Tobacco Baseball Card Collection, ca. 1910

Value (2014) | $200,000 Insurance
Watch  

GUEST:
I received this collection from a cousin, who was a cousin of my grandmother -- third cousin, I believe. She was pretty old. I'm guessing she was born in the 1850s or so. And my mom would take my grandmother and the aunts and myself and go visiting, like, every weekend or every other weekend. Rose, our cousin Rose, she liked me very much, she was very kind. She thought that I might enjoy a cigar box which was filled with baseball cards. We were never big fans of baseball in my house, but these are beautiful, so I wanted to bring them.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, I agree, they are beautiful, and they're from about 1910 to 1912. And you have a variety of different types of cards here, too. Right here, these are called T202 triple folders, and of course, all these cards used to come in packs of cigarettes. Tobacco cards, that's where the "T" in T202 comes from. That's the designation. Now, who did these belong to originally? Who collected these?

GUEST:
Cousin Rose's brother actually would just take his cigarettes apart and throw the cards in a cigar box. He did die of lung cancer, which is so sad, but fortunate for us that he put them away.

APPRAISER:
He kept them, and he obviously really liked them, and you loved them. So you've had them since you were a little girl.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And you've enjoyed them.

GUEST:
Oh, I love them.

APPRAISER:
It's amazing, you look at these wonderful cards and you see the technique. The printing is so meticulous, so beautiful. And what's very special about your collection is the condition of many of these cards. You have over 345 cards, I believe, in this collection, and as I said, a variety of different types. Here, you have the T206, one of the most famous of all tobacco card sets, but what's very interesting about your T206 cards is they're all American Beauty backed. Different tobacco companies would advertise a different back on the cards. American Beauty happens to be one of the rarer backs to find. So if you find a Ty Cobb, in this instance, or a Christy Mathewson or Cy Young, and they have the American Beauty back, it's even more interesting to collectors. But what really makes this collection very special is the condition. These look like they've just popped out of the pack, which is incredible. It's like a time capsule. And I know it's something that's in your family and that you treasure.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
You have some amazing cards here. You have all the greats of the era, the Ty Cobbs, the Christy Mathewsons, they're all there. You have this Ty Cobb right here, T206, Ty Cobb, American Beauty back, and a card like that in that condition can be $5,000 to $6,000 alone.

GUEST:
Oh, my God.

APPRAISER:
And some of these triple folders in the condition they're in can easily be along the same lines. I wouldn't insure the collection for anything less than $200,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my God.

APPRAISER:
So it's extremely special.

GUEST:
(laughs) That's amazing.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2014)
$200,000 Insurance
Event
New York, NY (August 09, 2014)

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