Lot # 83: 1888 N338-1 S.F. Hess California League "McGinty Steals A Base" - Newly Discovered!

Starting Bid: $2,000.00

Bids: 8 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "REA Spring 2019",
which ran from 3/6/2019 3:10 PM to
3/24/2019 6:00 PM



Graded VG+ 3.5 by SGC (submitted by REA). Presented is an incredible, newly discovered nineteenth-century rarity from the sepia N338-1 S. F. Hess California League series. This card is part of an exciting fresh-to-the-hobby find of seventeen cards from this very rare set. Fifteen different subjects, representing almost the entire known checklist, comprised the collection. The cards, which had been passed down for many years within the same family and included several other nineteenth-century cards from the Old Judge and Gypsy Queen sets, were perfectly preserved when they were consigned to REA. We have decided to present the collection over our three auctions this year, and it is a great privilege for REA to have been chosen to introduce these amazing cards into the modern hobby! For many collectors, N338-1s were near the top of the short list of virtually impossible to obtain sample cards. Offered here is an amazing two-player example of McGinty ("Steals A Base"). This card exhibits superb photo quality, with extraordinary detail, including advertisements on the outfield wall in the background. Close examination even reveals another player in the background, and with a magnifying glass, most of the lettering of the advertisements on the outfield wall can be easily read. The card is overall very clean, both front and back, with light age spotting visible on both sides. This does not at all detract from the overall visual appeal of the card. In addition to being an unusual action scene featuring two players (one of only three in the set), this particular S. F. Hess card is also noteworthy in that it has a very unusual design, with the photograph presented in a "diamond" window. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only card in the set with this unique design. In addition to being the only N338-1 S.F. Hess of this style, it is also the only nineteeth-century card from any set we have ever seen with this design. When Lew Lipset's The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards Volume 1 - 19th Century Cards was published in 1983, he noted that S. F. Hess California League cards "must rate with Four Base Hits as the rarest of the 19th century photographic cards." At that time only sixteen cards in the set were known to exist, including eleven different in the Burdick Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Four new additions to the set have been discovered since, including the uniquely designed "McGinty Steals A Base," which was completely unknown in 1983. We believe that only four examples of McGinty are known to exist. This is a very rare opportunity to acquire an extraordinary example of one of nineteenth-century baseball-card collecting's most elusive and prized sample cards. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open).

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