Saturday, June 30, 2012

Deckle Edged Cards

I have always wondered how the concept of the deckle edged cards Topps produced in 1969, 1974 and now again in 2012 Topps Archives.   I have always been curious since picking up my first McCovey back in the 1990s and have never gotten a full explanation. Many other inserts make sense. 
  • Sticker - you can stick them on things
  • Tattoos - you can stick them on your body
  • Comics - to make you laugh
  • Stand-ups - to stand up and play with (I always though it would be cool to have a display of an entire team defense of stand-ups)
So what is the rational behind a card with serrated edges?  The only info about the 1969 set I could come across is that they were inserted into the 3rd series of 1969 Topps.  They were also issues in 1969 O-Pee-Chee with some slight differences - the size is a tad smaller and the facsimile signature is in black ink instead of blue.  In 1974 these reappeared as a test issues (i.e. in much lesser supply).  I still don't have the McCovey from 74, they are quite rare and very expensive.

The trigger for this long standing curiosity was receiving 2 Juan Marichal deckle edge cards in the mail on the same day recently.

This first one is the 1969 O-Pee-Chee version. I picked it up on Sportlots in an auction.  I like the close up of The Dominican Dandy with a slight smile.  The obviously posed shot is standard fare for this release but I think it works with the black and white photo.  The black ink signature is the easiest way to show it is the Canadian version.

  Next up is the 2012 Archives version.  This insert set features quite a few action shots which does separate it from the 1969 counterpart set.  This keeps with the black and white photo theme but feature a blue signature, typical of the Topps 69 issue.  While I really like cards that showcase Marichal's high leg kick, for some reason I am partial toward the original version. One other note is the discrepancy of the autos.  It really looks like two different people signed these.  Not sure if it was just an evolution over time and due to age or if one of them is a fake.

I have a couple Juan Marichal Autos in my collection and it looks like the Archives card is probably accurate.

So, if you have any insight into the origin and purpose behind the serrated deckle edges, let me know.


  1. The Deckle edges were inspired by older photographs with deckle edges and fancy stationary with the deckle edge. It was popular in some circles of society in the 50s and 60s.

  2. My Father had a darkroom in our basement when I was a kid in the 50's. He used to make some deckle edge prints.I remember watching in amazement as the images formed on the blank paper right before my eyes !