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1888 A32 Duke "Sporting Girls" Tobacco Premium Albums Complete Set (10 Illustrations with Two Covers)
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $1,896.00
While we cannot say for certain, we believe that the inspiration for the now famous annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue might very well have been these two exceedingly rare albums issued by W. Duke Sons & Co. in 1888 to promote its "Sporting Girls" premiums! Each of the beautifully designed albums (5.5 x 7.5 inches) features five different full-panel illustrations of an attractive beauty dressed to the nines in the period's most becoming sporting outfits (hunting, swimming, fishing, etc.); together they contain all ten cards in the "Sporting Girls" premium set. Both albums are lithographed on heavy card stock by Schumacher & Ettlinger of New York. "Sporting Girls" premiums were available in exchange for seventy-five certificates, one of which could be found in each of the company's various cigarette boxes. One of the most interesting elements of these albums is that they have been created to open accordion style, so that all five illustrations can be laid out and viewed at the same time. The first album (picturing a large image of a woman on the cover) displays moderate interior handling wear, including partial separation along the filament connecting the cover and the first panel, and the last two panels. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. The second album (picturing a woman in a canoe on the cover) features clean and bright interior panels, with just minor separation along the filament connecting the second and third panels. In Excellent to Mint condition. It should be noted that these albums are rarely, if ever, found, especially in such fine condition. This is the first set we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen more than a few sets in any condition over the past ten years. Total: 2 albums. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,896.00
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