CGC Cards Certifies Artist Proof MTG Splendid Genesis Cards Signed by Artist Monique Thirifay

Posted on 11/7/2023

The hand-signed cards — created to celebrate the birth of Richard Garfield's daughter — were encapsulated with the CGC Cards' Signature Series label.

CGC Cards™ recently certified a very special group of Magic: The Gathering cards — a set of 20 Artist Proof Splendid Genesis promo cards, each hand-signed by artist Monique Thirifay. The historic pedigree is included on the CGC Cards Signature Series label that each card is encapsulated with.

Click images to enlarge.

Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering, created several exclusive promo cards to celebrate special events and milestones. These cards are dubbed “Richard Garfield Event Cards,” and there are six in total: Proposal, Splendid Genesis, Fraternal Exaltation, Phoenix Heart and two made in 2019 for the birth of his twins. Typically, these promo cards aren’t available to the public. Instead, they were given to Garfield’s friends and family or to Wizards of the Coast staff.

Splendid Genesis was created to celebrate the birth of Garfield’s daughter in 1997. The card features a pencil sketch illustration of an infant’s hand gripping the overarching palm of an adult (signifying the relationship between parent and child). These Splendid Genesis cards were distributed to Garfield’s family, friends and highly regarded Wizards of the Coast employees in birth announcements. It is estimated that Wizards of the Coast printed about 110 total copies of Splendid Genesis, and only a few have appeared for public sale.

These 20 Splendid Genesis cards came from an uncut 5x4-card sheet that was given to Monique Thirifay as a thank-you for her artistic work on the card. Thirifay adorned these cards — which originally had a blank back — with a second version of the front artwork.

Click images to enlarge.

Eventually, the uncut sheet changed hands and the new owner decided to cut the sheet into individual cards. To preserve the provenance of the cards, Thirifay and several others close to the origins of Magic: The Gathering were present for the cutting. As each card was cut from the sheet, Thirifay hand-signed and numbered each card 1 through 20, with numbers 1-5 signed in gold ink and subsequent numbers signed in silver. The group present at the cutting agreed that the cards should be identified as Artist Proofs because of their significance and origin as a gift to Thirifay.

Each of the cards is encapsulated with the new CGC Cards Signature Series label, which is only given to collectibles that were signed in the presence of a CGC witness. When Thirifay sketched the artwork on the back of each card and signed the cards, a CGC witness was present, guaranteeing that each card is signed by Thirifay herself. All of this was completed on September 9, 2023 — the date shown on the label.

To learn more about these cards, check out the video below:

CGC Cards will announce additional details about its new Signature Series labels soon.

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