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Lot # 465 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1912 T207 Brown Background Louis Lowdermilk - Rare "Red Cross" Back (Unique Example from the 2010 "Louisiana Find")

Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $13,035

Graded VG 40 by SGC. Presented is one of card collecting's most fascinating and astounding tobacco-card rarities. It is unique and until very modern times was not even known to exist: the T207 Brown Background Louis Lowdermilk with a Red Cross back. This is one of eight T207 cards with Red Cross backs and the most significant highlight from one of vintage-card collecting's most exciting recent discoveries: the Louisiana Find of 2010. Previous to this find, a total of only five T207 Red Cross examples were even known to exist. (Here’s a link to the only one we had ever sold previously; it was hammered down for $9,400 in May 2010.) The Louisiana Find was presented in REA's May 2011 auction. The T207 Lowdermilk with Red Cross back appeared as lot #96 (selling at that time for $21,150). It was consigned by the original purchaser at that sale to REA's Spring 2013 auction, where it appeared as Lot #12 (realizing $16,590). We are pleased to offer this card again on behalf of the most recent buyer, who purchased the card from the 2013 sale with the intention of holding the card as an investment. He, like us, felt this card was one with tremendous upside potential, especially given its status as a unique rarity from this classic prewar set. The need to raise money for other projects has spurred him to refocus his collection and sell this card. Sometimes timing is everything! Whether it sells for "X" or "Y" dollars is up to the market to decide, but at whatever level, this is a card of enormous significance and rarity that will always be held in awe by extremely advanced vintage card collectors. Just a T207 type card with a Red Cross back (of any subject) is an almost impossible-to-find rarity. The one and only Lowdermilk with Red Cross back represents a remarkable front-back combination that will always be of great and special note as a unique example of this iconic card.

The T207 Lowdermilk, of course, has long been recognized as the key rarity of the T207 Brown Background tobacco-card series. Even in the 1930s, in the original American Card Catalog by Jefferson Burdick, Lowdermilk was listed as rarer and more valuable than any other card in the T207 set. (At that time, its value was listed at $1. The T206 Wagner was listed at $50.) Today collectors recognize many cards as being of various degrees of rarity in the T207 set, but Lowdermilk will always be the most famous key rarity of the classic T207 set. It is one of the most highly prized rarities in all of tobacco cards with any advertising back, let alone with a Red Cross advertising reverse.

T207 tobacco cards with Red Cross advertisements were not even listed in the American Card Catalog, and to the best of our knowledge were completely undiscovered and unknown until the 1980s when they were formally documented for the very first time in Lew Lipset's Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards Volume 3 - 20th Century Tobacco Cards, published in 1986. At the time of the Encyclopedia's publication, a total of four Red Cross examples were known to exist, and all came from a single find in Louisiana. Between the surfacing of the Louisiana Find in August 2010, and the discovery of the first four miracle T207 Red Cross cards in the 1980s, only one additional verified T207 Red Cross card has ever surfaced (a very low-grade example of Lange). The T207 Red Cross back sample is one of the most extreme rarities in all of card collecting, tobacco or otherwise. In fact, it is rarer than any other T205, T206, or T207 front or advertising-back rarity, some of which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars (including Wagner, the rare Doyle, Ty Cobb with "Ty Cobb" back, etc.).

This is an extremely attractive and conservatively graded example of legendary T207 rarity Louis Lowdermilk, and one that would be a prize with any advertising reverse. The reverse has a beautifully and boldly printed bright red text and advertising for Red Cross Tobacco, which of course is ideal for a T207 Red Cross example. This is an outstanding and extremely striking card. The image on the card is very bold, with flawless clarity. The card has a single very light background crease next to his right ear, is centered to the extreme bottom, and has a few very light tobacco stains on the reverse. This is an exceptional example of a fascinating and simply astonishing rarity that even the most advanced tobacco-card collectors and scholars would find extremely noteworthy. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $13,035


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