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1912 T207 Brown Background Louis Lowdermilk - Rare "Red Cross" Back
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $21,150
Graded VG 40 by SGC. Presented is one of card collecting's most fascinating and astounding tobacco-card rarities, and one that until very recently was not even known to exist: a T207 Brown Background Louis Lowdermilk with a "Red Cross" back. This is one of eight T207 cards with "Red Cross" backs and the most significant highlight from one of vintage-card collecting's most exciting recent discoveries: the Louisiana Find of 2010. Previous to this find, a total of only five T207 Red Cross examples were even known to exist. (Here’s a link to the only one we have ever sold; it was hammered down for $9,400 in May 2010: http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/auction/2010/400.html.) The T207 Lowdermilk, of course, has long been recognized as the key rarity of the T207 brown background tobacco-card series. Even in the 1930s, in the original American Card Catalog by Jefferson Burdick, Lowdermilk was listed as rarer and more valuable than any other card in the T207 set. (At that time, its value was listed at $1. The T206 Wagner was listed at $50.) Today collectors recognize many cards as being of various degrees of rarity in the T207 set, but Lowdermilk will always be the most famous key rarity of the classic T207 set. It is one of the most highly prized rarities in all of tobacco cards with any advertising back, let alone with a "Red Cross" advertising reverse.
This is the only T207 Red Cross Lowdermilk known to exist. T207 tobacco cards with "Red Cross" advertisements were not even listed in the American Card Catalog , and to the best of our knowledge were completely undiscovered and unknown until the 1980s when they were formally documented for the very first time in Lew Lipset's Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards Volume 3 - 20th Century Tobacco Cards, published in 1986. At the time of the Encyclopedia's publication, a total of four Red Cross examples were known to exist, and all came from a single find in Louisiana. Each of these four cards had a very small area of glue residue at the top of the reverses, apparently relating to long ago being glued into an album. Between the surfacing of the Louisiana Find in August 2010, and the discovery of the first four miracle T207 Red Cross cards in the 1980s, only one additional verified T207 Red Cross card has ever surfaced (a very low-grade example of Lange). The Red Cross back sample is one of the most extreme rarities in all of card collecting, tobacco or otherwise, and is a virtually impossible-to-obtain sample and key T207 rarity. It is far rarer than any other T205, T206, or T207 front or advertising-back rarity, some of which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars (including Wagner, the rare Doyle, etc.). They are virtually nonexistent. Even though all Red Cross Tobacco cards (including T215) were distributed in the Louisiana area, the factory they were printed in was in New Jersey.
This is an extremely attractive and conservatively graded example of legendary T207 rarity Louis Lowdermilk, and one that would be a prize with any advertising reverse. The reverse has a beautifully and boldly printed bright red text and advertising for Red Cross Tobacco, which of course is ideal for a T207 Red Cross example. This is an outstanding and extremely striking card. The image on the card is very bold, with flawless clarity. The card has a single very light background crease next to his right ear, is centered to the extreme bottom, and has a few very light tobacco stains on the reverse. This is an exceptional example of a fascinating and simply astonishing rarity that is noteworthy to even the most advanced tobacco-card collectors and scholars. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $21,150
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