This scarce imperial cabinet card, featuring a woman ballplayer posing in uniform, was issued as a premium by the Allen & Ginter tobacco company in promotion of its Virginia Brights Cigarettes. The formal studio photograph captures the young woman in full uniform, posing with hands cupped as she prepares to catch the ball suspended in front of her. A painted illustration of a ball field appears in the background. This imperial cabinet is from the company's "Black Stocking Nine" series, which is identified by name on the mount along with additional advertising text that reads: "Allen & Ginter's/Virginia Brights Cigarettes/Hand Made - Crop of 1884." Further advertising for Virginia Brights Cigarettes appears on the outfield fence in the background. An Allen & Ginter "1886" copyright appears in the center of the photo. Allen & Ginter's "Black Stocking Nine," and similar "Polka Dot Nine" series of cabinets feature some of the earliest images of women playing baseball, the novelty of which at the time was sure to attract the attention of the company's predominantly male clientele. A label on the reverse instructs patrons on how to obtain this particular premium. In part: "Save Your Cigarette Wrappers And get one of our Young Lady Base Ball Nine." The label notes that either 50 wrappers (of 20 cigarettes each) or 100 wrappers (of 10 cigarettes) each of Virginia Brights were required for redemption and that smaller size cabinets were also available upon request. The cabinet (7.5 x 13 inches) features an Excellent to Mint photo, while the mount displays minor chips to the border and corner areas. Reserve $1,500. Estimate (open).