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1894 N142 Duke Cabinet Wilbert Robinson
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $11,750
Graded GOOD 30 by SGC. There are only four baseball players in this set, which was issued in 1894 by Duke's Honest Tobacco. Each Duke cabinet measures 6 x 9 inches, making this set one of the largest and most impressive of all baseball-card issues. This is a magnificent example of Hall of Famer Wilbert Robinson dating from his playing days as catcher for the legendary Baltimore Orioles of the 1890s. Robinson is naturally one of the highlights to the set, and is considered by many to be particularly rare. The cabinet has virtually no edge wear, just a little light corner wear, bold colors, and a virtually flawless, crisp, clean surface. This card has been downgraded by SGC primarily due to having the initials (apparently of the original owner) “J.C.M.” neatly written in small letters at the top of the blank reverse. A small and very light horizontal surface crease in the background (approximately one inch, running from the right border) would otherwise only allow a grade of Vg-Ex, but the card clearly has a stunning Excellent appearance. The card displays beautifully. There are very few cards of Wilbert Robinson, as his career spanned the years 1886 to 1902. Since the earliest days of organized collecting, Duke cabinets have always been revered by collectors. Even in the 1930s, Jefferson Burdick assigned them a value of $5 each, making them the highest-priced baseball-card issue in the entire American Card Catalog. This was back when the T206 Wagner listed for $50. Because they are so rarely seen, they get very little attention. Yet, by any criteria, Duke cabinets are one of nineteenth-century baseball-card collecting's premier issues. Duke cabinets, which advertise Duke's popular Honest tobacco brand in the lower left, are one of the very few pre-1900 baseball issues and the only baseball cabinet series of the era printed in color. This is a spectacular example of one of the rarest and most beautiful of all Wilbert Robinson cards. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+. SOLD FOR $11,750
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