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Lot # 115 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1894 Alpha Photo-Engraving Bill Hawke - Only Card of Hawke Known to Exist

Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $4,700.00

Graded FAIR 20 by SGC. Presented is a sample card of Bill Hawke card from one of collecting’s rarest sets: the legendary 1894 Alpha Photo-Engraving. We believe this is the only example in existence of the only card of Baltimore pitcher Bill Hawke to ever be issued. Hawke was one of the aces of the Baltimore pitching staff, compiling a 16-9 won-loss record in 1894. He began his Major League career with St. Louis in 1892 and, despite his impressive record with Baltimore in 1894, for some reason retired immediately following the 1894 season. His three-year career happened to be during a time when very few cards sets were issued. He died in 1902. The Alpha Photo-Engraving set features the 1894 Baltimore Orioles, then Champions of the World and one of the greatest teams to ever take the field, with each player pictured in formal attire. Only fourteen cards from this extraordinary issue are known to exist. All fourteen known cards are different. Each of these cards, including the offered Alpha of Bill Hawke, is the only example known. Few sets from any era rival the 1894 Alpha Photo-Engraving set in terms of rarity, mystique, and significance. This set is one of the few issued during the 1890s, includes the earliest issued cards for many important players, and features one of the greatest teams in the history of the game. In addition to their distinctive and very classic look, they are also in their own league as far as rarity. Alpha Photo-Engraving cards have long been recognized as simply impossible to obtain. All fourteen known cards were for many years owned by one very advanced collector who finally sold them in early 2006, resulting in the availability in the marketplace of several examples. The card is bright and clean, both front and back, with a strong Very Good appearance. As is the case with all of the Alpha Photo-Engraving cards, the card has been downgraded by SGC due to an insignificant strip of surface paper loss along the top border of the reverse, from long ago being displayed taped to a window and later removed. This is an extraordinary and unique sample from Alpha Photo-Engraving, one of card collecting’s most legendary and rarest issues. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,700.00

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