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Lot # 1070 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1893 Baseball Advertising "All-Stars" Currency (with Kelly, Clarkson, Ward, etc.)

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,370

During the late 1880s "baseball currencies" were produced as a novel form of advertising for local merchants. These currencies, printed on thin paper stock, were issued for several teams by various merchants over a period of several years. The design of each currency featured the respective year along with woodcut portraits of the respective team manager or president on the front, and smaller portrait images of the respective players on the reverse. Each currency (approximately 7.75 x 3.25 inches) would then be overprinted (usually front and back) with advertising for a local merchant. They are known as "currencies" today due to the fact that they resemble paper money and that the advertisements often offer consumers a discount on purchases made at the respective retail shop. Currencies were distributed in the late 1880s featuring Chicago and Detroit clubs of the National League, and the St. Louis Browns of the American Association. In 1893 an extremely rare final late addition to the series was produced featuring an all-star selection of players from various teams. For many years, the 1893 "All-Stars" currency was not even known to exist (it was completely unknown when Lew Lipset published The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards Volume I in 1983) and we are confident that fewer than five (possibly as few as three) exist.

Offered here is an extraordinary newly discovered 1893 "All-Star" example! The front features an illustration of National League president Nicholas Young, while the reverse pictures twelve of the League's top players: Cap Anson, Charles Comiskey, Mike "King" Kelly, John Clarkson, Montgomery Ward, Jim O'Rourk, Billy Nash, George Van Haltren, Mark Baldwin, Bob Allen, Dave Foutz, and Fred Pfeffer. An advertisement for "Sam Glock - New York Clothier" appears on the front, while the reverse text informs customers that they will receive a five-percent discount on all cash purchases over $5.00 with the presentation of this note. The currency (7.5 x 3.5 inches) displays extremely minor foxing, a small crease in the lower right corner, and a few tiny edge tears. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,370

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