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1888 St. Louis Base Ball Club Advertising Currency
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,645
Recently discovered and extremely rare baseball advertising currency featuring the 1888 St. Louis Nationals. St. Louis has always been by far the scarcest of the three teams known in the advertising currency series (Detroit and Chicago are the other two), but prior to the discovery of this example, only the 1887 St. Louis team was known to exist. This is the first 1888 St. Louis note known in the currency series. It was completely unknown until 2007 when it was discovered tucked in an old book by a noncollector in Oklahoma, which just goes to show that there is always the potential for exciting new collecting finds, even in the most unlikely places, and even from important nineteenth-century issues. These currencies were issued by various merchants over a period of several years. The front of this advertising piece features a portrait of St. Louis Nationals owner Chris Von der Ahe, a full-length image of the Wiman Trophy, and advertising for "London and Paris Misfit Parlors." This St. Louis merchant is also a new addition to the baseball currency "census." The reverse depicts portraits of ten members of the powerhouse St. Louis Nationals including manager/player Charles Comiskey. The offered 1888 St. Louis note features ten portraits and has several player changes from the 1887 note, including the very unusual (unique to the series) presentation of Jocko Milligan and Chippy McGarr as generic silhouettes, apparently because actual likeness portraits were not available. Both of these players were new additions to St. Louis in 1888. Hall of Famer Tommy McCarthy is a new addition to the 1888 note, having just joined St. Louis from Philadelphia. The other team members are Latham, King, Lyons, Boyle, Robinson, and O'Neill. These advertising currencies are very thin and easily damaged. This example has two folding creases and a few minor chips along the extreme perimeter, both very common problems with these currencies. It also has an insignificant light pencil notation along the bottom border of the reverse; it is otherwise crisp and clean. This rare currency was first introduced to the collecting world in Robert Edward Auctions April 2007 sale. It is the only example known to exist and has been consigned to this auction directly from the original purchaser. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $1,645
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