Lot # 19: Extremely Rare 1913 New York Giants Fatima Team Premium in Excellent Condition – Includes a “Rookie Thorpe”, Mathewson, McGraw & Marquard

Category: 1900-1920

Starting Bid: $2,500.00

Bids: 5 (Bid History)

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(LOT 19)
Extremely Rare 1913 New York Giants Fatima Team Premium in Excellent Condition – Includes a "Rookie Thorpe", Mathewson, McGraw & Marquard

One of the hobby's highly coveted cardboard artifacts is the oversized 1913 Fatima Premium, and to the best of our knowledge, less than twenty surviving copies are known to exist. Presented here just happens to be one of those few by-gone Fatima Premiums, a sensational example of the 1913 New York Giants that presents itself in excellent condition and includes legendary stars Christy Mathewson, Jim Thorpe, Rube Marquard and the swashbuckling field general John McGraw. The history of these museum worthy premiums can be traced back to 1913 when the Ligget & Myers Company introduced near postcard sized Fatima cards depicting their tobacco brand. Like many tobacco companies from that era, there was a prize redemption opportunity, whereby 40 Fatima cigarette pack coupons could be redeemed in exchange for an extravagant super oversized team card. Measuring approximately 20-3/4" x 13", these ultra-scarcities included the similar Fatima team photos within a black frame-like border, but exclude the Fatima cigarette advertisement on the obverse side.

We have only come across a handful of examples over the past several decades, justifying why this absolutely extraordinary New York Yankee Fatima Premium stands as one of the most prestigious and obscure hobby artifacts extant. Regarding the New York Giants' 1913 campaign, they would claim their 3rd consecutive National League pennant, and while they eventually fell to Connie Mack's mighty Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series, John McGraw's club had solidified their stature as a baseball powerhouse. Most significantly, that fabled season produced one of the 20th century's greatest athletes, the incomparable Jim Thorpe who made his Major League debut with the Giants. While he only played in 19 games, he was about to embark on a 6-year baseball career that coupled with his football star status and eventual Olympic immortality, would arguably earn him the title as the world's greatest athlete! Interestingly enough, Jim Thorpe's mainstream rookie card is his 1916 M101-5 issue, and it is no simple chore to locate images of the world-class athlete as he appeared with the Giants before 1916.

That is one of the foremost reasons this 1913 Fatima offering is extra-special, for it includes the inaugural cardboard appearance of the immortal Jim Thorpe with the youthful star situated in the front row on the far left. If that doesn't "wet your appetite" enough, go to the top row and take notice of the iconic Christy Mathewson, standing 5th from the right with fellow Hall of Famer Rube Marquard situated directly next to him. Indeed, this museum worthy marvel includes BOTH a rookie Jim Thorpe image as well as the immortal "Christian Gentleman" whose 25 victories in 1913 would be his 11th consecutive "20+-win season". The final Cooperstown Inductee is legendary field general John J. McGraw, seated 4th from the right in the bottom row. Just as impressive as this array of baseball immortals is the outstanding aesthetics of this extraordinary offering with most surviving examples portraying serious flaws. We cannot overemphasize the utmost condition sensitivity for the few surviving specimens, especially since they were issued on thin cardboard stock as well as their significant dimensions making it a near impossible task to maintain their factory issued attributes.

Miraculously, this majestic offering has turned its back on "father time", somehow managing to retain a majority of its original technical qualities via its conservative "EX+" obverse side visual appeal. Obviously benefiting from meticulous care and storage over the past century, the obverse side reveals crystal clear clarity and no obtrusive surface flaws, with the real-photo image remaining virtually unscathed over the past 106 years. The bold black borders only reflect a few diminutive areas of surface loss near the outermost upper and lower corners, and there is a diagonal crease situated near the lower left corner/edge. For purpose of full disclosure, this premium has benefited from extremely subtle professional restoration along some of the outer border edges, and the blank back exhibits a few scattered areas of paper loss predominantly along the left and upper edges. Regardless, it is the brilliant obverse side matte-like finished team photo that "steals the show", with its coupled awe-inspiring aesthetics and Jim Thorpe/Christy Mathewson images ensuring its world-class stature!

MIN BID $2,500

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