Lot # 162: 1894 N142 Duke Cabinet George Davis

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 7 (Bid History)

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Presented is an extraordinarily attractive example of George Davis from the extremely rare 1894 N142 Duke cabinet series. Duke cabinet cards have always been revered by collectors. Even in the 1930s, Jefferson Burdick assigned them a value of $5 each, making them the highest-priced baseball-card issue in the entire American Card Catalog. Duke cabinet cards, which advertise Duke's Honest tobacco brand in the lower left, are among the most impressive and desirable of all pre-1900 issues. They are one of the few full-color pre-1900 issues, and the only full color pre-1900 cabinet-card issue. In addition, they were issued in an era (mid-1890s) in which there were very few baseball-card sets, making this issue all the more significant to card collectors. There are only four ballplayers in this set. Offered is a magnificent example from this legendary set: Hall of Famer George Davis. Davis was one of the premier shortstops of his day, and at the time this card was issued he was a member of the New York Giants. This is an outstanding example! We are very familiar with this particular card as this is the second time we have had the privilege of offering this superb gem. This card originally appeared as Lot #57 in REA's Spring 2014 auction (realizing $6,500), and has been consigned to this auction directly from the purchaser at that sale. Bright, crisp, and clean, with flawless bold colors, no creases or wrinkles, and a striking image. The delicate edges, which are so easily chipped, are near-perfect with just a small area of white showing along the right edge and light even chipping at the corners. Three of the corners display even traces of white while the top left is brown in the area of the chipped stock. The difference in color resulted in this cabinet being encapsulated as "Authentic" by SGC (submitted by REA) for possible evidence of color added. We do not believe that the brown in the upper left is a foreign color added to the cabinet to deceive (we submitted the card expecting a numerical grade after reviewing it ourselves), but we do take note of the difference and understand SGC's resulting "Authentic" designation, which was done out of an abundance of caution rather than certainty. (This was explicitly communicated to us by SGC.) It is our opinion, however, that the chipping is simply not as advanced in the upper left and has not removed as many layers of the stock as the other three corners. We don't think there is any coloring added to the corner and while REA by policy does not resubmit cards for grading or request grade changes, in this case we would encourage the future owner to have the card reevaluated (if so inclined), as we think it may very well be deserving of a numerical grade. In fact, we would be surprised if years in the future this card does not appear at auction at REA (or elsewhere) with a well-deserved numerical grade. The blank reverse is almost entirely clean with only light toning and a faint pencil erasure of "142," which corresponds to the catalog designation for this set. This is an extremely impressive looking cabinet, presenting at a level far better than normally encountered, and which aside from the most minor faults has an otherwise extraordinary Excellent appearance. It is a bright, crisp, and exceptionally attractive Hall of Famer example from one of card collecting's rarest and most highly prized nineteenth-century cabinet-card issues. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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