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Lot # 1546 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Enormous Nineteenth-Century Trade Card Collection (1,600+)

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $2,232.50

In the late nineteenth century, merchants and manufacturers often produced colorfully illustrated cards to distribute as store advertisements. The trade cards, which normally measured approximately 3 x 4.5 inches, were often comic in nature and featured a wide variety of images. The merchant or manufacturer’s name and address was printed on either the front or reverse. Cards often also featured images of the product or service being advertised. They remained in vogue through the early 1900s before eventually giving way to other forms of advertisement and promotion. Offered here is an enormous collection of approximately 1,700 such cards that are highly prized by collectors today both for their beauty and historic value. Virtually every type of popular product imaginable is represented in this collection, including soap, milk, coffee, meats, cologne, whiskey, pianos, various medicines, shoes, furniture, and cotton, and some cards are purely decorative, produced specifically for mounting in albums and have no identified sponsor. While most date from the late 1800s, a number of cards from the early 1900s are also represented. The accumulation of this collection obviously took many years and would be hard to duplicate today. Many of the cards are grouped by type, indicating that the original owner spent countless hours cataloging and constantly updating his collection. The sizes vary widely (ranging from approximately 2 x 3 inches to 8 x 11 inches), but most measure approximately 3 x 4.5 inches. This collection was obviously put together by a dedicated collector long ago, though we have no specific details regarding its assembly. It was purchased in exactly this form by our consignor. Condition ranges from Good to Excellent, averaging Vg-Ex. While there are no $500 or $1,000 cards in the collection (few nineteenth-century trade cards are valued at even $100), these cards don't have to be worth very much individually to really add up, due to their great quantity. This is an extremely substantial original collection of trade cards, which, in comparison to all other types of cards, still represent, for the time being, an outstanding value for collectors. This collection would be difficult, if not impossible, and far more costly, to assemble one card at a time. Total: approximately 1,700 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $2,232.50


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