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Collection of Nineteenth-Century CDVs - Newly Discovered Find (120)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,252
This remarkable collection of 120 nineteenth-century CDVs is new to the hobby and was just recently discovered by our consignor among a group of material left to her by her parents, who purchased these cards over twenty years ago at an antique shop. Incredibly, the collection contained eight exceedingly rare nineteenth-century baseball CDVs and/or trade cards, including two 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings cards. Each of the baseball CDVs or trade cards from this find is being offered individually in this auction, as is a lot of seven boxing cards, including a CDV of John Heenan, considered by many to be the first boxing card ever issued.
One of the most interesting aspects of this collection is the fact that it appears to have been originally assembled in 1873. Accompanying the cards is a vintage sheet of paper (7.75 x 2.5 inches; mounted onto a cardboard backing) that is neatly lettered in pencil: "Containing 574 Portraits of Theatrical. Musical. Literary. Sporting. Military. Scientific. Religious. Judical [sic]. Political. and Criminal Characters." Below that is written the name "John Joy" (almost certainly the name of the original collector) and the year, "1873." One can also tell that the number "574" in the title was ever changing, as it is heavily written and erasure marks are evident beneath it. Based upon this title card, John Joy was a very enthusiastic early card collector. Given the number of cards in the original collection, one can only wonder at how many rarities it once held.
As noted on the title card, this collection does feature "characters" from all different fields and occupations, many of whom are identified in print at the base of the mount. Included here are American political figures, world leaders, authors, actors and actresses, generals, musicians, and even two dogs. Sixty-six of the cards feature women, most of whom we assume are either singers or stage personalities. There are no exact duplicates, but a few individuals are featured more than once in different poses. Approximately seventy percent of the cards have a slight trim, which is not uncommon for the times, as it sometimes facilitated their insertion in albums. Without regard to the slight trimming, the cards range in grade from Good to Excellent, averaging Vg-Ex. Among the cards offered here are Abraham Lincoln and his family, John Wilkes Booth, Stephen Douglas, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, "Stonewall" Jackson, Grant & Wilson (1872 presidential campaign CDV), Seymour & Blair (1868 presidential campaign CDV), P. T. Barnum, Tom Thumb and his family, Horace Greeley, Napoleon 3rd, Emperor of France, Queen Victoria, William I, King of Prussia, Count Bismark, Giuseppe Garibaldi, John Hughes (archbishop of New York), George Peabody (philanthropist), Beethoven, Shakespeare, Samuel Morse, Elizabeth Stanton (women's suffrage), Charlotte Cushman (actress, two different examples), Clara Louise Kellogg (singer, two different examples), and Little Nell - The California Diamond (actress). In addition to the 120 CDVs, the collection also includes a colorized image of an unknown woman and a small woodcut image of an unidentified gentleman. All of the cards in the collection can be viewed on our website. This is a fascinating collection with many highlights. Total: 120 CDVs plus two additional images. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,252
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