Extremely Rare N172 Old Judges: Oyster Burns and Charles Kelly (2)

Sold For: $8,813

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 83

Item Year: 1890

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Cards (1830-1899)

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This pair of N172 Old Judge cards is technically in modest grade, but they are distinguished not for their condition, but for their extreme rarity. These cards have been separated from a small original-owner collection of Old Judges offered elsewhere in this auction, which by pure chance happened to include both of these rarities. This is an extremely noteworthy pair of particularly rare N172 cards. 1) #58-5 Thomas “Oyster” Burns (Baltimore; end of throw, left hand off picture). 1888 copyright date. This pose is so rare that an example was not even available to provide as an illustration in the recently published comprehensive Old Judge book. Fair condition. 2) #257-5 Charles Kelly (Philadelphia; throwing, right hand thigh high). 1888 copyright date. Excellent photo contrast. Beautiful card, Vg-Ex/Ex front, surface paper loss on reverse from long ago being removed from a scrapbook. The first example we have ever seen of this card, it is listed in the Old Judge book as one of the thirty-four cards identified as "Very Scarce Cards." (Only the virtually impossible eighteen California League Players and twenty cards identified as "Significant Rarities" are listed as rarer.) Though these two cards have flaws as noted, they are still attractive cards and will be of special interest to extremely advanced Old Judge collectors. Total 2 cards. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,813


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