1889 N338-2 S. F. Hess Tim Keefe

Sold For: $47,400

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 100

Item Year: 1889

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

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Graded GOOD 30 by SGC. Extremely rare nineteenth-century card of Hall of Famer Tim Keefe from the legendary S. F. Hess tobacco set, one of the most elusive of all pre-1900 card issues. In all our years, we've presented a total of just four cards from this set at auction, and this extraordinary example of Tim Keefe is by far the finest. The S. F. Hess series features primarily New York Giants players. Of the twenty-three subjects known to date, sixteen are members of the Giants, champions of the National League in 1888 and 1889. This is an exceptionally strong example of Tim Keefe, one of the key Hall of Famers in the set, and to the best of our knowledge is one of only two or three N338-2 S. F. Hess Tim Keefe cards known to exist. The SGC grade on this card may be technically accurate but does not begin to do it justice, or account for its outstanding and uncommonly strong contrast for an N338-2 S. F. Hess. This is a solid Vg-Ex condition card that has been downgraded to Good by SGC due to a very small and insignificant area of surface abrasion and hint of light staining on the blank reverse. (This type of minor back damage often "comes with the territory" when dealing with pre-1900 cards.) Interesting provenance note: This is the first time this card has ever been offered - or even seen - in the modern collecting world. This card was found years ago in a farmhouse in Vermont. It was part of a large collection of nonsport cards dating from the 1880s to the 1910 era that also included just a few baseball cards from Allen & Ginter and T206. This was the only S. F. Hess card in the collection. This is an extraordinary card and a prize example of a key Hall of Famer from N338-2 S. F. Hess Cigarettes, one of the rarest of all nineteenth-century baseball-card sets. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+. SOLD FOR $47,400

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