Lot # 35: 1886 N167 Old Judge Jim O'Rourke Rookie

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 0 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
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This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "REA Fall 2019",
which ran from 11/20/2019 12:30 PM to
12/8/2019 6:00 PM



Rare and extremely desirable example of Hall of Famer Jim O'Rourke from the 1886 N167 Old Judge series. As detailed in the May 2013 article on N167 Old Judges in Old Cardboard magazine, while this set has always been identified as being issued early in 1886, it is very possible (in fact, we think a virtual certainty) that the N167 set actually dates from 1885. Few nineteenth-century cards compare in rarity or significance to N167 Old Judges. These cards represent the very first series of baseball cards ever issued by Old Judge and feature photogravure portraits based on photographs by Joseph Wood. In addition to their very distinctive look, they are also the only Old Judge series to feature advertising on the reverse. The thin stock on which N167s are printed makes them especially susceptible to tears and other damage. The card is graded POOR 10 by SGC due to heavy creasing across the top portion of the card, even rounding to the corners and a large stain on the front. The important image of O'Rourke is slightly impacted by the stain, but remains bold and crisp. The reverse, one of the most ornately designed of the era, has a small spot of paper loss and displays only the previously mentioned creasing and light toning. As the first card of O'Rourke issued by Old Judge, this card would also, by definition, qualify as his rookie card for most collectors. In addition to their enormous significance as the very first tobacco baseball card set, N167 Old Judges have always been recognized as extremely rare. The numbers speak for themselves: To date, only fifty-four examples from the series have ever been graded by PSA or SGC, including four O'Rourke examples, and we believe this number may actually be slightly inflated due to cards being crossed over from one company to another. Whatever the true number, N167s are rare! This is an outstanding example of the legendary Jim O'Rourke from one of the most condition-sensitive, important, and rarest issues in all of card collecting. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open).

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