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Lot # 1148 (of 1137)   < Previous Lot |

Circa 1910 Notebook Cover Proof Christy Mathewson

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,422

1910 Notebook Cover proof featuring New York Giants Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson. In "the olden days," notebooks with big stars and well-known players on their covers were very popular with youngsters at school. While many different cover designs exist, the offered Mathewson is from a series that features one of the most distinctive and striking designs. Covers from this series are all the more noteworthy as they have a strong "card-like" appearance, and are all the more similar to cards in that they are part of a set. The set consists of five covers: Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Rube Waddell, and Cy Young as well as non-Hall of Famer Lou Criger. The offered cover was originally part of an uncut proof sheet (27 x 30 inches) that surfaced many years ago, which included three examples of each player (15 covers in total), and has since been cut up and sold as individual items. No other covers from this series have ever been seen. This cover proof is printed in a striking blue color, with an image of the Mathewson in the center, surrounded by an elaborate baseball equipment design. It is fascinating to note that the portrait used on this cover is the very same as that which appears on a number of other famous Mathewson cards, including 1902 W600 Sporting Life Cabinet, 1904 Allegheny Co., 1910 E103 Williams Caramel, 1910-1911 M116 Sporting Life, and 1915 E145 Cracker Jack. This is obviously an iconic and very popular pose! The fact that no complete notebooks (with blank paper) featuring these covers are known suggests the possibility that they were not produced, though it is also very possible that they were marketed and none have survived. They were not intended to be saved. To date, the single proof sheet of fifteen covers is all that is known to have survived. The Mathewson cover presents with a strong Excellent appearance. Light wrinkling is present on the reverse, and the cover is affixed, by means of two pieces of tape, to a custom-cut mat for display. A tiny, almost imperceptible tear, is present at the bottom of the right border and is mentioned for the sake of accuracy. The cover could easily be cut from its mount, leaving small pieces of tape on the reverse, but causing no other damage and maintaining its Excellent presentation. Pre-production proofs theoretically exist for many sets, but rarely survive. It is easy to see why these 1910-era Notebook Cover proofs are highly regarded. This is an extremely impressive example of Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson from this unusual and desirable prewar set. The individual cover measures 6.5 by 8 inches and has been matted to total dimensions of 11-1/4 by 14-3/8 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,422

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