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Lot # 16 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder Advertising Trade Card

Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $47,000

The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder advertising trade card received national attention earlier this year when a 74-year-old California woman who owns an antique store happened to find an old baseball card among some old papers in her shop, and listed it on eBay at a minimum of $9.99. The card was a newly discovered example of the 1869 Red Stockings, and she was deluged with inquiries before pulling the auction. In the media frenzy that followed, she appeared with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show and hundreds of articles were written about her good fortune. She eventually sold the card at auction for $75,285, and in the process raised the profile of nineteenth-century baseball-card collecting in general, and this card in particular, to the entire world. Presented is a different example of this historic baseball treasure. While national media attention given the 1869 Red Stockings trade card has never in the past approached that of some other high profile cards, such as the T206 Honus Wagner or the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, the extraordinary rarity, historical significance, and value of the 1869 Reds Stockings card has always universally been recognized by serious baseball-card collectors. If we had to make a list of the ten most important baseball cards of all time, it would be impossible to not have the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder trade card near the top of this short list. In addition to being one of card collecting's great rarities, it has a unique historical import as it features the very first professional baseball team, the legendary 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. This is the team that started it all, the team led by George and Harry Wright that toured the nation, and in the process put baseball on the map as a professional sport. By any definition, the 1869 Cincinnati Reds Peck & Snyder is one of the earliest of all baseball cards, and one of the few collecting icons representing the birth of both professional baseball and the "baseball card." Several known varieties of cards feature this classic team pose of the 1869 Red Stockings. The smaller CDV style is known with several different backs; most known are blank-backed. The larger Peck & Snyder trade card is universally recognized as the most desirable of the several card styles featuring this image of the 1869 Reds, both because the players are identified on the front of the card, and because this style features advertising for Peck & Snyder's "Base Ball and Sportsman's Emporium" ("126 Nassau Street, New York") on the reverse. Peck & Snyder was a leading retailer of baseball supplies at that time. The larger trade-card style, of which the offered card is an example, is known with red or black printing on the front and back of the mount, as well as several variations to the advertising on the reverse. The offered example is the most desirable style, with striking red printing on the mount, and with the classic Peck & Snyder advertising on the reverse. This example, in our opinion, is the ideal for this card, combining all of the most desirable potential design elements of all of the several known styles of the card. Perhaps most important, this example has obviously been very well cared for over the years, well protected from the elements including light. This has resulted in the red printing of the mount, which can easily fade when exposed at length to sunlight, to remain extremely bold, both front and back, and the photograph to retain its original contrast. The photo quality of 1869 Reds team cards is often very poor, and many times the contrast does not even allow for the reading of the "C" logos on players' shirts. The photo contrast on this example is outstanding, with the "C" logos on the uniforms legible. A significant percentage of the few known Peck & Snyder Red Stockings cards have back damage. The advertising reverse of this example is flawless, which of course is especially noteworthy for a card such as this where the advertising on the reverse has such great significance. We have also seen more than one Peck & Snyder card with a significant diamond cut to the mount and others with the photo mounted crooked. This example has none of these production quality flaws that are often naturally associated with this card. The red printing on this card is virtually unimprovable. The actual mounted photograph is in Nr/Mt condition. The mount has two hairline creases, one in the upper left corner and one in the lower left corner, which under blacklight can be seen to have been professionally inpainted along the breaks in the paper. This is undetectable without proper equipment and does not affect the integrity or appearance of the card. A tiny chip in the upper right corner is also noted for the sake of accuracy. Without reference to these tiny flaws, the card has a strong Excellent appearance. We estimate that fewer than fifteen 1869 Red Stockings Peck & Snyder trade cards are known to exist. This is one of the best. The richness of the red printing of the mount makes this the single most attractive of the four or five 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings trade cards we have ever handled. Bright, crisp, and clean, this is an extraordinary example, one of the finest in existence, of one of the most important cards in the collecting world. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $25,000+. SOLD FOR $47,000

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