1887 N172 Old Judge Mike "King" Kelly - Portrait

Sold For: $8,225

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 66

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Graded NM 84 by SGC. Out of sixty-four Old Judges of Kelly (all poses) ever graded by SGC, only three (including this example) have been graded NM 84, and only two have ever been graded higher. Extraordinarily high grade 1887 N172 Old Judge portrait of Hall of Famer Mike "King" Kelly with hat with "Chicago" on jersey, identified as "$10,000 Kelly." By any measure, this is one of the key cards in the Old Judge set, being both a portrait and featuring the legendary "$10,000 Kelly" with Chicago. Kelly earned this nickname when he was sold from Boston to Chicago following the 1887 season for this then unheard of sum. It is interesting to note that when this card was issued late in 1887 Kelly had already been sold to Boston, though he is pictured in a Chicago uniform as Old Judge did not yet have photos of Kelly in a Boston uniform. This portrait pose, featuring Mike "King" Kelly with Chicago, is among the most desirable of the thirty-nine very popular Old Judge portrait cards. This is a very sharp looking card, with strong square corners showing just the slightest hint of wear. As is often the case with Old Judges, the contrast is just a little light, but this example compares very favorably to many others, and is extremely clean both front and back. This is a particularly outstanding example of one of Kelly's most impressive cards, and a world-class example of one of the rarest and most desirable Hall of Famer poses in the Old Judge set. This very card was last sold at auction in April 2006 at REA. It appeared as Lot 51, selling for $5,800 at that time, and has been consigned to this auction directly by the original purchaser. Reserve $1,500. Estimate $3,000/$5,000. SOLD FOR $8,225

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