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1889 A35 Goodwin Round Album
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $4,113
The "Goodwin Round Album," as it is known in collecting circles, was available only by mail in exchange for coupons packed with Goodwin Tobacco. Presented is a complete set of the nine album pages featuring players, plus the advertising page and the front cover. This album is missing only the back cover and the metal clasp (which held the album together). Four pages each feature a single beautiful full-color portrait (Cap Anson, “King” Kelly, John Ward, and Charles Comiskey). Five pages picture four players each, including Hall of Famers Mickey Welch, Tim Keefe, Roger Connor, John Ward, and Jim O'Rourke, in full-length poses. The reverse of each page contains player records and game schedules printed in blue. The outstanding graphics and its extreme rarity make it one of the premier nineteenth-century printed baseball items, and the most desirable of all pre-1900 tobacco premium albums. One of the most common flaws associated with Round Album pages is moderate creasing in the area of the clasp hole, which is the result of its having been opened as a book for viewing, instead of fanned as intended. These pages are no exception, and each displays a few creases (of varying lengths and degrees) near the clasp hole. Furthermore, all but one of the pages (Kelly) has undergone professional restoration in the repair of a tear to the clasp hole. The Kelly page has a torn clasp hole, above which are a few tiny circular indentations. One of the four-player pages (Foster, Brown, George, and Tiernan) has a few additional edge creases and a small stain along the top. Aside from the standard creases, very isolated restoration to clasp-related tears as noted, and other noted flaws, the pages, as a whole, have an overall Excellent appearance, with bold, colorful graphics and exceptional visual appeal. The Round Album has always been highly valued in any condition. Even back in the 1930s, Jefferson Burdick assigned a value of $10 to the Round Album, reflecting its status as one of the hobby’s most valuable items. This was back when a T206 Wagner was listed at a then incredible $50. The values of most nineteenth-century baseball tobacco issues have soared over the past ten years. It is interesting to note that the Round Album, based on criteria as varied as rarity, beauty, players represented, and how incredibly substantial it is, now represents in the opinion of many serious collectors a tremendous value compared to other nineteenth-century baseball tobacco issues. This may be in part because they are so rarely offered in near-perfect condition. When Round Albums do surface, as is the case here, they usually have various condition problems (especially clasp-related tears); in addition, grading companies do not yet grade album pages due to their size (8 inches in diameter). This is a fine representative example of one of the hobby’s premier nineteenth-century tobacco issues, offering an exceptional alternative to a higher-grade and much more expensive example, without compromising on most of the great qualities that make this such a significant and extraordinary item. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $4,113
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