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Lot # 59 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1889-1890 E. R. Williams Base Ball Game Playing-Card Complete Set Minus 1 (51/52)

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,925

Presented is a newly discovered and particularly attractive mid-grade complete set (missing only one card) of 1889 E. R. Williams Base Ball Game cards. This a tremendous find! This set was discovered by our consignor among old possessions while cleaning out a home after a flood last summer. Luckily for us, the cards were spared of any severe damage and are now available for collectors to enjoy! Over the years we have seen very few complete sets of this rare and extremely attractive nineteenth-century game-card set. The E. R. Williams game-card set is comprised of nineteen cards featuring color portraits of thirty-eight different players (two per card), and thirty-three additional game cards (which have baseball-motif designs but do not feature players). While only the fifty-one cards have survived the passage of time, the set was originally housed in a box bearing the company's name and accompanied by a 10-page instruction booklet and the necessary game pieces. The E.R. Williams set is one of the rarest and most highly prized of all baseball playing-cards sets and all pre-1900 baseball issues. It is also one of the few pre-1900 baseball-card issues produced in color. All the greatest stars of the era are represented, including Hall of Famers Buck Ewing, Cap Anson, Dan Brouthers, Roger Connor, Charles Comiskey, John Clarkson, Tim Keefe, Mike Kelly, Pud Galvin, John Ward, and Mickey Welch. Dummy Hoy is among the non-Hall of Famers included in the set. We have selected six cards to be graded by SGC. Keys: Anson/Ewing (VG+ 45), Brouthers/Latham (VG/EX 50), Comiskey/Connor (VG/EX+ 55), Clarkson/Keefe (EX 60), Foutz/Kelly (VG+ 45), Galvin/Orr (Vg-Ex), Hoy/Reilly (Vg-Ex), and Ward/Welch (VG/EX+ 55). The balance of the player cards are in overall Vg-Ex condition. The game cards grade Vg-Ex with nine Vg (mostly due to light staining on the edges) and one lesser (horizontal crease at the top). The cards in this complete set (minus one) have retained almost all their original bright colors on front and deep dark green printing on the reverse with only light toning from more than 100 years in storage. While this set has not received the attention of many other pre-1900 issues, possibly because it is not a tobacco issue, it is a very rare set, far rarer than many of the most popular issues of the 1880s such as N28 and N29 Allen & Ginter. Total: 51 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $5,925

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