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Extraordinary 1888-1916 Tobacco-Card Proof Sheets and Panels Collection (15)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,200
Extraordinary collection of fifteen rare uncut proof sheets featuring cards from twelve different nonsport issues spanning the years 1888 to 1916. This is an incredible collection! Early tobacco-card proof sheets are virtually nonexistent. This is by far the largest collection (in fact, it is the only real collection) that we have ever seen. As noted, all are nonsport issues. If these sheets featured baseball tobacco cards, they would be worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars or more (and probably cause a riot!). The cards featured on these sheets are from some of the most beautiful nonsport tobacco-card sets of the era. Exactly how these survived is unknown, but clearly each was long ago saved by someone involved with the printing of these sets. Our consignor spent many years building this unique collection. Frankly, we're not sure how he did it! The extreme rarity of these unique proof sheets and uncut panels makes collecting them virtually impossible. This one lot includes more than we have seen during the past forty years! This is a remarkable and unprecedented assembly of uncut tobacco-card proof sheets that would be a significant addition to any advanced collection of nonsport or tobacco cards.
This collection consists of the following: 1) 1888 N126 "Rulers, Flags, Arms of All Nations." Issued by W. Duke Sons & Co. and packaged with its various brands. Each card measures 2-9/16 x 4-3/8 inches and features beautiful color lithography of the ruler, flags, and coat of arms of the featured nation. The cards were designed to be tri-folded and inserted into cigarette packages. This 3-card panel is complete, both front and back, but does not have the customary folds yet. The panel presents as Excellent, with light rounding to the corners. Dimensions: 4-3/8 x 8-1/4 inches. 2-3) 1888 N4 "Birds of America." Allen & Ginter. Each card measures 1.5 x 2.75 inches and features a beautiful color lithograph of a bird in its natural habitat. Included are 10- and 20-card proof sheets, each of which is blank-backed. A few insignificant spots of surface wear are present on front, along with light wrinkles visible under close inspection. The blank reverses display some discoloration. The 10-card panel is missing a piece of the upper left corner. Dimensions: 7.75 x 11.25 inches. 4) 1890 "Famous Running Horses." Kinney Brothers. Each card measures 1-3/8 x 2-3/4 inches and features a colorful image of a rider atop a champion racehorse. This 4-card proof sheet displays printer's color bars and production notations in the extra wide margins. Overall Excellent to Near Mint condition, with a clipped top right corner (by design) and an insignificant spot of creasing in the upper left. Dimensions: 8 x 4.75 inches. 5) c. 1890 "Actors and Actresses." Virginia Brights Cigarettes. Each card measures approximately 1-5/8 x 2-7/8 inches and features a sepia-toned photo of an actor or actress with the name printed at bottom along with advertising for Virginia Brights Cigarettes. This 3-card panel is blank-backed and presents as Excellent. Dimensions: 5 x 3 inches. 6) c. 1895 "Actresses." Kinney Brothers with Sweet Caporal Cigarettes. Each card measures approximately 1-1/2 x 2-11/16 inches and features a colorful image of an actress with her name printed at the bottom. This 4-card uncut panel is complete on both front and back and grades very modestly due to light creasing, two small tack holes on either side, and an irregularly cut top border. Dimensions: 2-5/8 x 5-3/4 inches. 7-8) 1906 "Modern Statesmen." Hignett's Cigarettes. Each card measures 1-3/8 x 2-5/8 inches and features a portrait of a political figure along with biographical information and advertising on the reverse. Included are two uncut 5-card panels, one of which features a very young Winston Churchill. Each panel presents as Excellent, though one has light wrinkling under close inspection, which would cause it to technically grade lesser. Dimensions: 2-5/8 x 7 and 2-5/8 x 7-1/2 inches (extra margin area is present on one panel). 9) 1910 T51 "College Series." Murad Cigarettes. Each card measures 2-1/16 x 2-11/16 inches and features a colorful lithograph of athletic scenes from various universities. This 12-card proof sheet is blank-backed and has printer's color bars in the top margin and light, handwritten numbers underneath each card. A light, insignificant crease in the corner and a one-inch tear in the center card on the bottom row (repaired with tape on the blank reverse). Dimensions: 8-1/8 x 9-3/8 inches. 10-11) 1910 T62 “Fortune Series.” Turkish Trophy Cigarettes. Each card measures 2-5/8 x 3-1/4 inches and features a beautiful colorful lithograph scene. Included are a 6- and 12-card proof sheet, each with a blank back and printer's color bars in the extra wide margins. A few insignificant creases in the large margins and quarter inch tear on the right edge of the larger sheet along with two insignificant chips on the border of the small sheet. Dimensions: 10 x 5-7/8 and 12 x 14.5 inches. 12) 1910 T112 “Toast Series” Group Four: Girls and Men. Mogul Cigarettes. Each card measures 1-15/16 x 2-11/16 inches and features a beautiful colorful lithograph of a woman relating to a specific country, each with five different toasts. The text of the toasts are not printed on the cards on this proof sheet, which was obviously intended only to proof artwork, colors, and card design. This 13-card proof sheet is blank-backed and has printer's color bars in the extra wide margins. Minor creases in the large margins and a heavy corner crease in the upper left. Dimensions: 10 x 12.5 inches. 13) c. 1910 Anonymous. Unidentified 10-card proof sheet featuring detailed images of Chinese women in ornate clothing, set against a gray background and highlighted with bright colors in the clothing. Each card measures 1.5 x 2.5 inches. The sheet is blank-backed with extra wide margins containing light, insignificant wear, including a small tear to one of the cards in the top row. Dimensions: 9 x 6.75 inches. 14) 1912 "National Arms & Flags." John Player Cigarettes. Each card measures approximately 1.25 x 2.5 inches and displays colorful lithography of the coat of arms of the featured nation. This 6-card proof sheet is blank-backed and has printer's color bars in the extra wide margins. A few light, insignificant wrinkles are present on the front. Excellent appearance. Dimensions: 5.5 x 6.5 inches. 15) c. 1916 Obsequio de Susini "Peculiaridades del Mundo." Each card measures 1-7/8 x 2-1/2 inches and features black-and-white, real-photo images. This is a complete 14-card proof sheet, with finished fronts and printed backs. Printing stamps and hand-written notations on reverse are evidence that this sheet was intended for use in proofing. There is light creasing along the top border and a few insignificant wrinkles on the fragile glossy stock. Dimensions: 5-1/8 x 13-1/4 inches. Total: 15 sheets and panels. SOLD FOR $1,200
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