1909 T212 Obak Complete Set Uncut Sheet Including Chick Gandil

Sold For: $5,875

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 156

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Complete set of seventy-six 1909 T212 Obak cards, including "Black Sox" member Chick Gandil, presented on an uncut sheet. Obaks are among the most popular of all early card issues featuring players from the Pacific Coast League. While catalogued simply as T212, Obaks were actually issued over a period of three years, from 1909 to 1911, and are really three sets. The 76-card 1909 set is the first of the three annual T212 baseball cards from Obak Cigarettes. The 1909 set cards are by far the rarest of the three Obak sets and are easily distinguished by the blue printing in an “Old English” font on their backs. This is a remarkable sheet. It is the only 1909 Obak uncut sheet we have ever seen. Years ago we did see a 1910 Obak sheet, and it is interesting to note that that one-year-later sheet also had seventy-six cards, which, in addition to the 1909 Obak issue having exactly that number of cards in the set, suggests that this is a complete sheet exactly as printed. (Reference notes: the 1910 sheet had forty-four different and thirty duplicates as opposed to seventy-six different as seen on the 1909 sheet. The combination of the fact that this is the second uncut Obak sheet we have seen, and the fact that neatly hand-cut Obaks have always been known to have survived in original-owner collections, leads us to speculate that these observations are somehow related.) This is a complete final process sheet with backs fully printed. It is almost unheard of for any uncut sheet of baseball cards to survive from the 1910 era. It is even possible this is the earliest known complete uncut production sheet of baseball cards from any set. This sheet is naturally ideal for display and represents an extraordinary and possibly unique form for these cards. The sheet has some minor imperfections which include some light creasing (extremely unobtrusive, of little or no consequence to its extraordinary display value), a little corner wear, and a small chip out of the large margin along the top border (which does not affect the cards and when framed was simply matted out). The cards are all bright and crisp with vibrant colors. When consigned the sheet was matted and framed. When we opened the frame to examine it, we found that for framing purposes, the sheet has been lightly mounted to a cardboard backing with four pieces of white tape along the top border (in the large margin not affecting any cards) as well as by at least two small drops of glue (each the size of a dime) on the back. It is easy to peek at the backs of the cards to see that they are fully printed and have no problems other than the few small areas where the sheet is affixed by glued. The sheet could easily be removed from the backing by a professional paper restorer, or could be left exactly as is with backing and matting, and reframed. The sheet displays beautifully, and presents as Excellent. Dimensions: 76-card sheet (27-3/4 x 11-1/8inches). Matted to 32 x 15 inches. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,875

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