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1888 N224 Kinney Military Near-Complete Set (612 of 622)
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $8,225
Presented is an extraordinary collection of 612 different cards (of the 622 in the massive set) from the 1888 N224 Kinney Military tobacco series. Missing only ten cards for completion (#167 Lt. Albany Burgess Corps NGSNY, 181 Priv 7th Regt N65NY, 194 Priv 22nd Regt N65NY, 197 Priv 23rd Regt N65NY, 198 Priv 47th Regt N65NY, 201 Priv 69th Regt N65NY, 211 Sgt 3rd Gatling Battery N65NY, 315 6th Bengal Cavalry, Ind. Cont., England, 326 Capt, 11th Hussars, England, 327 Capt, 13th Hussars, England). The Kinney Military series is considered in many ways to be the nonsport card equivalent in significance and intrigue to the N172 Old Judge or T206 baseball-card sets for their eras. It is a huge set, of great significance as one of the most ambitious and popular card issues of the day, and with many intricacies with reference to rarities, including virtually impossible-to-find cards. A complete set is literally unheard of, but this extraordinary collection is close. This near set of 612 different cards is by far the largest collection of this series that we have ever seen or offered. To the best of our knowledge no one has ever completed a set of N224s. Issued with Kinney's tobacco, these cards feature magnificent full-color illustrations of men dressed in military uniforms of various nations from a variety of time periods. Approximately half the set features American military uniforms and approximately half the set features foreign military uniforms from around the world. Condition: 60% range from Vg to Ex (averaging Vg-Ex), and 40% range from Pr to Gd-Vg (mostly Fr-Gd). The condition is typical for large groups of this series, with many cards having an appearance superior to their technically accurate grades (especially among the lower graded cards, most of which look great, but if professionally graded would grade modestly). This is a very exciting group for N224 collectors. Approximately two dozen cards in the set are prohibitively rare (England and the New York National Guard subjects, for example, are particularly rare) and this collection includes approximately half of these extreme rarities. The most complete collection that we know to exist is that of the legendary Sir Edgar Wharton-Tiger. His collection of 621 different (of 622 different cards known) is permanently housed in The British Museum. The one card he is missing, "Hussar of France," is obviously an extreme rarity and is included in this collection. (We know of only one other "Hussar of France" example. This one card all alone was purchased on eBay for $1,200 years ago, which just goes to show that at least two collectors were well aware of its great rarity in that auction!) Getting to 600 different cards, let alone more, is an incredible challenge. We know of fewer than five longtime collectors who have ever hit 600 different cards. This is one of the largest collections ever assembled of these classic nineteenth-century tobacco cards, let alone offered at auction, and is simply a remarkable and outstanding foundation for carrying on the challenging quest of our consignor for completion of the N224 Kinney Military set. Also included is one 4-card uncut panel and a 1951 British trade card magazine entitled The Cartophilic World with an article about the N224 set. Total: 612 cards. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,225
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