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1887 N283 D. Buchner & Co. "Defenders & Offenders" Collection (3)
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $580.00
Presented is a group of three cards from one of the rarest and most fascinating sets ever issued: the 1887 Buchner Gold Coin "Defenders & Offenders" series. Each card in this set features a portrait and biography of a then-current criminal of the day. These cards are so rare that most advanced collectors have never even heard of this set, let alone seen a sample. The 200-card set features cards of the "Offenders" (criminals) only. The "Defenders" (policemen) were featured in a companion set catalogued N288. Each card has been graded and encapsulated by SGC: Henry Carlton, who fatally shot a policeman during an attempted robbery (VG/EX 50); Oscar Cook, a safe-robber and con man (EX 60); and James H. Jacobs, charged with attempted murder and stabbing a man with a butcher's knife (EX 60). The biographies go into great detail about the respective crimes, with names, dates, and occasional commentary ("Carlton enjoyed a bad reputation as a crook and desperate character."). Back in the 1930s, when Jefferson Burdick first catalogued these cards, he assigned to them a value of seventy-five cents each, making them one of the most highly-valued tobacco cards in the entire American Card Catalog. (At this time, N29 Allen & Ginters, for example, listed for ten cents each.) Each card has a fold-over design, measures 3.5 x 5 inches unfolded, and features a lithographic color portrait of a criminal on the right side with a detailed description of his crime on the left side. The folding design of the set presumably would make these cards especially susceptible to condition problems, but this is difficult to state with certainty because they are impossible to find in any condition. Three extraordinary samples from one of the most interesting and rare non-sport tobacco card sets of the nineteenth century. Total 3 cards. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $580.00
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