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1889 A35 Goodwin Round Album - Outstanding High-Grade Example!
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $8,225
Spectacular super high-grade example of one of nineteenth-century tobacco's most extraordinary baseball items: The “Goodwin Round Album,” as it is known in collecting circles, was available only by mail in exchange for coupons packed with Goodwin Tobacco. Presented is a gorgeous complete set of all nine album pages featuring players, plus both covers. The album is complete as issued, only missing the all-advertising page (without any players) that once accompanied and the metal clasp (which is not needed and collectors prefer to be removed anyway). The set of nine player pages of the Round Album feature four pages each with a single beautiful full-color portrait (Anson, Kelly, Ward, and Comiskey), and five pages featuring four players each, including Hall of Famers Mickey Welch, Tim Keefe, Roger Connor, John Ward, and Jim O’Rourke in full-length poses. The reverse of each page contains player records and game schedules printed in blue. The outstanding graphics and its extreme rarity make it one of the premier nineteenth-century printed baseball items, and the most desirable of all pre-1900 tobacco-premium albums. Fortunately, the history of this particular example is well known to us; it originally surfaced in 2005 when it was discovered by an antiques dealer in Colorado during the liquidation of an estate. What we remember most about this album is its condition. This is a beautifully preserved high-grade example with bright, crisp, and clean pages. The Ward and Comiskey pages each have a very small surface crease, and are otherwise in Excellent or better condition. The Anson page has a small stain at the extreme perimeter at 6:00; it is otherwise in Excellent condition. The Slattery-Murphy-Crane-Hatfield "four-player" page appears Excellent, but upon very close examination has a small repaired tear at 3:00 and a small crease at 11:00. The remaining pages are all in Excellent or better condition. Both covers are also in overall Excellent condition, with only some very minor scattered paper loss on one. These are particularly high-grade for A35 album covers, which are usually found seriously damaged when they are not lost entirely. There is no damage or tearing to the clasp holes of the covers or any of the interior pages, as is often the case with Round Album pages, from being torn from the clasp instead of being carefully removed. The Round Album has always been highly valued in any condition. Even back in the 1930s, Jefferson Burdick assigned a value of $10 to the Round Album, reflecting its status as one of baseball collecting’s most valuable items. This was back when a T206 Wagner was listed at a then incredible $50. The values of most nineteenth-century baseball tobacco issues have soared over the past ten years. It is interesting to note that the Round Album, based on criteria as varied as rarity, beauty, players represented, and how incredibly substantial it is, now represents, in the opinion of many serious collectors and scholars, a tremendous value compared to most other nineteenth-century baseball tobacco issues (Note: This opinion is strongly shared by REA). This may be in part because it is so rarely offered, and when Round Albums do surface they usually have serious condition problems, as well as the fact that grading companies do not yet grade album pages due to their size (8 inches in diameter). It is very rare when such an outstanding high-grade example of this nineteenth-century classic surfaces. Technically in overall Excellent condition, with an overall Ex-Mt to Near Mint appearance. Crisp and exceptionally clean. This is one of the finest A35 Goodwin Round Albums we have ever seen or offered. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$10,000. SOLD FOR $8,225
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