1910 T209 Contentnea Cigarettes Photo Series Near-Complete Set (219/226)
Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $32,588
Near-complete set of 219 different (216 of the 223 in set as checklisted in The Standard Catalog plus three not checklisted) 1910 T209 Contentnea "Photo Series" Tobacco cards. Three cards (Reeves, Sherrill, and Steinbach) included are not listed in the 2011 Standard Catalog checklist but have been known to exist by some advanced collectors. Missing just seven cards for completion of all subjects listed in The Standard Catalog (Armstrong/Wilson, Cowells, Crockett, Hyames, Mundell, Wolf, and Wright). 6% grade Vg-Ex, 57% range from Gd to Vg, and 37% are in slightly lesser grades. Images of all are featured online. In all our 40 years in the hobby, this only the second near-set of T209 Contentnea "Photo Series" cards that we have ever seen or had the privilege of offering (a collection of 210 different were sold for $44,063 in REA's May 2011 auction). Large collections or near-sets of this rare issue are virtually unheard of. (In fact, to the best of our knowledge, no one has ever completed the T209 Contentnea "Photo Series" Tobacco set. With 219 of the 226 cards, of course, this collection is very close.) This is an incredible offering! This set (minus seven cards) was assembled over a period of over thirty years, and interestingly (and perhaps not surprisingly) were collected in precisely the area in which these rare tobacco cards were issued (Virginia).
The T209 "Photo Series" set is comprised of 226 different players from the Virginia League, Carolina Association, and Eastern League. T209 Contentnea "Photo Series" are one of the rarest and (in large part because of their rarity) most overlooked of all tobacco-card issues. Although there are no Hall of Famers in this set, there are numerous extreme rarities, almost all of which are included here. (Additional note regarding the number of cards in the set: It appears that some cards currently checklisted have not been confirmed and may not exist; this collection may therefore actually be closer to completion than even suggested by the current Standard Catalog checklist.) This lot consists of the following: Abercrombie, Andrada, Armstrong (Norfolk), Averitt, Baker, Banner, Bausewein, Beatty, Bentley, Beusse, Biel, Bigbie (Raleigh), Bigbie (Richmond), Blackstone, Bonner, Bourquin, Bowen, Boyle, Brandon, Brazell, Brent, Brown, Busch, Bussey, Byrd, Cefalu, Callahan, Chandler, Clapp, Clarke, Clemens, Clunk, Cooper, Corbett, Cote, Coutts, Cowen, Cregan, Cross, Dailey, C. Derrick, F. Derrick, Doak (Greensboro), Doak (Wilmington), Dobard, Dobson, Doyle, Drumm, Duvie, Ebinger, Elridge, Evans, Fairbanks, Farmer, Ferrell, Fisher, Flowers, Fogarty, Foltz, Foreman, Forque, Francis, Fulton, Galvin, Gardin, Garman, Gastmeyer, Gaston, Gates, Gehring, Gillespie, Gorham, Griffin (Danville), Griffin (Lynchburg), Guiheen, Gunderson, Hale, Halland, Hamilton, Hammersley, Handiboe, Hannifan, Hargrave, Harrington, Harris, Hart, Hartley, Hawkins, Hearn, Hicks, Hobbs, Hoffman, Hooker, Howard, Howedell, Hudson, Humphrey, Irvine, Irving, Jackson (Greensboro), Jackson (Spartanburg), Jenkins (Greenville), Jenkins (Roanoke), Jobson, Johnson, Keating, Kelley, Kelly (Anderson), Kelly (Goldsboro), "King" Kelly, King, Kite, Kunkie, Landgraff, Lane, Lathrop, Lavoia, Levy, Lloyd, Loval, Lucia, Luyster, MacConachie, Malcolm, Martin, Mayberry, A. McCarthy, J. McCarthy, McCormick, McFarland, McFarlin, C. McGeehan, D. McGeehan, McHugh, McKevitt, Merchant, Midkiff, Miller, Missitt, Morgan, Morrisey, Mullaney, Mullinix, Munson, Murdoch, Newton, Noojin, Novak, Ochs, Painter, Peloguin, Phelan, Phoenix, Powell, Pressley & Pritchard, Priest, Prim, Pritchard, Rowe, Redfeam, Reeves (unchecklisted), Reggy, Richardson, Rickard, Rickert, Ridgway, Roth, Salve, Schmidt, Schrader, Schumaker, Sexton, Shaughnessy, Sharp, Shaw, Sherrill (unchecklisted), Simmons, A. Smith, D. Smith, Smith (Portsmouth), Spratt, Springs, Steinbach (unchecklisted), Stewart, Stoehr, Stouch, Sullivan, Swindell, Taxis, Templin, Thompson, B. E. Thompson (dressed as Uncle Sam), Tiedeman, Titman, Toner, Turner, Tydeman, Vail, Verbout, Vickery, Walker (Norfolk), Walker (Spartanburg), Wallace, Walsh, Walters, Waters, Waymack, Webb, Wehrell, Weldon, Welsher, Westlake, Williams, Willis, Wingo, Wood, Woolums, Workman, and Wynne.
T209 Contentnea "Photo Series" Tobacco cards are among a small selection of elite sets that have long captured the imagination of many of the most legendary collectors, from the earliest days of serious collecting, perhaps more so in years past than even in recent times. The reason many great early collectors prized these cards so highly is twofold: 1) These cards could not (and cannot) simply be purchased in set form. They are rare! They have to be collected. They are a challenge. 2) Ultimately, cards are about the players that are featured. Many of the players in T209 "Photo Series" are featured in few or no other sets. These characteristics make the real-photo T209 Contentnea set especially significant to the game of baseball and to the world of baseball cards, and especially appealing to the most sophisticated collectors. T209 cards also have a very distinctive design with striking player poses unique to this set. This set (minus seven cards) was one of the great highlights of the collection of Joe Pelaez, one of the hobby's great pioneer collectors (who passed away in 2010). It has always been one of the most prized of the extraordinary and rare sets in his collection and is being offered by his family. Also included is an original Contentnea Cigarettes box (Vg-Ex). From the Joe Pelaez Collection. Total: 219 cards plus one cigarette box. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $20,000++. SOLD FOR $32,588