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Lot # 101 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1888 N352 Consolidated Cigarette Co. SGC-Graded Pair

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,303.50

Offered is pair of extremely rare sample cards from the N352 series. We cannot even begin to explain how rare these cards are. In over forty years, we have not handled - or even seen in person! - a single example from this set until now. We knew they existed only because they are cataloged. But we have seen examples offered elsewhere exactly once: In April 2005, Lew Lipset presented an amazing find of four cards at auction. The legendary scholar and author of The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards, who himself had also never before seen them, described the cards as follows:

"Rare Discovery of 4 19th Century Die Cut cards. Most collectors have seen the 19th century die cut set of ten which was issued in a sheet. To the best of my knowledge they have never been seen in any other form until now, though the N352 entry in the American Card Catalog makes reference to them. In this lot are two of the ten cards from the set ('Boston' and 'Pittsburg') and two similar cards, apparently from an English set. All four cards have been mounted on cards that were obviously especially made for these die cuts to be glued to. The backs of the card, which indicate Consolidated Cigarette Co, make clear reference to the baseball cards and others. Good to very good." With a minimum bid of $500, they sold for $1,464. The lot was split by two collectors (each got one baseball player and one non-baseball player card). The two cards presented here are from this very lot, consigned by the original purchaser in the 2005 Lew Lipset auction.

These cards were issued in 1888 by Consolidated Cigarette Co. as part of a set (according to the text on the back) comprised of 100 different subjects encompassing athletes, performers, and soldiers. Each card measures 2 x 3.25 inches and features a die-cut (similar to those found in the 1888 R & S Artistic series) affixed to a card backing. The reverse of each card features a listing of the types of subjects available along with an advertisement for Paxi Tobacco and Consolidated Cigarette. The two cards in this lot are "Pittsburg" (baseball player) and "Stopping Balls" (lawn tennis). Both cards are graded and encapsulated POOR 10 by SGC due to light creases and corner wear, and in the case of "Stopping Balls", a small part of the die-cut missing. Despite this, as can easily be seen, the pair presents extremely well with bright colors on the die-cuts and perfectly printed reverses free of paper loss. The technical grade is of little importance when considering these cards as their rarity trumps all. Note that these are the VERY examples used to illustrate the set on, in every Internet reference guide, and in The Standard Catalog. This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire samples of this exceedingly rare nineteenth-century type card. These are the ONLY examples we have ever seen during the past forty-two years (which in our opinion is really incredible). If you don't win this lot for your sample-card collection and you look back with regret, check back in another forty-two years. Maybe REA's Spring 2055 auction will present a newly discovered sample! Total: 2 cards. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,303.50

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