These rare cards feature boxers Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard. The Dempsey card, in particular has been considered to be a rookie issue of Dempsey’s by most collectors.
Produced by Underwood and Underwood, the purpose and distribution of the cards has not been determined. But they are black and white cards, oversized in nature, featuring the boxers.
A thick white border surrounds the images with the Underwood & Underwood copyright in the lower left corner. The boxer’s name is printed in large black letters at the top. The cards themselves are a slightly thicker stock than most traditional sports cards at the time. They are similar in appearance to the popular Exhibit cards of the 1920s.
While the cards are sometimes called postcards, that is not the case. No postcard backing is on them as they are entirely blank on the reverse. They are oversized but they are a pretty standard trading card as opposed to being a card designed to be mailed.
Dating for this set is notable. While it is mostly recognized as a 1920 set, most generally believe the cards are actually from 1919. That is in part because Dempsey and Jess Willard fought in 1919 and those are the only two subjects featured here.
1919 Underwood and Underwood Photo Cards Checklist