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1888 N224 Kinney Military Near-Complete Set (578 of 622)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $5,036
Addendum: This lot consists of 578 different cards, not 586 as originally advertised. In addition to the missing card numbers provided below, #181, 185, 189, 194, 197, 319, 478, 605, and 608 are also not included with this collection.
Presented is a tremendous collection of 577 different cards, out of 622 in the massive set, plus one variation of card #415, from the 1888 N224 Kinney Military tobacco series. The Kinney Military series is considered in many ways to be the nonsport-card equivalent in significance and intrigue to the N172 Old Judge or T206 baseball-card sets for their eras. It is a huge set, of great significance as one of the most ambitious and popular card issues of the day, and with many intricacies with reference to rarities, including virtually impossible-to-find cards. A complete set is literally unheard of, and this is only the third collection of any notable quantity from this series that we have ever offered (REA sold a near-complete set, missing only ten cards, in 2011 for $8,225, and a collection of 387 different last year for $2,014). This near-complete set is missing only forty-six cards: 161, 164, 167, 181, 185, 189, 194, 197, 198, 201, 211, 218, 221, 222, 223, 227, 235, 268, 277, 291, 315, 319, 323, 324, 326, 327, 329, 332, 334, 338, 339, 379, 380, 406, 411, 473, 478, 484, 490, 537, 548, 556, 566, 580, 606, and 608. The numbers provided correspond to the checklist available here.
To the best of our knowledge no one has ever completed a set of N224s. The most complete collection that we know to exist is that of the legendary Sir Edgar Wharton-Tiger. His collection of 621 different (of 622 different cards known) is permanently housed in The British Museum. The one card he is missing, "Hussar of France," is an extreme rarity. This is a very exciting group for N224 collectors. Approximately two dozen cards in the set are prohibitively rare (England and the New York National Guard subjects, for example, are particularly scarce) and this collection includes several of these extreme rarities. Issued with Kinney's tobacco, the 1888 Kinney Military cards feature magnificent full-color illustrations of men dressed in military uniforms of various nations from a variety of time periods. Approximately half the set features American military uniforms and approximately half the set features foreign military uniforms from around the world.
Condition: The entire collection presents in Gd to Ex condition (averaging Vg to Vg-Ex) with a few lesser (including some trimmed or handcut) when viewed from the front. There are, however, minor technical faults, including glue residue, writing, or paper loss, visible on the reverse of approximately twenty percent of the cards. While this is especially common, and tolerated, among nineteenth-century cards, if professionally graded, the cards with minor flaws would grade modestly despite, in almost all cases, their far superior appearance. This is one of the largest collections we have seen of these classic nineteenth-century tobacco cards. This collection has been assembled by an extremely advanced old-time collector over a period of decades, and is simply a remarkable and outstanding foundation for carrying on the challenging quest for completion of the N224 Kinney Military set. A complete inventory listing is available upon request. Total: 578 cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $5,036
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