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1910 E125 American Caramel Die-cut Tris Speaker (Batting)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,555
This key Hall of Famer from the extremely rare E125 American Caramel series is one of Tris Speaker’s rarest cards. Circa 1910, the American Caramel Co. issued one large die-cut card per box of caramels. They were designed as "stand-up" cards with fold-back tabs to allow the players to stand on their own. The E125 Tris Speaker (batting pose) has survived complete, with all flaps intact. The stand-up flaps do not appear to have ever been folded back. The front is particularly striking, and very bright and clean. The card has a few barely detectable light creases on the front (on his knees, across his waist, and on his wrist ). It appears that the bat (above the hands) may have been professionally reinforced on the reverse. This is extremely minor, and this could also be just a hint of scrapbook paper attached to the reverse. The card was clearly at one time glued into a scrapbook and very carefully removed. The reverse of the card, which features a complete checklist of the Red Sox in the set and advertising for American Caramels, has evidence of glue marks (one of which has caused some surface paper loss at the top of the head), a possible reinforcement of a very tiny area on the bat, and a single tape mark from being mounted in an album long ago (flaws resulting in this card being encapsulated by SGC as "Authentic"). The reverse is otherwise bright and clean. Interestingly, this E125 Speaker was sold at REA once before, back in 2007 (Lot 216). With a minimum bid of $1,000 and an estimate of $2,000/$3,000, it sold for $7,050. In 2011, when the famous Dreier Collection was being sold at Legendary, the entire set of E125s (representing more E125s than had ever been offered at one time since 1910 - we believe they assembled the entire set!) hit the market all at once, and this Speaker sold at that time for $2,181. In 2013, we still have just as difficult a time predicting values as in 2007 (perhaps more so in light of the craziness of the cited past results) but (as always at REA) we are confident the auction process will provide clarity. This is the only E125 Speaker batting pose we have ever seen or offered! The card displays beautifully, appearing from the front to be in Very Good to Excellent (or better) condition, but is technically in lesser condition due to the minor flaws on the reverse. This is a very attractive and striking example of one of the rarest of all Tris Speaker cards, from one of the most elusive of all caramel-card issues. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,555
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