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1888 Old Judge Poster Cutouts: Caruthers and Radbourn
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,200
In 1888, Goodwin issued what is one of the "dream pieces" of baseball collecting, a giant advertising poster for Old Judge brand cigarettes, featuring full-color images of twenty-eight identified players in the same poses in which they appear in the Old Judge baseball card set. The images are much larger (each approximately 5 inches in height) than the small sepia cards which Old Judge actually issued. Indeed, if Old Judge had issued a set in the large and full-color design as depicted on the poster, it would probably be the most highly prized of all nineteenth-century issues, but no such set was ever actually produced. This series exists only on the Old Judge advertising poster. Offered is a pair of player cutouts which were long ago cut from an original poster. The players are nineteenth-century star Bob Caruthers of Brooklyn and Hall of Famer Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn of Boston. Caruthers is cut to approximate dimensions of 3 x 5.75 inches and displays as Very Good, with a small tear in the bottom border and a few small areas of paper loss on the blank reverse. Radbourn is die-cut to approximate dimensions of 2.5 x 4.75 inches and presents as Excellent, with album residue on the blank reverse. The colors on both are bright and fresh, with no staining, soiling or discoloration. In addition to being the most spectacular of all nineteenth-century advertising posters (in our opinion), the color Old Judge poster is also perhaps the rarest. Only one example of the poster has ever surfaced at auction, and that example was missing a portion of the bottom (representing approximately one-third of the poster). Fortunately, the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has a complete poster, which is one of its most prized nineteenth-century exhibits. An outstanding pair of these rarely-seen nineteenth-century poster cutouts. Total: 2 Old Judge poster cutouts. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,200
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