Lot # 85: 1888 N338-1 S.F. Hess California League Reuben "Rube" Levy With Bat - Newly Discovered!

Starting Bid: $2,000.00

Bids: 11 (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



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 example of Reuben "Rube" Levy, one of the earliest Jewish professional baseball players and a star of the San Francisco Haverlys. This card exhibits superb photo quality as Levy poses with bat in front of the grandstands (section lettering is visible in the background). The card is overall very clean, both front and back, with some light age spotting visible. Encapsulated as Authentic by SGC, the card has a very slight factory miscut along the right edge. In our opinion, it is not severe enough to prohibit a numerical grade, and we would grade the card Vg to Vg-Ex. 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. 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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