Top Pre-War Cards Finds of 2022 (No. 12 – 6)
Recapping a year of pre-war collecting highlights
Continuing the recap of my favorite pickup so 2022.
If you missed it, here were the honorary mentions of six cards that didn’t quite make my top 12. Now, moving onto cards from No. 12 through No. 6. The top five will be in a third and final post soon.
12. 3,000+ 1901-02 Ogden’s Cards
A few years ago when I started collecting the 1901-02 Ogden’s Tabs General Interest cards, I didn’t even have any idea how many were actually in the set.
When I realized there were more than 1,500 and actually started developing an actual checklist, I thought collecting the entire set was a pipe dream of sorts. And when I learned of the rarity of the high number Series C and Series F cards, well, I’m still not all that convinced I’ll ever be able to complete it. The cards originated in the UK and, while eBay has helped, it is still somewhat difficult to find the cards here. But this past year, I’ve found several larger lots of Ogden’s and am about 75% of the way through the set.
While I had several pickups of Ogden cards this year, none was bigger than a single grab of more than 3,000 of them. The cards were a mix of the Ogden’s Tabs General Interest set I’m collecting, and also of other Ogden’s Tabs and Guinea Gold cards I wasn’t really pursuing. But I still found a good number of cards I needed, along with some other big names that were duplicates. I found so many, in fact, that I’m roughly 60% complete on a second General Interest set.
It was, hands down, one of my favorite pickups of 2022.
11. Anthracite Baking Kashin Cards
The 1929 Kashin cards (really, miniature photos) are mostly found without any advertiser names. However, we know that at least some of these were used by movie theaters and a few other businesses with a select few bearing advertisements or stamped company names.
Earlier this year, I found a trio of these cards with stamps for the Anthracite Baking Company. In doing some research on the Kashins with that stamp, I could only find reference to a single other card. Later in the year, after I wrote that article, a fifth showed up on eBay, which I also grabbed.
The three cards I initially picked up were Hall of Famer Heinie Manush, Oscar Melillo, and Lew Fonseca. The fourth one that I landed was pitcher Tom Zachary.
I have a bit of a soft spot for overprinted cards so this was a welcome find — particularly because of the rarity of the overprinted Kashins.
10. Ty Cobb 1920s Major League Baseball Die-Cut
With the price increases on cards of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, in particular, I’ve been looking for some of their more obscure cards that are less expensive and, in my eyes, flying under the radar a little.
I’d had some of these 1920s Major League Die-Cut cards of other players in the past, but I found this one of Cobb recently and thought it was a good buy for the price.
These were produced (I believe as part of a game) throughout the 1920s. But even though many of the players have cards in multiple years, today, these are somewhat rare. For example, this is one of only eight Cobb cards (from any year) graded by SGC.
The die-cut factor has kept prices down on these, as does the fact that the images were repeated for different players. But I do think the rarity of this series’ makes it an attractive one for collectors.
9. c1892 Palmer Cox Brownies ‘Set’ with Baseball
I found this set months ago and still have not learned much about it.
Even the term ‘set’ is used somewhat loosely here. That’s because I have no idea if I have a complete set or not.
These cards of Brownies are almost certainly from the 19th century for a couple of reasons. First, because Brownies cards were most popular in that time period. Second, and more substantially, an advertisement for Palmer Cox Brownie stamps featuring the same image as one of the cards from this set, was seen and dated to 1892. The ad states that the images on the stamps were all copyrighted to 1892.
In all, there were 34 cards in the lot featuring pairs of different topics. Most of the cards were non-sports related, but there were some sports cards, including a pair of early baseball players.
I was hoping the lot would go under the radar a bit since little is known about these cards. But I had no such luck and there was a good amount of bidding on them. But I was very pleased to win these.
8. Ty Cobb 1913 Barker Game Card PSA 8
This great card came to me like so many others have — via a late-night search.
The card in the 1913 Barker Game set (as well as the nearly parallel 1913 National Game set) features a sliding baserunner. For many years, the player in question was unidentified. However, it has since been identified as Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, transforming it from a common to one that is highly desired.
The card is not as valuable as Cobb’s non-action card in the set that bears his name. But it is now generally one of the more expensive cards found in the issue.
While knowledgeable sellers of the cards will clearly list it as a Cobb card, you can, on rare occasions, see it listed without Cobb’s name and priced like a common. That was the case here when I grabbed this PSA 8 that had only been listed for a short time before I grabbed it.
I’d already had a low-grade example of this card. But it was nice to get one graded as pretty darn close to perfect. That, of course, is less of an ‘achievement’ with most playing card sets. With rounded corners, finding these in 8, 9, or even 10 is not impossible. Still, it’s a gorgeous card that I was able to snag for a fairly low price.
7. Uncut 1889 N72 Duke Coins of All Nations Cards
Man, this was one of the coolest things I saw last year.
It isn’t too uncommon to find uncut cards from, say, 1920s strip sets or even 1930s gum sets, on occasion. But finding uncut 19th century tobacco cards is virtually impossible. I simply haven’t seen them. Others in different sets surely exist. Good luck finding them for sale, however.
Earlier this, I secured a pair of uncut five-card strips from the 1889 N72 Duke Coins of All Nations set. Despite not really collecting the set, I pounced on them simply because of the uncut cards factor.
This somewhat unknown set features the coins of different countries from around the world. While the subjects on most of the cards aren’t really identified, one of the cards from France pictures what is considered to be Napoleon. As an added bonus of sorts, one of the two strips I have includes that card.
6. W.G. Grace 1895/96 Godfrey Phillips General Interest
Wrapping up Part II of this column is the most popular cricketer ever known in one of the toughest cricket cards that can be found.
While not a rookie (W.G. Grace is found on a few older and even more obscure Baines Shield cards), the 1895/96 Godfrey Phillips General Interest card of the legendary W.G. Grace is arguably his most prized card that is really obtainable.
The card is part of a rare 13-card set featuring some of the earliest soccer cards and some non-sports subjects. The card has been on the rise with more collectors taking notice of Grace (widely regarded as the greatest cricketer of all time) and the sport of cricket in general. In decent condition, the card has topped $1,000. The card was hardly ever seen here in the states but with rising prices and more international sellers moving cards on eBay, it is one that is occasionally seen there.
Cards cite an 1895 date on the back but the set is commonly listed as an 1896 issue. The London Cigarette and Trade Card Catalogue, for what it’s worth, lists the set as c1895.
In any event, it’s a fantastic card of the legendary sportsman.
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