6 Rarest AFL Cards

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In the captivating world of Australian Football League (AFL) memorabilia, certain cards reign supreme as the most elusive and sought-after treasures among collectors. Beyond the AFL games’ allure, these rare cards hold a unique cultural relevance to people. For enthusiasts and collectors, these cards represent a tangible piece of history, bridging the gap between distant eras and present-day fascination with the game.

Join us as we shed light on the dynamic intersection between AFL games and cards, where the legacy of sporting heroes continues to inspire new generations. As we unveil the list of the rarest AFL cards, we invite you to journey with us through the rich tapestry of Australian football history and understand why these iconic artifacts hold an enduring allure in the hearts of fans and collectors worldwide.

6. 1995 Select Sensation AFLPA MVP Gary Ablett Gold Card

Price: $16.88
Total No. of Produced Copies: 10
Featured: Gary Ablett
Rarity: Rare

1995 Select Sensation AFLPA MVP Gary Ablett Gold CardImage source: ozcardtrader.com

In 1995, the Australian Football League Players’ Association (AFLPA) launched a momentous tribute to one of the game’s greatest stars – Gary Ablett Sr. The 1995 Select Sensation AFLPA MVP Gary Ablett Gold Card stands as a remarkable testament to the legendary forward’s remarkable career and enduring impact on the sport.

The card captures the iconic image of Gary Ablett Sr., soaring above a pack of determined opponents, poised to seize yet another awe-inspiring mark. This gleaming tribute immortalizes his unmatched athleticism, unwavering determination, and electrifying performances.

Did You Know?

This gold-plated AFLPA MVP card was made as a prototype of Gary Ablett, who was known to be a champion in his previous games. The prototype was believed to produce 10 copies of it. The 5 copies were rumored to be given to Gary himself and was given to his son.

5. 1904 Sniders & Abrahams Charles Pannam

Price: $45
Total No. of Produced Copies: 73
Featured: Charles Henry Pannam
Rarity: Rare

1904 Sniders & Abrahams Charles PannamImage source: Australian Sports Museum

The Sniders & Abrahams card series was part of a set of cigarette cards, which were a popular form of advertisement in the early 20th century. Tobacco companies would include these cards inside cigarette packs to entice customers to collect and trade them, effectively promoting their products and building customer loyalty.

The 1904 Sniders & Abrahams Charles Pannam card features a captivating illustration of the football star in his playing attire, reflecting the vintage aesthetics of that era.

As with all collectibles, the value of the 1904 Sniders & Abrahams Charles Pannam card can fluctuate based on its condition, rarity, and demand among collectors. Those passionate about Australian football history and a love for vintage sports memorabilia would undoubtedly cherish this card as a treasured piece of the game’s rich heritage.

Did You Know?

Charles Pannam, known for his exceptional talent on the field, was an influential figure in the sport’s early development. As a Fitzroy Football Club player, Pannam’s rover and forward skills earned him recognition and admiration from fans and opponents alike.

4. 1906 Dungey Ralph (Sweet Nell) John Kay

Price: $72-$17,110
Total No. of Produced Copies: 49
Featured: Dungey Ralph
Rarity: Rare

1906 Dungey Ralph (Sweet Nell) John KayImage source: Carter’s Price Guide

1906 Dungey Ralph (Sweet Nell) John Kay is associated with a collectible card from a cigarette or trade card series. These cards were widely distributed as promotional items in tobacco products during the early 20th century, and they often featured various themes, including sports, historical figures, celebrities, and more, catering to avid collectors.

These vintage cards hold immense historical significance and are often cherished by collectors for their rarity and association with the early days of sports and tobacco advertising. For collectors, the allure of these cards lies in their scarcity and historical value. Many of these early cards were lost or discarded as time passed, making well-preserved examples rare and highly sought after by modern-day collectors.

Did You Know?

The depiction of athletes on these vintage cards showcased their physical prowess and contributed to the promotion of sports and the popularization of Australian rules football during that time.

3. 1949-50 Victorian Nut Supplies Jack Dyer

Price: $200-$250
Total No. of Produced Copies: 34
Featured: John Raymond Dyer Sr.
Rarity: Very Rare

1949-50 Victorian Nut Supplies Jack DyerImage source: tcdb.com

Jack Dyer, affectionately known as “Captain Blood,” was a legendary Australian rules footballer who played for the Richmond Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL), now known as the Australian Football League (AFL). The Victorian Nut Supplies card series was a set of football cards released in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The 1949-50 Victorian Nut Supplies Jack Dyer card showcases an artistic depiction of the player in his Richmond Football Club uniform, capturing his rugged and determined on-field demeanor. The card’s vintage design and limited distribution during its time make it a treasured collectible for AFL enthusiasts and card collectors alike.

Did You Know?

Jack Dyer was an iconic figure in Australian football during his playing days, representing the Richmond Football Club with exceptional skill, leadership, and passion. As the captain of Richmond, he led the team through some of its most successful years and left a lasting legacy on the club and the sport.

2. 1963 Scanlens Polly Farmer

Price: $7,200
Total No. of Produced Copies: 18
Featured: Graham Vivian Farmer
Rarity: Very Rare

1963 Scanlens Polly FarmerImage source: carters.com

The Scanlens 1963 Football Cards set was released by the Scanlens company in 1963. This was one of the earliest collections of trading cards featuring Australian Rules Football players.

As with many vintage trading card sets, the Scanlens 1963 Football Cards have become highly sought after by collectors over the years. Cards in excellent condition or featuring star players can command high prices in the collector’s market.

Did You Know?

1963 Scanlens Polly Farmer was the first Holy Grail from a chewing gum company ever produced.

1. 1894 N302 Mayo’s Cut Plug Football Dunlop

Price: $10,000
Total No. of Produced Copies: 10
Featured: John Dunlop
Rarity: Rarest

1894 N302 Mayo's Cut Plug Football DunlopImage source: sportscollectordigest.com

The N302 Mayo’s Cut Plug Football is the rarest AFL card ever. It is considered one of the earliest football card sets ever produced. Also, its significance is comparable to that of the T206 Honus Wagner card in the baseball card collecting world.

Due to its age and limited production, the 1894 Mayo’s Cut Plug Football Dunlop card is exceptionally scarce. It is estimated that only a small number of copies of this card exist, with approximately 10 known specimens in circulation.

Did you Know?

The term “Dunlop” in the card’s name refers to an Irish-American football player named Pudge Heffelfinger. In 1892, Pudge Heffelfinger became the first acknowledged professional football player when he was paid $500 to play a game for the Allegheny Athletic Association against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.


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