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1909 T204 Ramly Cigarettes Complete Set (121)

  • Sold For: $41,475
  • Year: 1909
  • Auction: 2012 spring
  • Lot #: 238
  • Auction Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

Ramlys are universally regarded as one of the most classic and elegantly designed baseball-card issues ever produced. Issued in 1909 and catalogued T204 in the American Card Catalog , Ramlys are noted for the distinctive fancy gold-embossed borders that surround the oval photographic portraits. They are much rarer than most other tobacco-card issues from the 1910 era. Presented is a stunning almost-never-seen complete set of this important issue, one of only several complete sets that we have ever had the privilege of offering over the past thirty-five years. The Ramly set is highlighted by fifteen Hall of Famers, including Walter Johnson, Ed Plank, and Jesse Burkett. Seventy-eight cards (64% of the set) are graded and encapsulated by PSA (41 cards) or SGC (37 cards).

The PSA grades are as follows: One EX-MT 6: Donovan. Two EX+ 5.5: Bowerman and Tinker (HOF). Seven EX 5: J. Ball, Bridwell, Devlin, Donahue, Nicholls, Reilly, and Wallace (HOF). Seventeen VG-EX 4: N. Ball, Beebe, Chech, Clymer, Coakley (T.T.T. Cigarettes back), Davis, Ferris, Freeman, Griffith (HOF, T.T.T. Cigarettes back), Jones, Lindaman, Niles, Paskert, Shipke, Spencer, Steinfeldt, and Tenney. One VG+ 3.5: Stahl. Nine VG 3: Alperman, Anderson, Carrigan, J. Collins (HOF), Knight, McLean, Mitchell, Pelty, and Rucker. Four GOOD 2: Arelanes, Cicotte ("Black Sox," It is interesting to note that Cicotte's name is misspelled as "Cicolte" on this card), Schaefer, and Sheckard. The SGC grades are as follows: One NM 84: Sebring. Four EX+ 70: Bates, Brown (HOF), Chance (HOF), and Manning. Seven EX 60: Dunn, Ewing, Hartzell, Hemphill, O'Hare, Stephens, and Street. Thirteen VG/EX 50: Archer, Bancroft (Carter Collection), Bresnahan (HOF), Donlin, Ferguson, Fromme, Graham, McAleer, Moran, Newton, Sallee, Schlei, and Smith. Nine VG 40: Bender (HOF), Burchell, Burkett (HOF), E. Collins (HOF), Huggins (HOF), Hummell, Keeler (HOF), McConnell, and Plank (HOF). Two GOOD 30: Ritchey and Thomas. One POOR 10: Johnson (HOF). Ungraded Cards: One Ex: Dorner. Fourteen Vg to Vg-Ex: Bransfield, Criger, Ganley, Gessler, Lush, McCormick, Merkle, Milan, Murphy, Murray, Pfeister, Schulte, Sweeney, and Wagner. Eight Gd-Vg: Byrnes, Elberfield, Howard, Lobert, Lumley, Murnane, O'Leary, Raymond. Thirteen Gd: Bell, Coombs, Crandall, Dineen, Evers (HOF, rejected for grading by SGC for "questionable color"), Howell, Kahoe, Karger, Konetchey, McIntyre, Powell, Ruelbach, and Unglaub. Three Fr-Gd: Blankenship, Hoblitzel (T.T.T. Cigarettes back, with a small amount of scrapbook paper on reverse), and Morgan. Four Pr: Blair (trim), Conroy, Kleinow, and Lord. Backs almost all Ramly Cigarettes, but also included are three examples of the rare T.T.T. Cigarettes (Coakley, Griffith, and Hoblitzel). This is a set with tremendous eye-appeal, with many condition highlights, and with a considerably stronger appearance than suggested by the very respectable and accurate condition composite and individual grades listed above. This is a very rarely offered complete set of one of card collecting’s most exciting and classic tobacco issues. The equivalent SMR value for just the seventy-eight graded cards (not including the forty-three ungraded cards) is $39,770. Total: 121 cards. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $20,000/$30,000+. SOLD FOR $41,475

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