Complete set of ten 1888 R.T.S Artistic Series baseball diecuts issued by Raphael Tuck & Sons of Germany. The uniforms of these colorful scrapbook diecuts represent baseball’s major franchise cities of 1885, suggesting that that is the correct date of issue as opposed to 1888 as listed in guides. The teams represented are Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh from the National League; and Baltimore, Brooklyn, and St. Louis from the American Association. This seems an ideal time to document a long-standing and obscure hobby mystery relating to the identification of this issue in the past as "R & S Artistic." The actual name of the set is "R.T.S. Artistic Series." The Raphael Tuck & Son's "RTS" company logo can easily be misinterpreted as reading "R & S" and this error was apparently made long ago and has been repeated for years in countless publications. The set was originally issued in sheet form, with players diecut but attached by easily separated tabs. (The R.T.S. logo appears on one of the connecting tabs.) Little else is known regarding how these diecuts were distributed. It is believed they were sold for the express purpose of gluing into scrapbooks, which was a very popular pastime of the day. This is a very attractive set of these rare and very colorful nineteenth-century baseball die-cut cards, which represent one of the most outstanding values of all nineteenth-century card issues. The die-cuts offer a Vg-Ex or better appearance from the front, but technically grade more modestly due to scrapbook-related condition issues on the reverses (extra paper, small spots of paper loss, and/or glue residue). The Brooklyn example is in two pieces held together by a piece of tape on the reverse. Total: 10 cards. This lot originates from the collection of legendary pioneer collector Paul Pollard. Reserve $200.