Gigantic 1890 Duke "N145 Actors & Actresses" Advertising Cabinet-Card Collection (11)

Sold For: $3,851

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1525

Item Year: 1888

Category: Non-Sports Cards/Sheets/Card Artwork

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These eleven circa 1890 W. Duke, Sons & Co. "N145 Actors & Actresses" cabinet cards (each approximately 7.5 x 12.5 inches) were part of an extraordinary recently discovered find of extremely rare nineteenth-century nonsport tobacco items. These eleven unbelievably rare and substantial cabinet cards are designed like uncut sheets, each featuring twenty cards from the N145 "Actors & Actresses" series. They appear to be advertising cabinet cards intended solely for store display, as opposed to being a premium issue. The advertisement for "Cross-Cut Cigarettes," a Duke's cigarette brand, is stamped along the top. Below the advertisement, the promotion reads, "From this date, we will pack one small Photograph in each box of Cross-Cut Cigarettes. There will be 250 different designs of Celebrated beauties, a few of which we submit below. No more playing cards exchanged for wrappers." These are remarkable cards of an incredibly high production quality. This is the first time we have ever encountered even an example from this extremely rare advertising series, let alone a collection. Provenance: All of the tobacco items from which this group originates were discovered together by our consignor many years ago in a long abandoned retail establishment in Hoboken, New Jersey. All of the items in the collection (all appear in a number of lots in this auction) are incredibly rare. Many of the items at a glance appear to be tobacco premiums of virtually unrivaled quality and rarity, but we think that the true nature of the collection is that most or all are actually tobacco-store advertising displays. (Perhaps some were issued as premiums in some manner and also used for store display.) These large Duke N145 advertising display cards, clearly announcing and advertising for the 1890 Duke N145 "Actors & Actresses" series, appear to only possibly be store advertising displays, and are even reminiscent of the slightly larger 25-card uncut sheet store-display signs produced by Goodwin & Co. to promote the N172 Old Judge series. Extremely thick and designed with beveled edges. In all our years, these are the first of their kind that we have ever seen. Each advertising display cabinet card is bright and crisp from the front, and with light dusting on the reverse. In Excellent condition. Total: 11 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,851

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