Circa 1910 Notebook Cover Proof Cy Young

Sold For: $960

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 207

Item Year: 1910

Category: Prewar Baseball Cards (1900-1941)

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1910 Notebook Cover proof featuring Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young. In "the olden days," notebooks with big stars and well-known players on their covers were very popular with youngsters at school. While many different cover designs exist, the offered Young is from a series that features one of the most distinctive and striking designs. Covers from this series are all the more noteworthy as they have a strong "card-like" appearance, and are all the more similar to cards in that they are part of a set. The set consists of five covers: Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Rube Waddell, and Cy Young as well as non-Hall of Famer Lou Criger. The offered cover was originally part of an uncut proof sheet (27 x 30 inches) that surfaced many years ago, which included three examples of each player (15 covers in total), and has since been cut up and sold as individual items. No other covers from this series have ever been seen. This cover proof is printed in a striking blue color, with an image of Young in the center, surrounded by an elaborate baseball equipment design. It is fascinating to note that the portrait used on this cover is the very same as that which appears on a number of other famous Young cards, including 1902 W600 Sporting Life Cabinet, 1903 E107 Breisch-Williams, 1906 Fan Craze, 1909-1911 E90-1 American Caramel, 1909 E254 Colgan’s Chips, 1909-1911 T206 White Border, and 1910-1911 M116 Sporting Life. This is obviously an iconic and very popular pose! The fact that no complete notebooks (with blank paper) featuring these covers are known suggests the possibility that they were not produced, though it is also very possible that they were marketed and none have survived. They were not intended to be saved. To date, the single proof sheet of fifteen covers is all that is known to have survived. Encapsulated as Authentic by SGC, the Young cover presents with a strong Excellent appearance. Light wrinkling is present on the reverse, and two tiny tears are present at the top border. Pre-production proofs theoretically exist for many sets, but rarely survive. It is easy to see why these 1910-era Notebook Cover proofs are highly regarded. This is an extremely impressive example of Hall of Famer Cy Young from this unusual and desirable prewar set. The individual cover measures 6.5 by 8 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+.

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