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Lot # 442 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1911 T3 Turkey Red Baseball Complete Set (100)

Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $26,438

Exceptionally attractive mixed-grade T3 Turkey Red set ranges from Pr to Vg-Ex, with most cards grading between Fr and Gd-Vg, highlighted by very attractive examples of many Hall of Famers including Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. This is a particularly interesting set as more than half the cards in the set would grade much higher, but have been downgraded due to having a pinhole or two in the border. This was a very common fate of T3s, as they were intended to be displayed and were often tacked up to walls for that very purpose. (This can often provide collectors with a particularly extraordinary value, as a pinhole here or there often comes with the territory with T3s, and often has little impact on the overall appearance of the card.) In this case, some fifty-plus cards have tack holes, which struck us as an unusually high percentage. Inquiring with the consignor, a very longtime collector, he provided a fascinating explanation for how this set happened to be assembled: Twenty-five years ago he had the opportunity to purchase a collection of approximately fifty different Turkey Reds from a dealer at a popular antique mall in Hagerstown, Maryland. (This was way back in the days when the best early material surfaced at flea markets and antique shows!) The cards had survived tacked up on the walls of a bar and had only recently been taken down. Thus began the quest to complete the set! The balance of the set was filled in over the next fifteen years. This is a great-looking set that, in addition to including some higher-grade key Hall of Famer cards over the years (to fill in the set), has many cards that technically grade extremely low due to tack holes, but are otherwise beautiful.

Turkey Reds have long been recognized as one of the most popular and beautiful of all baseball cards, and are rarely offered as a complete set. They were available only by mail in exchange for coupons packaged with Turkey Red Cigarettes. Because Turkey Reds are large cards that are easily damaged, they are particularly difficult to find in high grade. This lot includes all 100 Baseball players (#1-50 and #77-126). Twenty-two of the 100 cards have the Turkey Red advertisement on the backs. We have selected five cards (all Hall of Famers) to be graded and encapsulated by SGC: #9 Ty Cobb (POOR 10, bright and clean with brilliant colors, a tiny crease at the top, and downgraded from a much higher grade due to a tack hole at the top and a second tack hole-related chip in the lower left), 19 Addie Joss (VG/EX 50), 23 Nap Lajoie (VG 40), 27 Christy Mathewson (VG 40, beautiful card, especially for the grade), and 36 Tris Speaker (POOR 10, a gorgeous card downgraded from Ex due to a tack hole at the top). The balance of the cards grade as follows: Twenty-five cards grade Gd to Vg (with a few Vg-Ex): #14, 34, 35 Tinker, 38, 80 Bender, 81, 83, 84, 86, 87 Collins, 88, 89, 90, 92, 98, 101 Keeler, 103, 105, 106, 107, 108, 113, 114, 117, and 121. Eighteen cards grade Fr to Fr-Gd: # 7, 44, 77, 78 Baker, 79, 85, 93, 94, 97, 100, 102, 109, 110, 111, 115, 120, 123, and 125 Walsh. Fifty-two cards grade Pr to Pr-Fr (all have pin- or tack holes): #1 Brown, 2, 3, 4 Bresnahan, 5 Crawford, 6 Chase, 8 Clarke, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 Evers, 17 Griffith, 18 Jennings, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26 McGraw, 28 McIntyre (Bklyn. & Chi.), 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 37, 39 Waddell, 40 Willis (Pitt & St. Louis), 41, 42 Young, 43, 45, 46, 47 Chance, 48, 49, 50, 82, 95, 96, 99 Johnson, 104, 112 Paskert (Cinn. & Phila.), 116, 118, 119, 122, 123, 124 Wallace, and 126. T3s are big cards, which due to their large size tend to be more easily subject to corner wear and creases than smaller cards, and were also often tacked up walls, which is why pinholes are so common with this issue. This collection represents a rare opportunity to purchase a complete mostly low-grade set (but including some higher grade cards, including Lajoie, Mathewson, and Joss), with many very attractive cards, among them many key Hall of Famers. Overall very consistent and reasonably uniform in grade throughout (though ranging in grade as noted), with many cards having far superior eye-appeal than their technically accurate grades. The equivalent SMR value for just the five SGC graded cards (not including the 95 ungraded cards) is $7,025. Total 100 cards (set of 100 Baseball subjects). Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $26,438

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