymore as you have stated.


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chris19978

Member
Aug 30, 2011
960
As I said before, Beckett can and is wrong in numerous cases with their information. There is nothing to say they couldn't be wrong here again. Even if the issue was unpopular, you would have seen a few items pop up for sale. This was also right before the 94 strike, which put a dent in a lot of hobby related issues, both in popularity (less buying) and issued being cancelled or pulled.

I seriously doubt that 1000 of each common was made and actually distributed for sale. Maybe there is a still undiscovered warehouse horde of porcelain Mark Lemke's, Tom Candiotti's and the rest of the players nobody has ever seen, but I would bet they were not even made. I really don't know how much these cost when new in 1993, but given I paid $8 for a 1994 Frank Thomas in 1995 at a mall comic and card shop, I have to think most commons would fail to sell at a quarter of that price.

Thomas was huge in 1995, but even 5000 copies might have been a tough sellout number for him. Sell out 1000 Lenny Webster cards...impossible!
I agree though they all could have been printed not all sold. The fact is we have seen commons and why would they print some and not the others. This has been a while since updated in 2010 but 145 cards have been tracked down back then has this number increased any. I still believe they made the set just what was sold to what they did with them in China. I would assume they gave the ones not sold to employees or flat out got rid of them meaning the full set is in very limited quantities to being totally gone. You see a lot more star players than commons though as they sold better. But if you have seen some commons why would they not print them all. You can make this argument with many mysterious sets where only a handful have been found.



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mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,463
There is a statue of Steve Garvey that rarely comes up for sale. I forgot the maker, but the statue itself or a cert that comes with it (don't recall now), states that there were supposed to be 2000+ pieces. I am certain I read somewhere where it was documented that they stopped selling them for some reason and only a fraction of the proposed run were actually made and sold, maybe 200 or less. I suspect this happened a lot with items that were not regularly sold year after year (like baseball cards). Companies would try to sell something and find it to be less popular than they figured and either stop productionat some point or not continue with it on subsequent items within their issue.

I know this is all vague and not based on any hard evidence, but the lack of items in the marketplace is almost evidence alone. Things pop up from the turn of the century all the time now, but porcelain cards of common players reported to be made in a 1000 piece issue in the 90s, the boom of sport collectibles, have never surfaced. Unless someone is hoarding some for unknown reasons, I just don't buy that they were made and/or distributed.

I'll also share another semi-related story that has to do with a college football card that was "never issued". i'll keep the specifics anonymous, just in case. I ran into a guy who had 100s of them, probably the unissued quantity, minus those he had sold over time. He was keeping the market price at the going rate for the few and far between singles he released, yet he could have let them all out and blown up the market price. However, his shop closed years back and he seems to have disappeared. Don't know what became of his stock. Maybe it is still locked away in some storage unit, waiting to be discovered in 20 years? Kind of like what happened with the guy that disclosed on message boards a year or two ago that he had a 800 count box of the previously impossibly hard to find 1989 (or was it 90) UD Mike Witt black box. He was selling them for as low as $30 at one point, but still trying to hold on to part of their value, as he also could have essentially wiped out most of the value. people who are aware still probably would not pay much, knowing that another 700+ still may exist out there. I don't care about the card and have not checked, but the guy may still be selling them a few at a time.
 

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