Lot # 25: 1887 N172 Old Judge Advertising Store Display Poster with 24-Card Uncut Sheet Featuring Welch, Radbourn, Clarkson, Keefe, and O'Day!

Starting Bid: $25,000.00

Bids: 4 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "REA Spring 2020",
which ran from 4/3/2020 3:00 PM to
4/19/2020 6:00 PM

Exceedingly rare 1887 Old Judge Store Advertising Display Poster featuring twenty-four stars whose images appear in the first widely distributed tobacco baseball-card set ever produced: the N172 Goodwin & Company Old Judge tobacco-card set. This is one of baseball-card collecting's greatest treasures. In presentable condition and never before publicly offered, it is one of just a handful of N172 Old Judge baseball-card point-of-sale store advertising displays known to exist. This is an item that is recognized at a glance - by the world's most advanced collectors and casual collectors alike - as one of the most important museum-quality pieces relating to baseball cards in existence. The N172 advertising store display is a "miracle piece" that speaks for itself (which is fortuitous as it is one of the few items in the baseball card collecting world that leaves us speechless). Exactly how many have survived is not known with certainty, but we are aware of six, and several different varieties are represented (both with reference to the precise wording of the surrounding text and players featured). The borders on the offered example were trimmed away long ago, but the central card images are crisp and clean. This is a particularly impressive example with reference to players. Six Hall of Famers (Tim Keefe, Mickey Welch, two John Clarkson, Hank O'Day, and Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn) are among the twenty-four major stars from the N172 Old Judge set featured on the display, which hung in stores that sold tobacco and was designed to promote the cards that were inserted into packages of tobacco. This is only the second N172 Old Judge poster that REA has ever offered at auction! (The first example, which was complete with borders, appeared as Lot 1 in REA’s Fall 2013 auction, realizing a final sale price of $112,575.) This Old Judge display may be familiar to scholars as it is the very plate specimen, which appears on Page 116 of The Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company (1886-1890) by Jay Miller, Joe Gonsowski, and Richard Masson. "The Old Judge book" (as we call it for short) is the only place this display has ever been featured in print (until now). As can easily be seen, the store display has the appearance of an uncut sheet of Old Judge cards. The Imperial cardboard backing mount is considerably thicker and sturdier than that of an N172 Old Judge (or an N173 Old Judge cabinet, for that matter) and part of its remarkably high quality production quality. The blank reverse has a number of pencil notations, a piece of white tape residue, and few spots of surface paper loss. The cards featured on the advertising display are the following: #486-3 Welch (HOF, New York), 377-6 Radbourn (HOF, Boston), 437-3 Stemmeyer (Boston), 297-4 Mattimore (New York), 78-5 Clarkson (HOF, Chicago), 387-5 Roach (New York), 184-1 George (New York), 214-3 Harkin (Brooklyn), 288-1 Madden (Boston), 78-3 Clarkson (HOF, Chicago), 483-2 Wiedman (Detroit), 94-2 Corcoran (Indianapolis), 72-2 Casey (Philadelphia), 15-4 Baldwin (Chicago), 182-4 Geiss (Chicago), 110-1 Dailey (Philadelphia), 460-1 Toole (Brooklyn), 222-3 Henderson (Brooklyn), 89-2 Conway (Boston), 498-3 Whitney (Washington), 372-4 Porter (Brooklyn), 157-2 Ferguson (Philadelphia), 251-3 Keefe (HOF, New York), and 355-2 O'Day (HOF, Washington). This is an extremely rare collecting opportunity to acquire one of the most important museum-caliber nineteenth-century baseball card collecting memorabilia items in existence. Dimensions: 8-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches. Opening Bid $25,000. Estimate (open).

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