1911 T4 Obak Premium Cabinet Spider Baum, Sacramento

Sold For: $2,160

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 890

Item Year: 1911

Category: T Tobacco Cards

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Addendum (4/17/17, 3:15 PM): Please note that upon closer inspection, we believe the T4 example displays slight evidence of trimming. This lot is comprised of two cards: The first is a traditional 1910 T212 Obak tobacco card (measuring 1-1/2 x 2-5/8 inches) of Spider Baum from Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. The second is a matched T4 Obak premium card, also of Baum, featuring the very same pose. Together they make for an extraordinary display! This is the first time we have ever offered a matched pair (a second matched pair is offered in this auction as well). The extreme rarity of the larger (5 x 7 inches) Obak premium cards makes assembling a matched pair a very difficult collecting challenge. The large-format Obak premium cards were available only by mail in exchange for coupons, which were distributed one per pack with Obak Cigarettes. Fifty Obak coupons were required to obtain each premium. Considering this, it is not surprising that they are so rare. The premiums feature Pacific Coast League players in the very same poses as appear in the traditional small-format T212 Obak insert cards, but these cards are larger and the photographic image is in striking black and white as opposed to color. It is fascinating to note that while the design of Obak premiums do not include player identifications, they almost always have a number in pencil written in the upper left corner of the reverse. This number corresponds to the player checklist on the Obak coupon, and was added by Obak to help with organization of the premiums as it filled orders. The offered example is no exception, featuring "59, Baum, Pitcher, Sacramento" along the top edge of the reverse. The card presents as Excellent overall, with a crisp image and four strong corners. Aside from the writing the blank reverse is perfectly clean. This is an impressive-looking sample card from one of the Pacific Coast League's rarest sets. The small Obak (T212) card is in overall Vg-Ex+ condition, perfectly clean front and back, with light wear on the corners, and a flawless image set against a striking red background. Total: 2 cards. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000+.

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