1887 Allen & Ginter Store Display Advertising Poster

In July 2000, Robert Edward Auctions & eBay presented The Wagner Card as the featured item in their internet/telephone auction. But the auction was LOADED and included this amazing 1887 Allen & Ginter Store Display Advertising Poster.

Here’s the lot’s full description:

This poster advertises the very first full color baseball card set ever issued, the classic N28 Allen & Ginter Tobacco set of “Worlds Champions” Allen & Ginter, and competitor Goodwin & Company were the first to introduce the novelty of baseball cards as advertising inserts in the late 1880’s when they included one card in each pack of tobacco to encourage the sale of their products and to promote brand loyalty. This poster advertises the very first Allen & Ginter set to feature baseball players. It features illustrations of all ten baseball cards in the set, plus the cards of all forty additional sporting champions of the day which comprise this historic set. The ten baseball players include Hall of Famers Cap Anson, John Clarkson, Charles Comiskey, Tim Keefe, Mike “King” Kelly, and John M. Ward, as well as noted stars Charles Bennett, Robert Caruthers, Jack Glasscock and Joseph Mulvey. Other famous athletes in the set include Nineteenth Century boxing champions Jack Dempsey and Jake Kilrain. Printed in full color, this advertising poster was produced utilizing the highest caliber chromolithographic printing techniques of the era. One of the most attractive and significant of all baseball display pieces, this poster was supplied by Allen & Ginter only to tobacco stores, and was designed to hang in these shops for the purpose of announcing the landmark “World Champions” card set of 1887. To the best of our knowledge, there are only five N28 Allen & Ginter posters known to exist. Of these, it is our opinion that this example is in the finest condition. Extremely bright, crisp, and clean; close examination reveals a few small creases; with minor professional restoration; still overall Excellent condition. 28″ x 16″ Museum backed and framed. Value references: To date, according to our research, there has never been an N28 Allen & Ginter poster sold at auction. In the 1930’s Jefferson Burdick made note of this poster in The American Card Catalog (which was the first price guide and the publication that originally introduced the catalog reference numbers such as T206, R319, etc, which are still in use to this day). Assigning the N28 Allen & Ginter poster the catalog reference code “G20”, Burdick valued the poster in the 1930’s at what was then the shocking sum of $15, making this the second most valuable baseball item listed in the entire American Card Catalog, trailing only the T206 Wagner (which was valued at $50).

I’ve found a few other sales, including a pair from Heritage Auctions; this first one sold for $15,535 in April 2010.

This next one went for $9,000 in August 2017.

Between those sales, in January 2014, Lelands sold a restored copy for $18,752.

Hobby Library decoration goals!

1940/41 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Double-Sided Uncut Sheet

There are some incredibly unique collectibles out there, like this 1940/41 O-Pee-Chee double-sided “uncut sheet” I found in a 2005 Mastro auction catalog.

Here’s the lots full description:

In 1940, O-Pee-Chee continued the production of their oversized 5″ x 7″ cards from the year before. The offered uncut sheet contains images of all 50 cards in the 1940 set. Card #’s 101-125 are printed on one side of the sheet while cards #’s 126-150 appear on the other side. Card #’s 101-125 are printed in black and white while the remaining cards are in sepia. A plethora of stars are present, including #’s 102 Sands, 108 Broda, 116 Reardon, 118 Apps, 125 Lach, 130 Broda, 131 Bentley, 132 Schmidt, 136 Patrick and 146 Apps. The sheet measures an imposing 25-1/2″ × 36″. Due to its size, it is host to a plethora of condition problems, including multiple creases, edge tears, surface scrapes, etc. Despite these flaws, we cannot overstate its importance, and the piece may well be the only one of its type in the hobby. With proper framing and matting, this rarity would make a spectacular display piece and nicely complement the finest advanced hockey collection.

However, I think Heritage Auctions got it right when they sold an incredibly similar item in October 2021 for $810 and described it as an advertising poster.

They wrote, “This is a two-sided poster printed on thin paper. Was it meant to hang in retail stores? Did O-Pee-Chee consider making dual-sided cards on paper to accommodate the war effort like ’41 Play Ball baseball cards on paper in the states? Either way, it is very rare. There is some obvious edge damage, surface damage and creasing. Every card is affected by creasing. Overall size is approx 25” x 35″ on paper.”