Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Spot the Burton - (Volume 1 update)

When Volume I of Collecting Canadian Football was published CFL collectors finally had an answer to one of the enduring mysteries of the hobby - How many complete panels make up the 1962 Topps CFL issue? As explained in detail in the guide the final number of 192 panels was determined by careful examination of a complete uncut printing sheet of 132 panels as well as informed interpolation of what the second printing sheet of 132 panels must have looked like.

The number was pretty firm but since 4 of the proposed 192 panels had not been visually confirmed the listings left open the possibility that the number might need adjusting. However soon after publication some advanced collectors with large panel collections confirmed that the four presumed panels did indeed exist and they further confirmed that they had no other panels than what were listed in the guide. But one such collector pointed out that he kept 193 panels in his set as the Mack Burton card #4 has a prominent white spot printers defect on most cards, but not all, so that cards with and without the spot make up a variation, both for the card itself and for the panels.

Card #4 - No Spot
Panel # 4 /5 - No Spot
Well after having investigated this it appears that for whatever reason the spot defect tended to migrate on the Burton card depending on where he appeared on the two print sheets. So in fact while Burton appears on the two sheets 6 times, it looks like he appears just once without the spot, and five times with the spot, but having the spot in slightly different positions on the cards. I don't have high enough resolution scans of each of the Burton cards in situ on the sheets to be absolutely sure which variation sits where, but here are the so far identified spot variations on a card or panel basis.

Panel # 4 / 5 - Spot bisected by picture frame

Card #4 - Spot in tree, does not touch stadium infrastructure
Card #4 - Spot in tree, does touch stadium infrastructure
Card #4 - Spot near leg
So as you can see an obsessive compulsive cataloguer might write this up in the update as one regular card #4 with 4 or 5 spot variations, the exact number having yet to be determined. This would mean the [XP] designation for the Burton card will come off and in fact each particular variation might stand as the scarcest [SP] in the set. The effect on the different panel combinations that Burton exists on will hopefully also be fleshed out.

And finally, Burton sure looks like he's wearing a Tiger-Cat uniform in this picture but is not listed as such in the guide since I hadn't confirmed if he was in the Tiger-Cat camp in 1961 or early 1962 prior to coming to the Lions.


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