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Extremely Rare 1886 Hancock's Clothiers Richard D. Buckley - One of Only Three Unique Subjects Known to Exist!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $9,600
Graded EX 60 by SGC. Presented is one of nineteenth-century card collecting's most astounding rarities: an extremely rare sample card from the 1886 Hancock's Clothiers series depicting Richard D. Buckley of the Syracuse Stars. The rarity of this sample cannot be overstated! It is one of only three cards from this significant set known to exist. We have never offered a single example before. In fact, this is the first time that we have ever even seen one in person! We are in good company! Due to their extreme rarity, most advanced collectors are familiar with this set only from seeing a few catalog or scholarly references, if at all. The Hancock's set was issued by a Syracuse-based men's clothing store and featured members of the local International League team. This card, along with the other two known examples from the set (depicting Douglas Crothers and Philip Tomney), were first made available to the modern collecting world on eBay approximately fifteen years ago by a noncollector. The trio was purchased by an extremely advanced nineteenth-century collector, who understood the incredible rarity and significance of the offering. Two of the three (including Buckley) have long ago been sold or traded. The original buyer still retains one after all these years! In addition to being the first known set to depict minor leaguers, the Hancock's cards are also the very earliest (very likely along with a small number of N172 Old Judges and rare New York Kalamazoo Bats cards) to feature single-player photographic portrait images. The N167 Old Judge series, which dates to late 1885/early 1886, features photogravure images. The Hancock's Clothiers cards are the first set to use the reverse for player identification, providing yet another noteworthy distinction relating to the history of baseball cards. On the offered card, Buckley is sharply dressed in a three-piece suit and tie (presumably compliments of the retailer). The dark brown mount is flawless, and the beveled corners and gilt edges show virtually no traces of wear. The image displays superb contrast and clarity. The reverse identifies the subject and his position (catcher) at top, with advertising text in the middle ("Compliments of Hancock's Gent's Furnishing Department"). The photographer's credit "Goodwin, Syracuse, N. Y.") appears underneath. The reverse is entirely clean. Tremendous Near Mint overall display value. The extreme rarity of this issue is undoubtedly attributable to its limited release in upstate New York as well as a potentially limited production of such a high-quality collectible. Of special note, Richard Buckley later appeared in the N172 Old Judge set, and he enjoyed a major league career spanning the years 1888 to 1895. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest of all sample cards, worthy of even the most advanced nineteenth-century or type-card collection. From the Dan Gantt Collection. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,600
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