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1911 S81 Large Silk Premium Christy Mathewson
Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $1,320
Crisp and clean example of key Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson from this popular and rare circa 1910 tobacco premium issue. S81s were issued at the same time and as part of the same promotion as T3 Turkey Reds and L1 Leathers. The S81 silks could only be obtained by mail, in exchange for twenty tobacco coupons per silk. The redeemable coupons were inserted one coupon per pack, so it is not surprising that these premiums are extremely rare. They are also one of the most beautiful and highly regarded of all baseball tobacco issues. Longtime collectors may notice that Mathewson turns up with far greater frequency than perhaps any other player in the S81 set. Approximately twenty-five years ago there was a find of S81s. We do not know the exact number of silks in the find, but suspect that it may have been as many as 50. Most were in high grade, and all were of Mathewson. They have long since been absorbed by the collecting world, and today (especially for old-timers who remember when S81 Mathewsons were around and looking for homes) it is actually surprising that they don't turn up more often. The fact that Mathewson is one of the great stars of the set, and of all time, and that the S81 of Mathewson is one of the most attractive of all Mathewson issues, has no doubt played a role in making these beauties seem to disappear from the marketplace. But they still turn up every once in a while, and offered is a gem example from the original find, which has not seen the light of day for more than twenty years. The silk presents as Near Mint, but close examination reveals that it has been neatly trimmed along the top edge to eliminate natural stray edge fraying. Otherwise crisp and clean, free of any wrinkles or fraying, and with only light scattered areas of discoloration in the left and bottom borders. Encapsulated for protection as "Authentic" by SGC. A superb, bright, and attractive S81 of Christy Mathewson, very likely originating from the original find over two decades ago. SOLD FOR $1,320
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