1909 James Jeffries Playing Cards Set and Checklist

It’s in the Details

Title James Jeffries Playing Cards
Year 1909
Size 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
Images Black and White
Type Game Cards
Number in Set
54

1909 James Jeffries Playing Cards Overview

James Jeffries Playing Cards Boxing John SullivanJames Jeffries Playing Cards BackThese playing cards were endorsed by famous boxer James Jeffries and featured some of the popular boxers of the early 1900s.

Cards were issued by his W.P. Jeffries Company, as indicated on a title card for the set. As indicated on an insert, the company held offices in the Jeffries Company Building at 117 Winston Street in Los Angeles. The company sold a complete set of the game for $1.00.

Utilizing a simple playing card design, the cards featured a black and white image on one side with suits and denominations following a standard playing card format (Ace through King). The cards were issued in both red boxes and blue boxes.

Some of the cards are individual boxers while others feature two boxers on one card in a bout. And Jeffries, of course, is featured on several cards. Highlights of the set include Jack Dempsey and John Sullivan. No individual card was given to Jack Johnson, who was the heavyweight champion of the time. Racism may have been behind that as Johnson is simply pictured on a single card with another black boxer Sam McVey with the two simply being called tar babies.

A 53rd card is also included featuring Jeffries himself as the featured boxer. That 53rd card is a Joker and includes Jeffries’ replica autograph with a ‘Yours Truly’ inscription. Finally, a 54th card includes a title card for the game.

The backs of each card featured the same image – a portrait pose of Jeffries with his name inside of an ornate oval design and a striking red background.

As the cards had standard rounded playing card corners, like other pre-war playing card issues, these are often found in tremendous shape. As a result, high-grade cards are special, but do not often sell for outrageous amounts. High-grade commons can often be purchased for as little as $15-$25.

1909 James Jeffries Playing Cards Checklist

Clubs

  • 2 – Moran vs. Neil
  • 3 – Neil vs. Tenny
  • 4 – Welsh vs. Attell
  • 5 – Neil vs. Hyland
  • 6 – Fredericks vs. Rafferty
  • 7 – Schlossberg vs. Alteri
  • 8 – Trainor vs. Tighe
  • 9 – Barry vs. Kaufman
  • 10 – Moran vs. Attell
  • Jack – Jack Dempsey
  • Queen – Jeffries vs. Monroe
  • King – Robert Fitzsimmons
  • Ace – Abe Attell

Diamonds

  • 2 – Nelson vs. Britt
  • 3 – Britt vs. Nelson
  • 4 – McFarland vs. Britt
  • 5 – O’Brien vs. Fitzsimmons
  • 6 – Fitzsimmons vs. Gardner
  • 7 – Burns vs. Squires
  • 8 – Mike Squires
  • 9 – Stan Ketchel vs. Papke
  • 10 – Burns vs. Squires
  • Jack – Stan Ketchel
  • Queen – Two Jims
  • King – John Sullivan
  • Ace – Battling Nelson

Hearts

  • 2 – Jeffries Open Air Arena
  • 3 – Ketchel vs. Kelly
  • 4 – Papke vs. Ketchel
  • 5 – Ketchel vs. Jeffries
  • 6 – Jeffries Rowing
  • 7 – Eyton and Jeffries
  • 8 – Papke vs. Ketchel
  • 9 – Papke vs. Ketchell
  • 10 – Jeffries vs. Corbett
  • Jack – Tommy Burns
  • Queen – Jeffries
  • King – James Corbett
  • Ace – Billy Papke

Spades

  • 2 – Kaufmann vs. Sullivan
  • 3 – Nelson vs. Gans
  • 4 – Nelson vs. Gans
  • 5 – Nelson vs. Gans
  • 6 – McGovern vs. Corbett
  • 7 – McCormick vs. Ruhlin
  • 8 – McFarland vs. Wells
  • 9 – Ketchel vs. Sullivan
  • 10 – Johnson vs. McVey
  • Jack – Packey McFarland
  • Queen – Jeffries vs. Fitzsimmons
  • King – Tom Sharkey
  • Ace – Owen Moran

Others

  • Joker Card – Jeffries
  • Title Card

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