1910 Anonymous Set of 30 (E98)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title E98 Anonymous Set of 30
Year 1910
Size 1 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
Images Color
Type Candy/Caramel
Number in Set
30 (120 for a master set)

1910 Anonymous Set of 30 (E98) Overview

E98 05 Wagner Blue.jpg

Dubbed as the E98 Anonymous set of 30, the distributor and maker of the set is currently unknown. It looks like a standard caramel card issue but who it belongs to remains a mystery. It is believed the cards were produced in 1910.

Two key features of the set are present. First, the Cy Young card is actually a picture of Irv Young, leading to some uncertainty about if this can truly be called a Cy Young card. This was also an issue in the E97 C.A. Briggs set as well, which used the same image.

While 30 cards are in the set, all of the players have variations with red, orange, blue, and green backgrounds — making for a total of 120 cards in a master set. A collection of these cards were also part of the famous Black Swamp Find. Backs include a checklist of the set.

One notable error is that Fred Tenney’s name is misspelled ‘Tenny’ as it was in several other sets.

Finally, while the cards are anonymous, a few are actually tied to a company to some degree. A tobacco brand, Old Put Cigar, used these cards for their own purposes. Old Put Cigar added an overprint stamp with their name on the backs to make it appear as if they were their own cards. That, in a a way, turned them from what some would consider a candy set and sort of made them a tobacco issue, at least in the Old Put case.

Cobb E98 Black Swamp Find PSA 9

Black Swamp Find

The cards are arguably most popular because of the legendary Black Swamp Find. That discovery of hundreds of them greatly increased the known population and it is one of the most significant finds of all time.

Even if the cards were in poor condition, it would have been an important discovery. However, the cards were virtually untouched, leading to a gaggle of high-grade examples. But while incredible, that has kept the prices of them lower than expected simply because there are many of them.

Still, several of the cards are quite valuable. One of the most impressive cards is the lone PSA 10 of Honus Wagner. At the time of the find in 2012, the card sold for nearly $240,000. But in 2017, it raised just under $100,000, showing prices on them had cooled, at least for the time being, significantly.

Graders have also labeled cards from the find with the Black Swamp Find name, helping to document their provenance.

Still Anonymous, But …

More than 100 years later and this set still remains anonymous in terms of both the maker and distributor. Some clues, however, could have been provided from the aforementioned Black Swamp Find.

That find of hundreds of E98 cards in excellent condition was made in Defiance, Ohio by a member of a family that previously owned a meat market. The cards were likely to be giveaways to customers and PSA speculates that they were probably sold by traveling salesmen to businesses such as that one.

The idea that these were to be used by more than one business seems to hold weight for a few reasons. First, the no identifying company is printed on them, which would have made them ideal for use by just about anyone. Second, because these have been found with the Old Put Cigar name on them, we’re now seemingly able to tie these to at least two businesses – Old Put Cigar and the meat market.

A second, albeit probably less likely, possibility is that it could have been another C.A. Briggs issue. The reason for that suggestion is because the Young error card included in the set was also used in Briggs’ E97 issue. Many images in the set, however, were used in other sets, so its inclusion in that issue is no guarantee of E98 being a Briggs release.

1910 Anonymous Set of 30 (E98) Checklist

30 cards are in the set making it similar to other E-card releases. Below is the complete checklist of the set as identified on the backs of the cards. This list does not take into account all of the color variations found. When one does that, there are 120 different cards (four variations per card).

  1. Christy Mathewson
  2. John McGraw
  3. Johnny Kling
  4. Frank Chance
  5. Honus Wagner
  6. Fred Clarke
  7. Roger Bresnahan
  8. Hal Chase
  9. Russ Ford
  10. Ty Cobb
  11. Hughie Jennings
  12. Chief Bender
  13. Ed Walsh
  14. Cy Young
  15. Al Bridwell
  16. Miner Brown
  17. George Mullin
  18. Chief Meyers
  19. Hippo Vaughn
  20. Red Dooin
  21. Fred Tenney
  22. Larry McLean
  23. Nap Lajoie
  24. Joe Tinker
  25. Johnny Evers
  26. Harry Davis
  27. Eddie Collins
  28. Bill Dahlen
  29. Connie Mack
  30. Jack Coombs

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