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Lot # 20 (20 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

1893 Just So Tobacco Chief Zimmer

Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $20,400

Presented is one of the great prizes of all nineteenth-century card collecting: an extraordinary and virtually never-seen example of a Just So Tobacco card. This is a particularly exceptional and ideal example, both with reference to condition and player (Chief Zimmer). Issued in 1893, Just So Tobacco cards are one of the most unusual and most obscure of all nineteenth-century baseball-card issues. Featuring portraits of the Cleveland Spiders, as they were known at the time, cards from this set are legendary for their incredible rarity. They are very distinctive both in size (measuring 2.5 x 3.875 inches) as well as their very close to black-and-white (yet, according to catalogs, still technically sepia) appearance. The 1890s were a very slow decade for baseball-card sets. Just So Tobacco is one of the very few issues of the era, adding to its great significance to collectors. Offered is Spiders' catcher Chief Zimmer, identified beneath his portrait as "C. L. Zimmer." The Spiders of the 1890s earned the dubious distinction of being one of the dirtiest playing clubs to ever take the field in the history of the game. This extremely attractive example has an overall EX-MT appearance. The card is crisp and clean, both front and back, with perfect contrast, no creases or wrinkles, excellent centering, and four square corners (a small spot of wear is visible in the upper right under close inspection). The blank reverse displays very faint traces of glue residue near the top, along with a tiny spot of paper loss, likely from storage in an album at some point in time, which was extremely common in the nineteenth century. Just So Tobacco cards are virtually nonexistent in the marketplace. We estimate that fewer than twenty-five examples in total are known to exist (PSA and SGC have combined to authenticate nineteen examples). When a Just So does come up for sale, it is almost always in low grade. This card has survived miraculously in incredible condition! (It would technically grade modestly due to the above-mentioned flaws on the blank reverse, but these are often of no consequence to advanced nineteenth-century collectors.) An extremely rare opportunity to acquire an extraordinary example of one of card collecting's most legendary sample-card rarities. From the Dan Gantt Collection. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $20,400

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