1986 Topps Baseball Cards • Mirror Frame
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I have a few completed mirrors in my home and shop and everyone I know - baseball fans or not - enjoys them. When surveying all 50 or so cards of notable players on the frame, memories are sparked and conversation is created. This arrangement of cards allows one to immediately get a sense of the era; namely the uniforms and hairstyles - for better or worse. I have put in a lot of effort to maximize the space and include as many names and pictures of beloved players as possible. I'm hoping to make these for people who love re-purposing, nostalgia, color and combing their hair - not baseball fans exclusively.
These are made in our Fort Collins, Colorado wood shop with the same high level of craftsmanship that we put into all of our exquisite wood products.
Each frame consists of approximately 60 genuine baseball cards. The 28" diameter frame is made from 3/4" thick Baltic birch plywood that's been stained and lacquered. In an effort to keep the cards "cleanable", I have applied 4 coats of lacquer to them as well. The sheen is the same as the original cards. The high quality mirror is 11 1/2" diameter and 1/8" thick. Like our other mirror frames, we embed a metal keyhole hanger in the back for easy and secure hanging.
Are you cutting up valuable cards?
No, I'm not really. I address this question below in the heading "Economy."
Why have I chosen to use these nine sets?
The nine baseball card sets that I have transformed into mirror frames were chosen based on a few imperative factors.
Seven of the nine sets I have chosen are considered to be sets from the "junk wax era" - cards produced during the late 1980's and 1990's. During this time, cards were produced in far greater quantities than collectors believed. As a result, supply became much greater than demand and therefore, less valuable.
Also, I have included the first year of Donruss and Fleer cards from 1981. Both of these sets are economical and I believe it's due to the fact that some perceive their design to be crude and unattractive. Well, I consider them to be simple and honest considering it was their first offering. Plus, I find it exciting that there are a handful of Hall of Fame players who excelled in the 1960's and 70's - Willie McCovey, Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Palmer, Ferguson Jenkins, Willie Stargell - that are featured in the 1981 sets. All of these players retired before the "junk wax era" began.
I have chosen these nine sets because they are readily available. I purchase complete sets of cards primarily online, through dealers and individuals. The sets I buy are "opened" as opposed to unopened "factory sealed" sets. I suspect that sellers will "cherry pick" the potential high graded cards and replace them with cards that are not worth grading, usually because the centering is poor. This keeps the cost down, plus centering is not important for my presentation. Also, all the cards I use are in "near-mint/ mint" condition.
In my videos, I mention in detail how much I love the design of each particular set of cards. In general, I find the card design and photographs to be pleasing to the eye. There were many sets in the junk wax era that are very economical and available, however I don't find them attractive.