Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXXVII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/16/2011
American Tobacco’s monument to the sport of baseball stands proudly atop the hobby as the unchallenged apex of baseball art. Of the over 500 images and countless Hall of Famers and baseball pioneers portrayed in this classic cardboard collection, perhaps the most intriguing offerings are the portraits of the diamond’s early greats.
Unlike the players of today, major leaguers of baseball’s first decade of the 20th Century were hardscrabble warriors. Fights were common and heavy drinking was often the rule. Baseball proved the means for many rough and tumble types to escape the mines, the mills and the factories. It also proved a significant rung on the societal ladder for immigrant populations. Between 1900 and 1910, baseball was home to many German and Irish-Americans, who were commonly first or second generation citizens.
Hall of Famer Roger Bresnahan epitomizes all the aforementioned characteristics of early baseball. A no-nonsense Irish brawler, who never ducked a fight and never feared starting one, Bresnahan led by example and expected nothing short of maximum effort from every teammate and player around him.
The Bresnahan portrait we proudly offer here, comes with a special twist that adds not only value, but intrigue – the rare Hindu brand back. Of the numerous T-206 variations, Hindu issues remain among the most coveted of all brands. With the introduction of Turkish tobacco to American markets, exotic cigarette blends became “all the rage” in the years before WWI. Brands such as Hindu, “The Totally Different Cigarette” capitalized on the craze. Ironically, brands such as Hindu offered appeal, but also were burdened with flavors too exotic for the average American taste, resulting in low sales and extreme scarcity for T206 cards.
This miraculous artifact has no only survived the generations, but has remained in remarkable condition. While graded a VG due to light corner touches, the face of the card emits a vibrancy and reflective quality common to newer cards printed with superior technology. From the intensity of the green background to the variances in Bresnahan’s skin tones, this tiny bit of antiquity reflects the pinnacle of the turn of the century lithographer’s art. We cannot recommend this card highly enough.
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