In the days before the internet, Ebay, and online auctions, the National Sports Collectors' Convention was one of the few opportunities for collectors to acquire vintage football equipment. Over the past 5 years however, there has been a dearth of quality artifacts brought to the National and to the market in general. Collectors and dealers have pointed to a number of contributing factors:
1. As the number of collectors has increased, the supply of new pieces has not.
2. The majority of quality pieces have already been "discovered" and are now in collections.
3. High-end collectors are reluctant to sell pieces out of concern that they can't replace them in the future.
4. The internet has made it easier for dealers and collectors to connect and transact outside of the convention setting.
The 2016 National Sports Collectors' Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey featured over 300 sports collectibles dealers from across the country, with only a handful offering vintage game used football equipment. The photos below represent the bulk of the football artifacts for sale at the convention.
Here are AntiqueFootball's picks for the best vintage football pieces offered at the 2016 National Sports Collector's Convention: