1923 W515 Strip Card Set

w515-2-ruth
w515-back

Fast Facts

Year(s) Issued: 1923
Set Designation: W515
Number Cards: 60 (with 2 variations)
Card Size:  1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ (W515-2) or 1-3/8″ x 2-1/4″ (W515-1)
Common Card Value (Good Condition): $20
Scarcity Rating: (1 to 10, 10 scarcest):  4

Full W515 Checklist

W515 Cards on eBay

W515 Strip Card Set

Keys For Collectors

  • There are two variations to the set; W515-1 and W515-2
  • The W515-2 Set is also known as the 'The Little Wonder Picture Series"
  •  The W515-2 cards are a bit tougher to locate and often sell for a slight premium
  • The set features two cards of Babe Ruth along with HOFers Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby
  • There is a closely related German Baseball Transfers stamp set which uses several of the drawings for the set.
  • As with other early strip cards, these likely won't get a numerical graded from PSA or SGC unless some part of the dotted borders are intact

W515 Summary

This could be my favorite strip card set.  Some will laugh at the ugly images, but to me the bright colors and cartoon images make this set a landmark vintage set.  The set used to be quite affordable but demand for playing day Ruth and Cobb cards have led to an increase in value in recent years.  

Note there are two variations (W515-1 and W515-2) and the only difference is that the issuer printed 'The Little Wonder Picture Series' across the uncut strips of the W515-2 set on production.  Here's an example of an uncut strip from the W515-2 series with the printing across the top:

little-wonder-w515

W515 - Fakes Are Plentiful

The W515's are commonly faked and thus collectors need to be aware of the variations.  Here's one I pulled off Etsy (which is a notable place for the fakes to be sold, often as 'vintage antiqued' cards.  This is some sort of art form I guess, but just shielding a great way for scammers to get their hands on some good looking reprints.

For the untrained eye, this card might look pretty real to most, but the paper is way too light in color, and of course the edges way to crisp and clean.  But of course an 'antiquer' could take this card and do some work on it (usually soaking in tea or other liquids) to give it an aged look.  Those are very easy to spot and look like little spider webs all over the card.

ruth-w515-fake
w515-back-fake


W515 Cards for Sale on eBay

 

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