1889 M-UNC Police Gazette Cabinet Tip O'Neil

Sold For: $3,900

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 95

Item Year: 1889

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

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Graded FAIR 20 by SGC. The Police Gazette, a popular newspaper of the 1880s, issued a series of cabinet cards which today are among the rarest of all nineteenth-century cards. This example of Tip O'Neil is especially desirable as it features the Brownie Champs star in the same pose as appears on his N172 Old Judge Brownie Champ card. It is very interesting how, on this unique example, Tip O'Neil's name is printed in gold partially on the photo and partially on the mount. This is the only Police Gazette example we have ever seen like this. It is of special note because this tells us with certainty that the gilt identification stamping was added as the final production process. Also, most Police Gazette cabinets feature the players in street clothes while this card pictures O'Neil in uniform. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only existing example of O'Neil from this very rare set. In 1887 O'Neil led the American Association in hits (225), doubles (52), triples (19), home runs (14) and batting average (.435), helping to lead the Browns to their third consecutive championship. The photograph is bright, crisp, clean, and essentially perfect. The card has a little corner wear and a few notations on the blank reverse (which are responsible for the harsh SGC grade); the cabinet card is otherwise in Excellent condition. This is an exceptional and very striking example from one of the nineteenth century's most substantial and highly regarded sets. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+.

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