Complete set of ten 1888 R.T.S Artistic Series baseball diecuts issued by Raphael Tuck & Sons of Germany. The uniforms of these colorful scrapbook diecuts represent baseball's major franchise cities of 1888. The teams represented are Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh from the National League; and Baltimore, Brooklyn, and St. Louis from the American Association. This seems an ideal time to document a long-standing and obscure hobby mystery relating to the identification of this issue in the past as "R & S Artistic." The actual name of the set is "R.T.S. Artistic Series." The Raphael Tuck & Son's "RTS" company logo can easily be misinterpreted as reading "R & S" and this error was apparently made long ago and has been repeated for years in countless publications. The set was originally issued in sheet form, with players diecut but attached by easily separated tabs. (The R.T.S. logo appears on one of the connecting tabs.) Little else is known regarding how these diecuts were distributed. It is believed they were sold for the express purpose of gluing into scrapbooks, which was a very popular pastime of the day. All of the ten offered diecuts have been removed from their original sheet and are affixed to a cream-colored mount. The Brooklyn and Indianapolis diecuts each appear to have a crease or tear at the base; otherwise all are in apparent Excellent to Mint condition (without reference to the mounting). This is a very attractive complete set of these rare and very colorful nineteenth-century baseball diecut cards, which represent one of the most outstanding values of all nineteenth-century card issues. Framed to total dimensions of 17.5 x 14.5 inches. Total: 10 cards. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+.
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