Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLIII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/24/2012
Any pre-WWI card of the majestic Christy Mathewson is highly coveted by elite enthusiasts. Vintage hobbyists scramble to capture “Matty’s” most desirable “E” and “T” cards with a select group of collectors meticulously searching for his most obscure cardboard artifacts. One of those is the ultra scarce Novelty Cutlery Postcards, issued from 1907 – 1909 by the Novelty Cutlery Knife Co. in Canton, OH., unquestionably one of the rarest postcards circulating within the hobby. Measuring the standard postcard size of 3 ½ x 5 ½”, these rarities include 26 player images in both black & white and sepia tone with the typical postcard markings on the reverse, with the Mathewson subject seldom surfacing. With that in mind, offered here is the ultra-desirable Christy Mathewson Novelty Cutlery postcard in a brilliant aesthetically pleasing SGC 20/1.5 holder. How rare is this card? Consider that SGC and PSA, combined, have only encapsulated a paltry 4 other specimens with only 2 graded higher! One of five 1936 Hall of Fame charter members, some historians still vote Mathewson as the greatest pitcher in baseball history (with all due respect to Walter Johnson). Winner of 373 games, Mathewson compiled an incredible 2.13 lifetime E.R.A. and won over 30 games four times including 3 successive seasons! Yet, with all of these outstanding achievements, he will always be best remembered for his unparalleled 3 shutouts in 1905 World Series when he completely dominated Connie Mack’s powerful Athletics team. This prompted iconic A’s manager Connie Mack to quote the following: “Mathewson was the greatest pitcher that ever lived. It was wonderful to watch him pitch when he wasn’t pitching against you”! Virtually synonymous with Mack’s legendary quote is this card’s sheer existence, with the Matty Novelty Cutlery subject one of Mathewson’s most sought after cardboard rarities. The “Christina Gentleman’s” classic pitching pose later utilized on both his PC796 and Max Stein postcards steals the show, with no blemishes whatsoever impeding the illustrations near pristine aesthetics. Remarkable contrast and clarity highlight this museum worthy masterpiece pose, and most would agree that the overall eye appeal is consistent with a VG/EX example. Only some mild corner wear and a few stray creases along the upper and right borders compromise the obverse side. Accounting for the technical assessment is a canceled flipside including the standard post office “one cent’ stamp, post office ink stamp reading; “NOV 10, 1914”, and a brief written note from its original sender. Yet, many serious postcard enthusiasts actually desire a cancelled postcard carrying strong flipside image aesthetics since it dates the card close to the period in which it was originally issued. If you are gathering Mathewson’s rarest cardboard keepsakes, you will be highly challenged to find a more obscure memento then this offering, justifying why you should ride this “Big Six” treasure straight to the winner’s circle!
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