Out with the old – part 1

As I mentioned last week, I want to give a little nod to my vintage collecting roots by describing what I’ve been sporadically collecting over the past 20 or so years. As will be clear, my collecting eye wandered plenty. While I like what I have, very little of my collection would even raise the eyebrow of most of the hardcore collectors on Net54.

I hope that this display of cards is at least a little interesting for modern collectors. Several modern sets are copy-cat versions of vintage sets, and I think most modern collectors do have a working knowledge of the common vintage issues. A great site with lots of pictures and information on vintage cards is at Old Cardboard.

I am going to break my collection across two posts. The T-, N-, and R-cards will be included in this post. Next week I’ll finish with E-, M-, and W-cards.

T-cards (tobacco cards)

Almost all vintage collectors start with T206 White Borders from 1909 through 1911. Maybe only 1933 Goudey can stake a competing claim as the signature vintage set. In the very early 1980s I could buy T206s in poor but presentable condition for $1 at a local card shop (the only local card shop). Over time I made it over half way through the 500+ card set. I could not afford to be condition sensitive, but that really didn’t bother me much.

1909-1911 T206 White Border – Topsy Hartsell – Piedmont 350 back

1909-1911 T206 White Border – Ed Konetchy (glove at ground) – Sweet Caporal 350 back


Lots of tobacco sets are similar in size to T206s, and I sampled all of the more affordable ones – 1911 T205 Gold Borders, 1912 T207 Brown Borders, 1910 T209-1 Contentnea, 1910 T210 Old Mill, 1910 T212-2 Obaks, and 1914-1915 T213-2 Coupons. While I have examples from these sets, I was never a contender for completing any of them. All are big sets (>200 cards) except for T209-1 (16 cards).

1911 T205 Gold Border – Rebel Oakes – Piedmont back

1912 T207 Brown Border – Robert Harmon – Recruit back

1910 T209-1 Contentnea – H. Hoffman [cards are a hair larger than T206s]

1910 T210-2 Old Mill – Busch

1910 T212-2 Obak – Milo Netzel

1914-1915 T213-2 Coupon – Larry Doyle (portrait)

Not all tobacco sets are the same size as T206s. Two common examples are 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders and 1912 Hassan Triple Folders. Somewhat more rare are 1933 Worch Cigar cards. The Worch cards are postcard-sized real photographs. Price guides say they are cheap, but the guides are wrong.

1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders – Killian/Fitzpatrick

1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folders – Reulbach/Evers Makes a Safe Slide/Archer

1933 T-UNC Worch Cigar – Woody English

N-cards (19th-century cards)

Around 1990 I bought some N172 Old Judge cards from a David Festberg auction listed in Sports Collectors’ Digest. A few years ago I thought it might be neat to buy more. That is, I thought it would be cool until I looked at what they cost now. Crazy.


R-cards (gum cards)

The only R-cards that I have are a handful of 1933 Goudeys (R319) and two 1941 Goudeys (R324). The 1941 Goudeys are notoriously poorly cut, as in sometimes the name and position are on top of the card instead of the bottom. The Hubbell below is somewhat miscut.


To be continued…

Next week I’ll post a sampling of cards in other vintage categories from my collection.




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2 responses to “Out with the old – part 1

  1. wickedortega

    Great stuff…. i would kill to at least own one of those cards….

  2. I have a handful of T206’s, and I tried to go for an Old Judge or two, but yeah, prices are outrageous.

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