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1888 N403 Yum Yum Tobacco John Morrill - Extremely Rare Advertising Back!
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $7,200
Graded VG 40 by SGC. Extremely rare and exceptionally crisp, clean sample card from the Yum Yum Tobacco series of 1888 featuring an extraordinarily bold woodcut of "Honest John" Morrill, first baseman for the Boston Beaneaters. Morrill was a popular sports figure in Boston, having starred with Boston both as a player and manager. This is a tremendous Yum Yum Tobacco example, far better than most. It also has the extra special distinction of bearing an extremely rare purple Yum Yum advertising stamp on the reverse. We have seen only one other baseball Yum Yum with this stamp (Roger Connor, offered at public auction in 2011), but this is the first such example out of (at most) approximately 100 N403s we have ever personally seen or handled in our forty plus years. This is a supreme rarity! The stamp reads "Smoke and Chew 'Yum Yum'/Upon the return of 100 of these pictures we will send you by mail one elegant Jappaned tin patent folding lunch or picnic box./Aug. Beck & Co., Chicago, Ill." The stamp is so rare that it was not even mentioned in Lew Lipset's The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards (originally published in 1983). Interestingly, the checklist for the set stood at thirty-six examples at that time, and Morrill was not yet even known to exist!
The card has a superb appearance, with a bright, clean surface, tremendous contrast to the woodcut, no creases visible from the front, and even wear at the corners (slightly more in the upper right). Very minor creasing is visible on the reverse, and the stamp is bold throughout much of the text, fading only in a few spots. The card possesses extraordinary visual appeal! This is a magnificent example from this rare issue. Advanced collectors have appreciated the mystique of the rarest pre-1900 baseball card issues for decades. Whether it is because of the brand name, their unusual look, extreme rarity, or a combination of all of these factors, few card issues command the respect that Yum Yum Tobacco cards do among the most serious collectors. It is always a privilege to offer a Yum Yum, and this is a particularly attractive example that is especially noteworthy for its extremely rare advertising back. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $7,200
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