Presented is the single most extraordinary and unprecedented collection of 1887 N288 Buchner Gold Coin "Police Inspectors & Captains and Chiefs of the Fire Departments" cards ever offered or even assembled. This almost unfathomable collection consists of 95 of the 97 different cards known in the set, which is a remarkably large group for this rare issue. The 1887 N288 Buchner Policemen and Fire Chiefs cards are among the rarest, most beautifully designed, and interesting of all nineteenth-century tobacco issues. This Buchner Tobacco series, officially titled "One of The Finest," features (as noted on the back of each card) "The Portraits of the Police Inspectors & Captains and Chiefs of the Fire Departments In Uniform." All 95 cards have been graded and encapsulated by SGC. The two cards missing for completion are Gleason (an unlisted unique copy was purchased by our consignor years ago but unfortunately was lost in transit) and J. McGowan (a cut out trimmed from a unique advertising poster is included in this group as a filler). Many of the lesser graded cards in this collection appear Vg-Ex on the front but have been downgraded due to minor paper loss, glue residue from scrapbook removal, or writing on the reverse, traits common to many nineteenth-century issues. It is interesting to note that these cards are known with four different ad back styles, as well as two different surface finishes (glossy and matte), all of which are featured in this set.
SGC Grading Composite: EX/NM 80 (4 cards): Cassidy, Farrier, P. McLaughlin, and McManus. EX+ 70 (2 cards): Edmondson and Garland. EX 60 (6 cards): Allaire, Clinchy, Cortright, Eakins, J. McCullagh, and M. Murphy. VG/EX 50 (10 cards): Brennan, P. Campbell, Druhan, Kaiser, McGill, O'Connor, Robbins, Ryan, Sanders, and Webb. VG 40 (25 cards): Brogan, J. Campbell, Corbitt, Daly, Dunn, Folk, Gunner, Kellett, Lange, Lowery, Mackellar, J.H. McCullagh, McDonnell, McGlave, McKaig, Meakim, T. Murphy, Murray, T. Reilly, Rhodes, Schiemer, Stagg, Williams, Woglom, and Yule. GOOD+ 35 (1 card): E. Reilly. GOOD 30 (19 cards): Carpenter, Conlin, Dallon, Ennis, Gastlin, Hooker, Hopper, Kenney, W. McLaughlin, Newton, Nossitter, Purroy, Schultz, Slevin, E. Smith, J. Smith, Steers, Wartz, and Westbrook. FAIR 20 (14 cards): Berghold, Bonner, Bowman, Brooks, Callahan, Eason, Eaton, Gerdenier, McCabe, McElwain, S. McGowan, B. Murphy, Reed, and Westervelt. POOR 10 (10 cards): Byrnes, Carroll, Cook, French, Glori, Grant, Leavey, McKelvey, Taylor, and Waters. Authentic (4 cards): Brown, Copeland, Jewett, and Killilea. Ungraded (1 card): J. McGowan (trimmed off a unique poster).
Large groups of these cards very rarely surface, and this is by far the most complete group of these significant and rare nineteenth-century nonsport cards we have ever seen offered. The companion set to this issue is the even rarer Buchner Tobacco "Criminals" set (featuring criminals of the era along with their biographies). Together these sets are known as the "Defenders and Offenders" issues. This is a tremendous (and virtually unheard of!) opportunity to acquire a complete set (minus two) of N288 Buchner Gold Coin "Police Inspectors & Captains and Chiefs", one of nineteenth-century card collecting's premier issues, which would be a worthy addition to even the most advanced collection. Total: 95 cards plus one poster cutout. Opening Bid $25,000. Estimate $50,000+.