Extraordinary 1888 Andrews Cigars Boston Baseball Club "Jumbo-Sized" Trade Card – Possibly Unique & Portraying "NM+" Aesthetics!
Offered here just happens to be one of the most extraordinary cardboard 19th century cardboard mementos. This "jumbo sized" 1888 Andrews Cigars Boston Trade Card, to the best of our knowledge, stands as the only known example in existence! Measuring approximately 7' x 9-3/4", this remarkable woodcut drawing of the 1888 Boston club was originally part of the 1991 Copeland collection, and since 1991, another example has not publicly surfaced. True, while there can always be another example of any collectible safely tucked away in a private collection, we can only base our assumptions on publicly shared knowledge, and to date, this truly is the only known specimen of this momentous 1888 trade card. We can only imagine how 19th century enthusiasts are already "drooling" over the prospect of owning this timeless and unique masterpiece that has somehow managed to survive the past 130 years in technically "Excellent" condition as well as displaying "NM+" aesthetics.
Published by Hastings, the renowned Boston photographer of that period, this cardboard treasure features bold and vivid woodcut drawings of actual players and executives from 1888, with the woodcut image obviously taken from an original photograph from that era. Most significantly, its incredible resolution allows the viewer to recognize some of the iconic baseball Hall of Famers such as Harry Wright (clearly visible in formal entire near the lower left border); John Clarkson (standing tall on the pitching mound); Mike "King" Kelly donning his catcher's position behind home plate; and "Old Hoss" Radbourn standing along the sidelines with his respective teammates. Other notable players in the infield include Morrill at 1st Base, Quinn at 2nd base, Wise at shortstop and Nash at 3rd base. Even the people in the stands near the lower left border in their period-style formal attire and top hats represent 1888 professional baseball associates with none more recognizable and prominent than the aforementioned Harry Wright.
Its unparalleled scarcity level is most likely attributed to the fact that it was utilized for retail stores only (not distributed to the general public) as well as being a "regional" issue and limited to only the Boston area. An oversized trade card of epic proportions, it has miraculously defied "father time", amazingly free of any creasing or obtrusive surface flaws. The actual image presents itself in breathtaking fashion, with the crystal-clear woodcut drawing and bold advertisement along the borders reflecting their original factory issued attributes. Only some diminutive corner wear would place this trade card with a technical "EX+" assessment, with its overall eye appeal easily consistent with any near-mint to mint example.
The upper border clearly states "BOSTON CLUB CIGAR."; both the left and right borders include the bold/black "JOHN A. ANDREWS & CO.'s" captions, with the lower border reflecting the following text: "BOSTON BASEBALL CLUB – 1888 – PUBLISHED BY HASTINGS, THE PHOTOGRPAHER, 147 TREMEONT ST. BOSTON". Just as impressive is a super clean verso that has not been subjected to the typical scrapbook removal and paper/glue residual that plagues many 19th century artifacts. Significant back advertisement includes the following: "JOHN A. ANDREWS & CO. – Wholesale Grocers – 5 Commercial St. and 8 Commerce Street, BOSTON – WE beg to call your especial attention to our CIGAR DEPARTMENT – Among our very popular brand are: ANDREWS No. 1, BOSTON BASEBALL CLUB, 5's and 10's – B&L PLANET and NEPTUNE and O.N.C.".
Over 30 years ago, the legendary Copeland utilized his uncanny and intuitive skill sets to seize this historic piece for his world-class collection, knowing well that it just might be his sole opportunity to own this magnificent artifact. Since the classic 1991 Copeland sale, 27 years have passed with not a single other specimen surfacing for the taking, more than solidifying the notion that this museum worthy offering truly resides as the only known example. As is the case with any rare memorabilia, another one can eventually surface from the depths of an unknown collection. However, until that unpredictable moment becomes a reality, this unfathomable 19th century heirloom merits the highest hobby accolades via its brilliant aesthetics, array of depicted Boston Club stars, and miraculous "one of a kind" stature!
MIN BID $1,000