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Lot # 441 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1912 T215 Pirate Cigarettes - Doolan, Philadelphia

Starting Bid - $2,500.00 , Sold For - $5,581.25

Presented is a T215 Pirate Cigarettes card sample of Doolan, Philadelphia. This is, very simply, one of the rarest sample cards in all of card collecting. They are so rare that little is known with certainty about their distribution, but they are believed to have been issued exclusively to American servicemen in the South Seas. Pirate Cigarette cards were produced by W. D. & W. H. Wells, a British tobacco company. The fronts are identical to those used in the T206 set and the T215 (Type 1) Red Cross tobacco-card set. The fact that Pirate Cigarette cards and Red Cross have both at times been identified by the same T215 catalog designation is confusing, especially since the designs of the sets are so similar (both to each other and to T206), but they are so rare that this dual listing is not really much of an issue for collectors. There is no confusing the extraordinary rarity of the Pirate back cards. They are practically nonexistent. This is the first example we have ever offered (or even seen in person). Last year an extraordinary collection of ninety-six different Pirate cards surfaced and was sold as a collection. It will remain intact, leaving the available population of sample cards from this legendary set at the same modest level. We're not really sure what that number is, but it's really close to one. We have been told that five or fewer other examples are known to exist. The rare Pirate Cigarette backs are printed in green and feature a cigarette pack with a pirate standing on a ship. This card is encapsulated as both "Authentic" and "Trimmed" by PSA. It is most certainly authentic, but we do not agree that the card is trimmed. This card is full size and it is our opinion that this card was cut from a sheet, possibly handcut. It is bright, fresh, and perfectly clean, both front and back, with sharp corners, and a strong Excellent appearance. This is an outstanding example of one of card collecting's rarest and most fascinating tobacco-card issues, and one of sample-card collecting's most elusive rarities. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $5,581.25


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