1888 Old Judge N173 Cabinet Mike "King" Kelly - "254-5; Bat at Ready at 45 Degrees, R/Handed" (SGC 4 VG/EX)
Offered is a striking representation of an Old Judge N173 cabinet of "King" Kelly. The intense tones highlight the Boston Beaneater wearing a deep black uniform, holding his "bat at a 45 degree angle with "Mike Kelly, C. Boston's" handwritten at his feet. Produced in 1888 by Goodwin & Co., the N173 cabinet set corresponds with the N172 "tobacco card" issuance originating one year earlier. Contrary to the standard card insertion in tobacco packages, the N173 player likenesses were available only through a mail order, coupon redemption program. Measuring 4-1/4" x 6-1/2", cabinet photos of more than 500 ballplayers from the National, Western and American leagues were available. The extraordinary haunting likeness dates some 130+years back, but Kelly's image is so vivid and clear that it would seem he is standing right in front of you today! The back appears to be nearly as pristine as the front save for a small age dot at the lower center. It is astonishing that this garnered only an SGC 4 VG/EX grade, as the visual appeal is undeniable and remarkably vibrant for a relic more than a century old. No argument if it was upgraded to excellent to mint. Conservative grading!
MIN BID $1,500