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1886 Red Stocking Cigar Card Capt. John Morrill - Newly Discovered!

Reserve - $2,500. Estimate - $5,000+

Extremely rare sample card from the 1886 Red Stocking Cigars series featuring "Honest John" Morrill as a member of the Boston Nationals. Morrill was a popular sports figure in Boston, having starred with Boston both as a player and manager. This newly discovered example originates from an old-time advanced trade card collector in the Boston area. Though not a baseball card collector, he appreciated the design and rarity of the card as an advertising trade card, and has had this card in his collection since he found it over forty years ago! It has not seen the light of day since and has never been seen in the baseball card collecting world. Red Stocking Cigars have always been one of the rarest of all nineteenth-century cards, and one of the most seldom seen of all sample cards from any era. In all our years, we have seen a total of only six examples. As noted in the Standard Catalog, only three different players (Buffington, Morrill, and Radbourn) are known from this elusive series. This card features a full-body line drawing of Morrill dressed in full uniform identified as "Capt. John F. Morrill, Boston Base Ball Club. - 1886," surrounded by advertising on the front ("Ask Your Dealer For Them - Smoke the Red Stocking Cigar - F.W. MacDonald, Proprietor., 15 Oliver Street, Boston"), with the complete 1886 schedule for Boston's home and road games and additional advertising on the reverse ("Smoke the RED STOCKING Cigar. Ask your Dealer for them"). The card has an ink stamp to the right of Morrill's head ("Sold At - Carpenter's Pharmacy, Wood Square, Hudson"), and a few creases on the edges and in the corners. The back has the letters "M.E.M." neatly written near the left edge. Despite these minor faults, this is a very impressive looking card which has an otherwise overall Vg-Ex appearance. This is an extremely attractive example of one of the great sample rarities of all nineteenth-century baseball cards, and would be a worthy highlight addition to any world-class nineteenth-century baseball-card collection. Dimensions: 6.5 x 3.75 inches. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+.


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