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1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck Snyder Advertising Trade Card
Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $35,250
The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Peck & Snyder advertising trade card is one of baseball-card and memorabilia collecting's most historic treasures. 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 along with the T206 Honus Wagner, the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie, and the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. 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 crookedly. 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. 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. (PSA Population Report note: By policy, PSA encapsulates all 1869 Cincinnati Reds team cards as "Authentic". All six 1869 Reds trade cards in the PSA population report, as well as the three smaller CDV examples, are encapsulated as "Authentic".) We estimate that perhaps as few as 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. This card was sold at REA in 2009 and has been consigned to this auction directly from the buyer at that auction. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $25,000++. SOLD FOR $35,250
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