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Lot # 41 (41 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

Extremely Rare 1886 H812 Welton Cigars "New York Base Ball Club" Buck Ewing

Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $9,000

Presented is a tremendous example of New York Giants Hall of Famer Buck Ewing from the incredibly rare H812 Welton Cigars series. Welton Cigars cards have always been one of card collecting's most extreme rarities. Buck Ewing, of course, is one of the "dream" key cards in this set of legendary rarity. Issued in 1886, this trade-card set is also known as the "New York Base Ball Club" issue as it features exclusively members of the 1886 Giants. Each card features an actual-likeness blue line drawing of a player in portrait form with "New York Base Ball Club" at top, identification of the player directly underneath, and advertising for "D. David Welton Cigars, Wholesale & Retail, 387 Grand St. Brooklyn, E.D." along the bottom. The cards are produced on a somewhat thin trade-card stock, far different from the era's tobacco cards, and the backs are blank. Sophisticated card collectors will no doubt recognize the images used on H812 cards, as they are based on the same photographs that were used to produce the 1886 N167 Old Judge series, the very first set issued by Goodwin. The portrait on the offered Ewing example is also almost identical to the one used to produce his 1887 Four Base Hits tobacco card. We are aware of only approximately a dozen examples in total from this extraordinarily rare set! SGC has encapsulated just four specimens ever (none by PSA), and REA's 1995 auction featured an incredible find of eight examples (all removed from an album and with the advertising trimmed off). Lew Lipset's The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards (originally published in 1983) noted at the time that only three examples were known to exist, but he theorized that the checklist would eventually expand to mirror the N167 subjects. Interestingly, Lipset's book pictured a Welch card bearing advertising for W. H. Sanders Cigars, which (as he suggests) means the cards were originally designed with blank bottoms and were intended to bear advertising for different merchants. (To date, that Welch is the only example we've seen with advertising other than for Welton Cigars.) The offered example of Ewing is, we believe, the finest H812 sample in existence! Do not be fooled by the modest assigned grade of GOOD 30 by SGC. The card presents as Excellent, with a crisp image, flawless surface free of any creases or wrinkles, and four strong corners. The blank reverse displays several tiny paper pulls (almost certainly due to album removal at some point in time), which accounts for the technical downgrade to Good. This is a remarkable card! A stunning example of the key Hall of Famer from this incredibly rare and desirable set that would be a significant highlight in even the most advanced nineteenth-century, Hall of Fame, or type-card collection. From the Dan Gantt Collection. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,000

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