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1895 N566 Newsboy Cabinets George Van Haltren SGC EX 60 - Baum & Bernstein Clothiers Overprint
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,280
Graded EX 60 by SGC. Presented is an extremely rare N566 Newsboy Tobacco cabinet of George Van Haltren with a merchant's overprint along the top. The overprint in black lettering reads “Compliments of Baum & Bernstein, Clothiers.” Crisp and clean, with outstanding photo contrast and very light age toning on front. The reverse is perfectly clean. In the 1880s, merchants often ordered cards that could be customized with overprints to use them most effectively as advertising vehicles for their establishments. This was a most common practice with trade cards, but occasionally cabinet cards were also used in this manner. That Baum & Bernstein Clothiers used a N566 Newsboy card, produced by the National Tobacco Works of New York City, to promote their Newsboy Tobacco brand is particularly amazing. We believe these cards were offered by Newsboy (or the card manufacturer for Newsboy) to various merchants as an advertising product to be customized with overprinting for promotional use. We base this conclusion not just on the fact that this card exists (it originates from a find of three cards offered by REA as lot #92 in Spring 2009), but also because we have seen one other N566 Newsboy baseball player with overprint advertising (on the reverse in that case and different from the cards offered in 2009) and numerous non-baseball N566 Newsboy subjects over the years with overprint advertising (also on the reverse). It is interesting to note that the overprint is not an ink stamp. The advertising is actually printed right onto the cabinet-card mount. This is how the card was produced. It is likely that sheets of already-printed cabinet card mounts went through an additional printing process to add the custom-ordered advertising overprint. Advertising and promotion were obviously a very high priority for Baum & Bernstein. Research indicates that the proprietors of "Baum & Berstein, Clothiers" were Sigmund Bernstein of Meridian, Connecticut, and Jacob Baum of Haverstraw, New York, who became partners in a very successful clothing-store enterprise in Haverstraw. In A History of Meridian (Gillespsie and Curtis, 1906), Bernstein is singled out as one of the most prominent businessmen of Meridian in the late nineteenth century, and it is fascinating to note that in this book special mention is made that "he has given away thousands of dollars as prizes, guessing contests, and other ingenious ways of advertising." This is a very significant (and possibly unique) nineteenth-century baseball cabinet-card rarity. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $2,280
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