1886 Virginia Brights Black Stocking Nine Cabinet Card Sets (H807-1) and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title H807-1 Virginia Brights Black Stocking Nine Cabinets
Year 1886 (?)
Size 7 1/2″ x 13″
Images Sepia
Type Trade
Number in Set
9 (each set)

1886 Virginia Brights Black Stocking Nine (H807-1) Overview

Virginia Brights Black Stocking Nine CabinetH807-1 Virginia Brights Black Stocking Nine SepiaVirginia Brights Black Stocking Nine H807-1These sets feature advertising for both Allen & Ginter and its Virginia Brights product. Some of the cards are similar to the popular N172 Old Judge set in terms of design.

There are a total of three different types of cards in these sets, all of which are cataloged as H807-1. One features a black border, a second has a lighter border, and a third has a decorative frame around the picture. None of the three types are particularly easy to find. As I wrote here, the company was quite stingy in handing these out and that has probably contributed some to the rarity.

Regular consumers, could receive the cards, however. A September 30, 1886 edition of the Lawrence Gazette, a newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas, mentioned that a patron could receive one of the photos by returning either ten wrappers of 20-pack cigarettes packages or 20 wrappers of 10-pack cigarette packages.

While these were cataloged by Jefferson Burdick as H807-1, I have included this issue into the N-Card section as a 19th Century Tobacco card. At the time of his book, Burdick did not classify N-Cards as 19th Century Tobacco cards as we do today. But by our standards today, that is where they belong.

Instead of featuring players in actual games, the women are depicted in a series of baseball poses to make it appear as if they are playing.

The cards are larger cabinet type issue measuring approximately 13 inches tall. The set gets its name from the small text printed beneath the pictures that reads, “Black Stocking Nine.” It is so named because the women in the pictures are all wearing black stockings.

There are presumably nine cards in each set. Virginia Brights created a Polka Dot Nine set and stated that the issue was comprised of nine different subjects.

Dating of the Sets

While these are often believed to be from 1884, that does not appear to be the case.

An 1886 article in the Atlanta Constitution cites photos of nine baseball women (specifically, it says they are nine handsome female baseball players), which are likely either these sets or the sets of the other Virginia Brights cabinet sets. The article seems to allude to these being a new set as it says the photos had only been available in Atlanta for a few weeks. The aforementioned September 30, 1886 edition of the Lawrence Gazette also cited receiving samples of the cards at that time.

Additionally, another Allen and Ginter set, N46, which featured female cigarette makers, also has at least one card that displays a Crop of 1884 sign. However, those cards are believed to be issued after 1884.

As a result, 1886 is often cited as a year for the release of these cabinets.

1886 Virginia Brights Black Stocking Nine (H807-1) Checklist

It is believed that nine cards are featured in each set. Each set features generic players and only some have card numbering.

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