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Lot # 92 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1895 N566 Newsboy Tobacco Cabinet/ Baum & Bernstein Clothiers Collection (3)

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,994

Presented is an extraordinary find of three extremely rare N566 Newsboy Tobacco cabinets, each with a merchant's overprint along the top. The overprint in black lettering reads “Compliments of Baum & Bernstein, Clothiers.” All three cabinets have been graded and encapsulated by SGC: #178 Jack Doyle (VG/EX 50, downgraded due to age toning front and back); 180 George Van Haltren (EX 60, light age toning and soiling on the front, perfectly clean reverse); and 181 Dave Foutz (VG/EX 50, very light age toning on the front and a couple spots on the reverse). These are very crisp, clean cabinet-cards photos, each having outstanding contrast. In the 1880s, merchants often ordered cards that could be customized with overprints to use them most effectively as advertising vehicles for their establishments. This was a most common practice with trade cards, but occasionally cabinet cards were also used in this manner. This group of three Baum & Bernstein Clothiers cards is a particularly amazing find as the cabinet cards used in this manner here are 1895 Newsboy cabinet cards, produced by the National Tobacco Works of New York City to promote their Newsboy Tobacco brand. We believe these cards were offered by Newsboy (or the card manufacturer for Newsboy) to various merchants as an advertising product to be customized with overprinting for promotional use. We base this conclusion not just on the fact that these three cards exist, but also because we have seen one other N566 Newsboy baseball player with overprint advertising (on the reverse in that case) and numerous non-baseball N566 Newsboy subjects over the years with overprint advertising (also on the reverse). It is interesting to note that the overprint is not an ink stamp. The advertising is actually printed right onto the cabinet-card mount. This is how the card was produced. It is likely that sheets of already-printed cabinet card mounts went through an additional printing process to add the custom-ordered advertising overprint. Advertising and promotion were obviously a very high priority for Baum & Bernstein. Research indicates that the proprietors of "Baum & Berstein, Clothiers" were Sigmund Bernstein of Meridian, Connecticut, and Jacob Baum of Haverstraw, New York, who became partners in a very successful clothing-store enterprise in Haverstraw. In A History of Meridian (Gillespsie and Curtis, 1906), Bernstein is singled out as one of the most prominent businessmen of Meridian in the late nineteenth-century, and it is fascinating to note that in this book special mention is made that "he has given away thousands of dollars as prizes, guessing contests, and other ingenious ways of advertising." This is a very significant collection of three extraordinary (and possibly unique) nineteenth-century baseball cabinet-card rarities. Total 3 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $4,994


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