Graded VG/EX 50 by SGC. Extremely attractive example of Hall of Famer Mike King Kelly from the exceedingly rare Number 7 Cigar set. 1889 Number 7 Cigars are one of the rarest and most unusual nineteenth-century tobacco trade-card sets. It may be that somehow this set has not received the attention it is due, perhaps because it does not feature photographs. Yet the artwork likenesses are exceptional, and in our opinion this extremely rare 1880s issue is not only very distinctive, but has a unique charm about it. This fifteen-card set was issued in 1889 and features line-drawn portraits of members of the Boston Nationals. The cards were issued in several variations which relate to the advertising on the cards. The back of the cards feature ads for either Diamond S Cigars or Number 7 Cigars. Cards from this issue are unusually large for the era, each measuring 2.25 x 4 inches, and are incredibly rare and not often seen in any condition. SGC has only ever graded forty-two examples. King Kelly is the key card to this set. The offered example is crisp and clean, centered slightly to the right with light hints of wear visible at the corners under close inspection. The distinct advertising reverse is clean, with only a tiny veritcal wrinkle along the top border responsible for the assigned grade. This is an extremely attractive example of this significant Hall of Famer from this seldom-seen nineteenth-century issue, and one that would be a prize addition for even the most advanced sample-card, nineteenth-century, or Hall of Fame card collection. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+.
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