1912 J=K Candy Set Checklist Expands with New Discoveries

2020 is almost over but we’ve got one more important find to report as the year is winding down. Recently, Heritage took on a find of rare 1912 J=K Candy cards. The find included many new ones not previously checklisted.

I won’t go into the full history of the cards but essentially, these are cards that were printed onto candy boxes and then later cut out by collectors. The weirdly formatted name is for J. Koenigsberg, the distributor of these. Like most candy box cards, they are quite rare because, well most people that bought them for the candy did not bother keeping the cards. There are two types of the cards — Type I cards are smaller black and white cards printed on the boxes. Type 2 cards have a bit of color and are larger portraits. Both types were printed on the boxes (apparently one type on one side and the other on the other side).

100 cards are advertised in the set but nowhere near that many different ones have been found. For many of these cards, there are only one known. And that means new ones are continually discovered — even if not on a regular basis. Home Run Baker, for example, was just discovered in 2012.

Heritage not only discovered a new card, they found eight that had not been checklisted.

These are the newly checklisted cards.

Type I

  • Ginger Beaumont
  • Mordecai ‘Three Finger’ Brown
  • Chick Lathers
  • Zack Wheat

Type II

  • Eddie Cicotte
  • Ty Cobb
  • Eddie Collins
  • Tom Needham

It should be noted that another card, Frank Schulte, was initially believed to be uncataloged, though another graded example was indeed known.

There are a few really notable things here — three come into mind that are worth noting.

First, the card of Chick Lathers is important. Lathers played only parts of two season with the Tigers and this is one of his only known cards. Lathers is in the more common M116 Sporting Life set but beyond that, I’m not sure how many more cards he has.

Second, the star power in this list is incredible and discovering an uncataloged Cobb card is about as big as it gets. That card sold for a ridiculous nearly $50K in Heritage’s auction. These sorts of finds often yield lesser known players because people know to bring the stars to light. But four of these players are Hall of Famers and Cicotte, a fifth, is priced as one.

Finally, it’s worth noting that while eight of these have been listed as uncataloged, I’m not positive that’s the case. For example, a Type II card of Collins is believed to have been uncataloged. I’m guessing that is because the Standard Catalog of Vintage Cards lists only a Collins Type I. But I am not sure all of the publications’ designations are correct. The latest version of that book listed 43 cards but only designated six as type II. Today, we know of about three times that many Type IIs and I’m not positive all of the cards listed in it were indeed Type I. Perhaps it is — just something to think about.

Either way, this was a very cool find and helped to significantly expand a very tough checklist.

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