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Lot # 22 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder Advertising Trade Card

Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $29,375.00

If we had to make a list of the ten most important baseball cards of all time, it would be impossible to not have the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder trade card near the top of this short list. In addition to being one of card collecting's great rarities, it has special historical import as it features the very first professional baseball team, the legendary 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. This is the team that started it all, the team led by George and Harry Wright that toured the nation, and in the process put baseball on the map as a professional sport. By any definition, the 1869 Cincinnati Reds Peck & Snyder is one of the earliest of all baseball cards, and one of the few collecting icons representing the birth of both professional baseball and the "baseball card." Several known varieties of cards feature this classic team pose of the 1869 Red Stockings. The smaller CDV style is known with several different backs; most known are blank-backed. The larger Peck & Snyder trade card is universally recognized as the most desirable of the several card styles featuring this image of the 1869 Reds, both because the players are identified on the front of the card, and because this style features advertising for Peck & Snyder's "Base Ball and Sportsman's Emporium" ("126 Nassau Street, New York") on the reverse. Peck & Snyder was a leading retailer of baseball supplies at that time. The larger trade-card style, of which the offered card is an example, is known with red or black printing on the front and back of the mount, as well as several variations to the advertising on the reverse. The offered example identifies the players in bold black printing on the mount, with the classic Peck & Snyder advertising on the reverse. This example is the ideal for this card, combining all of the most desirable potential design elements of all of the several known styles of the card. Perhaps most important, this example has obviously been very well cared for over the years. There is no fading to the printing on the mount, front or back, and the photograph retains its original contrast. The photo quality of 1869 Reds team cards is often very poor, and many times the contrast does not even allow for the reading of the “C” logos on players’ shirts. The photo contrast on this example is the finest we have ever seen. It is simply outstanding, with the "C" logos on the uniforms legible, laces visible on shoes, and with the extraordinary detail of the faces of each player practically jumping out of the photo. These observations truly communicate just how extraordinary the quality of this image is and defines how superior the quality of the photograph is compared to most other examples. The advertising reverse of this example is also virtually flawless, which of course is especially noteworthy for a card such this where the advertising on the reverse has such great significance. Upon extremely close inspection we can barely detect that this card may have long ago been mounted in an album and very carefully removed, affecting the type of just a few of the letters on the reverse; this extremely minor point is mentioned strictly for the sake of absolute accuracy. The actual mounted photograph is in incredible Nr/Mt to Mint condition with no flaws of any kind. It would be hard to imagine a finer example, and we do not believe there is one. The card has a tiny stain in the upper left corner which is barely detectable, just a little rounding to the corners, and overall has a strong Excellent appearance. We estimate that fewer than ten 1869 Red Stockings Peck & Snyder trade cards are known to exist. This is one of the best. The detail and richness of the tones in the photograph make this one of the most striking and desirable of the four or five 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings trade cards we have ever handled. Bright, crisp, and clean, this is an extraordinary example, one of the finest in existence, of one of the most important cards in the collecting world. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $29,375.00

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