1888 Vertical Brownies Trade Cards Set (H804-2)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title H804-2 Vertical Brownies Trade Cards
Year 1888
Size 3 1/2″ x 5″
Images Color
Type Trade
Number in Set

H804-2 Vertical Brownies Trade Cards Overview

Vertical Brownies.jpg

The H804-2 Vertical Brownies set is part of the baseball comic series of trade cards.

The cards feature elves in a variety of humorous positions on a baseball field. The baseball in play is an oversized one, leading to different scenes of the elves teaming up to perform a number of activities, such as picking up the baseball, etc. Each card has a specific caption that somewhat depicts the scene.

Four different types of H804-2 Vertical Brownies cards exist:

  1. Cards featuring the players with pointed caps (shown here) – these are the most common
  2. Cards with the same cards but larger in size and with a yellow border
  3. Cards with the players wearing flattened, old style baseball hats. These cards also are printed without the backgrounds in the first two sets and do not have the titles printed on them. They almost appear as if they were promotional/test cards compared to the other two.
  4. Larger cards set inside of a thick yellow border. These are extremely rare and not known by most collectors. They are larger, measuring 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″.

As is the case with most trade cards, these are fragile and printed on thinner card stock. For that reason, they can be torn or ripped quite easily and damaged easier than standard baseball cards.

Many trade cards were used by numerous companies. That is in part because it was easier to use artwork that was already produced rather than going through the trouble of creating your own. For that reason, the backs of the card can be blank or include an advertisement for different companies.

New Variation Discovered

H804-2 Vertical Brownies Trade Card LargeVariation No. 4 presented above is a newer one that has not been widely known to the hobby.

One was found in a private collection and it was not previously cataloged in Frank Keetz’s trade card book. This variation, shown here, uses the same images in the main set. There are two main differences between them and the others.

First, the cards are printed inside of a thick, yellow border. In this specific example, the advertiser’s name and text  are printed in the side of it. However, it is not known if other advertisers used this and if those, similarly, have their print in that portion as well. Second, the cards are significantly larger than the others, measuring 4 1/2″ wide by 6 1/2″ tall.

While that is larger than most trade cards, some trade issues are similarly sized.

This variation is much rarer than the others listed above. As a result, trade card collectors would usually be inclined to pay a premium for it.

H804-2 Vertical Brownies Trade Cards Checklist

All five card are known to be printed for each of the three sets with the exception of Card No. 4 for the third type of variation listed above. Because the checklists are virtually identical across all three issues, it is possible (even likely) that the card exists, however.

  1. A Panic-er!
  2. Judgment!
  3. Out on second!
  4. Putting on the ‘Curve
  5. Taking a Fly

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