1911 T4 Obak Premium Cabinet Frank Miller, San Francisco

Sold For: $2,700

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 891

Item Year: 1911

Category: T Tobacco Cards

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This lot is comprised of two cards: The first is a traditional 1911 T212 Obak tobacco card (measuring 1-1/2 x 2-5/8 inches) of Frank Miller from San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League. The second is a matched T4 Obak premium card, also of Miller, 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 the 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 "75, Miller??, SF PCL 1910" along the top of the reverse. The card presents as Vg-Ex overall, with a crisp image and light wear to the corners. In addition to the writing, the blank reverse has an ink stamp that reads “Edward L. Morrison,” which is most likely the name of the original owner. Aside from these flaws, this is an impressive-looking sample card from one of the Pacific Coast League's rarest sets. The small Obak (T212) card appears in Excellent condition from the front, but has evidence of album removal on the reverse. Total: 2 cards. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000+.

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