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Nineteenth-Century Non-Sport Tobacco Card Collection with Rarities (281)
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $2,088.00
Collection of 281 non-sports nineteenth-century cards issued by eight different tobacco companies, including many very interesting rarities. This is not your typical nineteenth-century non-sport tobacco card collection, because so many of the cards are from very rare manufacturers such as S. F. Hess and Lone Jack, issuers of some of the rarest of all nineteenth-century card inserts. If the S. F. Hess and Lone Jack actresses in this lot were baseball subjects, this collection would be one of the all-time great pre-1900 baseball finds. Perhaps of greatest interest in this collection are the five N331 "Art Series" cards issued by S. F. Hess featuring artistic nudes. We have never before even seen a sample from this rare issue, which while tame by today's standards, must have been nothing short of scandalous in the 1880s. This set has got to be one of the all-time rare nineteenth-century tobacco issues. Terry Mitchell's nonsport book pictures samples of just about every pre-1900 nonsport set ever issued, and even this comprehensive volume does not feature a sample for illustration. We personally checked with Terry Mitchell about why this was. The answer: he couldn't find one. It is also interesting to note some additional history regarding this collection. These cards have been consigned to this auction by a baseball card collector. The collection original included four baseball cards, which were the reason our consignor purchased them at an antique shop over twenty years ago. These four cards were 1886 N167 Old Judges. Two have been sold previously, the remaining two N167 baseball players originally from this collection appear elsewhere in this auction. The balance of the collection was simply put aside all these years as the collector had no interest in nonsport cards. While not all of the cards are extreme rarities, it is fascinating to us that a collection so relatively modest in number should have such a high concentration of rare cards, and we thought that sharing the history of the collection would be fascinating to others as well. Organized by tobacco company, the collection is comprised of the following: 1) Allen & Ginter: N4 Birds of America (3 cards - Ex, Vg-Ex, Vg); N22 Racing Colors of the World (1 card, Vg); N27 World's Beauties 2nd Series (1 card, Ex). 2) Duke: N107 Fancy Dress Ball Costumes (1 card, Vg); N126 Rulers, Flags, Arms of All Nations (5 cards - three Ex, Vg-Ex, Vg); N145 Actors and Actresses (6 cards - two Ex, four Vg-Ex). 3) Goodwin: N162 Champions (5 cards - two Ex, three Fr); N164 Flowers (3 cards - Ex, Gd, Fr). 4) Heisel's Gum: E183 Nominee Gum (2 cards including Grover Cleveland, Ex). 5) W.S. Kimball: N184 Champions of Games and Sports (2 cards, both Fr); N186 Dancing Women (2 cards, both Gd). 6) Kinney: N219 Harlequin Cards 1st Series (2 cards, both Vg-Ex); N220 Harlequin Cards 2nd Series (1 card, Vg-Ex); N224 Military Series (149 cards - nine Ex, forty-three Vg-Ex, sixty-four Vg, thirty-three Gd); N229 Famous Running Horses (9 cards - four Vg, Gd, four Fr-Gd). 7) Lone Jack: N367 Actresses, sepia (30 cards - nine Ex, sixteen Vg-Ex, four Vg, Gd), N370 Rulers (1 card, Gd). 8) S. F. Hess: N330 Actresses (49 cards - twelve Ex, twenty-two Vg-Ex, fifteen Vg); N331 Art Series (5 cards - three Vg-Ex, two Vg); N332 Athletes & Celebrities (1 card - Buffalo Bill, very slight miscut on the left border, otherwise Vg-Ex/Ex). Total 281 cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $2,088.00
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