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Lot # 132 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1908 PC760-Related T. R. Rose Postcard Collection (8) - All Springfield Ponies

Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $1,659.00

Offered are eight exceedingly rare PC760-Related Rose Postcards featuring exclusively members of the minor-league Springfield Ponies team (from Springfield, Massachusetts) of the Connecticut State League. Among advanced collectors, Rose Postcards are regarded as one of the most striking and magnificently designed baseball-card sets ever produced. The set had long been thought to feature only Major League players with a small sampling of minor-league players included from the Scranton franchise. The discovery of thirteen Springfield postcards in 2004 added a new dimension to this issue and raised questions about the scope of the set and the possibility that additional team sets may have been issued by the T. R. Rose Company. Standard PC760 Rose Postcards feature black-and-white portraits set inside a gold embossed frame with the player's name and team printed inside a rectangular nameplate underneath. The Springfield postcards are identical in almost every respect at a glance but are not truly part of the traditional PC760 Rose Postcard set. They have significant differences in the nature of the cards' construction with reference to the images and nameplates, and very likely the manner in which they were distributed. The construction of the Springfield player cards is much different than PC760 Rose postcards in that the photos (instead of being printed right on the cards) are actually first generation Type 1 photographs that are perfectly cut out in circles and are each individually affixed. The accompanying nameplates below the portrait images are also each added on as a separate component (as opposed to being printed on the card). Each Springfield player is photographed in an exterior setting, with either a stadium or tree-lined background (which is also a departure from the studio-setting style photographs of regular Rose Postcards). The explanation for why these Springfield Ponies postcards are so different from other Rose postcards involves some speculation but to us seems obvious: The Rose Postcard Company allowed local and minor-league teams or fans to order blank postcards to create their own set, or they arranged for the photographs (which are perfectly produced) to be professionally taken and allowed them to order postcards featuring their members in special custom short-run orders. The existence of these Springfield Rose Postcards is proof that these custom cards were available to teams that had interest and were willing to pay for them. We know of the existence of at least one blank Rose Postcard template, identical to a final card version except for a missing image and name, that is also consistent with this theory. The T. R. Rose Company is well known for distributing its primary PC760 set of Major Leaguers (as well as a set of Scranton minor leaguers) but apparently also made available the templates available for use by retailers or other interested parties. The Springfield Ponies may have seen this as an opportunity to produce an attractive set featuring members of the team (perhaps for distribution only to team members) or a dedicated fan may have undertaken the project himself. This particular offering is very special as it originates from the estate of Jimmy Burns, a member of the Springfield Ponies, and represents only the second group of these postcards that we are aware of. This lot consists of the following: Collins, Connor, Luby, Maggert, Parker, Wachob, Waite, and Warner. Each card is postally unused and are in overall approximately Gd condition with one card (Collins) lesser due to a heavy horizontal crease. Three of these players (Collins, Connor, and Maggert) saw playing time in the Major Leagues. This is an attractive group of extremely rare cards that are very closely related to (if not part of) one of the most ornate and desirable prewar postcard sets in existence. Total: 8 cards. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,659.00

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