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1888 N228 Kinney Bros. "Novelties" Collection (876 cards)

  • Sold For: $1,200
  • Year: 1888
  • Auction: 2015 Fall
  • Lot #: 1221
  • Auction Category: Non-Sports Cards/Sheets/Card Artwork

Presented is an extremely substantial collection of 876 cards from the N228 "Novelties" series issued by Kinney Bros. in 1888. The number of cards is not a misprint: Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Six cards! This is by far the largest offering of these scarce cards that we have ever seen! This tremendous lot is part of an extremely large nonsport-card collection consigned to this auction, with more than two dozen sets offered individually and the balance offered in a series of group lots and collections. According to the American Tobacco Cards Price Guide, the N228 series is "one of the most complex and confusing novelty sets that Kinney produced." A total of six different types comprise this series, each of which is unnumbered and uncaptioned and has just slight differences in size and design. Each card features a woman's portrait, sometimes accompanied by a household object, and measures approximately 1-5/8 inches in diameter (circular Type 1) to 1-5/8 x 2-3/4 inches (standard, tobacco-card size Type 5). This collection consists of 152 Type 1 cards, 647 Type 3/4 cards (the designs for both types are identical, with slight embossing the only difference on Type 4 cards), seventy-six Type 5 cards, and one Type 6 card. A complete set of each type ranges from twenty-five to seventy-five cards, so there is heavy duplication throughout this collection. While the condition of the cards in this collection spans several grades, it is an extremely pleasing group overall in relatively consistent Very Good to Excellent condition. Some cards grade technically lesser, but in almost all cases, the cards present in the same condition when viewed from the front but are downgraded due to small flaws on the reverse, such as pencil notations, album residue, or paper loss, all extremely common flaws when dealing with nineteenth-century cards. This is an incredible and extremely large collection of nineteenth-century Kinney Bros. "Novelties," which would provide an outstanding foundation for the completion of multiple sets of these scarce and unusual tobacco cards. Total: 876 cards.  Reserve $200. Estimate (open).

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