Marquis of Lorne – 140th Anniversary of The Original Trading Card

Every single day all over the world packs and boxes of trading cards are opened.  Its a hobby enjoyed by many.  To some it can be an addiction.  The idea of what could be in that next pack or box can be too tempting to ignore.  If it weren’t for the tobacco industry and their pack inserted cards, there is a good chance this hobby of ours wouldn’t exist.

What is the first pack-inserted tobacco card?

The gentleman who has the honor of being on the first pack-inserted tobacco card is John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell.  Good luck fitting that name on a jersey.  This dude was into a little bit of everything.  He was well traveled, well educated, and even married Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.  Titles he held included being the 9th Duke of Argyll, and Marquis of Lorne.

Between 1878-1883 the Marquis of Lorne was serving as the 4th Governor General of Canada.  Quite impressive considering he was a British nobleman.  The Thos. H. Hall cigarette manufacturer of New York at this time decided to include a tobacco card of him in their Marquis of Lorne brand of cigarettes in 1879.  Unfortunately this brand didn’t sell well, and it quickly flamed out.  Very few cards survived.  It measures 3.125″ x 1.625″, the exact size of the cigarette packet.  The American Card Catalog officially classifies it as N519.

As of this writing, only four examples are known to exist.  One is in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Another is in the British Museum in London.  The other two are in private collections.

Only one of the four known examples has popped up for sale.  The same card has been sold twice.  In 1994 it sold for $11,500, and then again in 2009 for $15,275.  I believe it would be worth even more if it were of a sports figure.

I can’t stress how important this tiny piece of cardboard is to the hobby.  Prior to the 1879 N519 Marquis of Lorne card, advertisements such as this were handed out over the counter.  Not inside cigarette packs.  Despite the Marquis of Lorne cigarette brand not making it, the idea of cardboard inserts did.

You probably wouldn’t be opening that box or pack if this card wouldn’t have been printed.  Everything pretty much snowballed from this single card.  Starting in 1880, many more tobacco inserts followed.

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Pin Highlight: Original vs. Remake 1983 Little League World Series Hot Air Balloon Pins

The East Marietta National Little League team from Marietta, Georgia defeated the Liquito Hernandez Little League team of Barahona, Dominican Republic in the Championship Game of the 1983 Little League World Series.  It was the first time since 1976 that the Championship Game did not feature a team from Taiwan.  Guess what else was a first that year?  Little League released their first official pin.

Are there Little League pins that predate 1983?  Yes.  But none were officially made and released by Little League itself.  This Little League rookie pin is quite simple.  Its a multi-colored hot air balloon that says “Little League WORLD SERIES WILLIAMSPORT, PENNA. USA”.  The year isn’t even printed on it.  Back then this hot air balloon was a common sight in Williamsport when the Little League World Series was going on.  You can even find it on this Baseball Wit trivia game card.

Locating one of these pins for your collection isn’t easy.  When an example becomes available it will set you back about $50.  I can personally guarantee that in 1983 they didn’t cost anywhere near that much.

A word of WARNING.  Always check the back of the pin before buying.  In the 90’s, Little League remade this pin due to it’s popularity.  Little League continued selling these remakes well into the 2000’s.  The remake has the word “CHINA” printed on the back.  Original pins do not.  The backs of original pins are completely blank.  As you can imagine, the remakes don’t carry as much value.

Monty Sheldon’s 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Original Art Patch Card Gallery

When Topps revived the Gypsy Queen brand in 2011, they introduced collectors to the Original Art Patch Card.  These are by far some of the nicest looking modern day cards.  I always enjoy hand-drawn cards the most, and these come with a multi-colored patch.  Its definitely not something you see done all the time.  Maybe once a year at the most.

With 2016 Gypsy Queen releasing on 4/6, I’d like to show you all (37) Original Art Patch Cards that you’ll have the chance to pull.  Every single card was drawn by sports artist Monty Sheldon.  They look great!  Monty has really outdone himself this time.  Any of these cards could easily be considered the centerpiece of someone’s collection.  Each card is a one-of-one, and is incredibly difficult to pull.  Congrats to anyone that gets one.

According to Topps, many of these masterpieces have been shipped out within the product.  A few of them might come as a redemption.  Either way it doesn’t really matter.  Topps has them already, and are ready to ship.  They shouldn’t take long to arrive.

The checklist this year includes top guys like Ken Griffey, Jr., Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, and Maikel Franco.  Click on each image for a closer look.

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Card of the Day: Johnny Manziel 2013 Leaf Authentic Cut Signature Original Art Work

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Original Player Sketch Cards Return To Panini’s NSCC Promo Arsenal

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Collectors participating in Panini’s wrapper redemption program next week during the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention better keep a look out for specially marked cards inside their promo packs.  Panini is bringing back their original player sketch cards.  While attending the NFLPA Rookie Premiere, Panini gets a slew of rookies to draw pretty much whatever they want on these cards.  They’ve also signed that back of the cards as well.  For a lot more pictures check out The Knight’s Lance.  These cards are very popular with collectors, and I think they’re some of the most interesting pieces Panini issues.  All of the original player sketch cards will be on hand at the show.  If you’re lucky enough to pull one of these redemptions, just show one of the Panini reps and they’ll be happy to get your card out of the case and into your hand.

National Chicle Original Paintings

For those collectors who enjoy Topps National Chicle Football, you may have noticed that The Topps Vault started to sell the original paintings provided to them by the artists for the cards.  Donruss/Playoff use to do the same thing with their Gridiron Kings product awhile back.  Topps paid a flat fee for all the original artwork used for the National Chicle Football set.  Therefore the only people that should be selling this artwork right now would have to be Topps.  With the National Chicle Baseball set, the artists were given a choice where they could receive a flat fee for their paintings or they could keep their work in lieu of payment.  Some of the artists that worked on the baseball set sold them to Topps and others decided to keep them because perhaps they think they can make more selling them on their own.  Please keep this information in mind if you plan on purchasing any of the original artwork.  All National Chicle Football paintings should have been sold originally from Topps, but with the baseball set the paintings could be coming from Topps or the actual artist.

If that Babe Ruth in an Atlanta Braves uniform painting ever hits the market, I wonder what that would sell for?

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The Original Fake

During the late 70’s and early 80’s, the sports card industry really began to take shape.  People were digging through their grandma’s attic looking for those old cards because all of a sudden they were worth something.  Just like in many growing industries at the time, it didn’t take long for scammers to come along and pass off their creations as the real thing.

One of the most counterfeited vintage baseball cards is the 1963 Topps Pete Rose rookie.  In fact, the Rose rookie was counterfeited so much that some poor person was forced to sit and stamp “Original Reprint Counterfeit” on the backs of a large potion of the fakes that made their way into the secondary market.  The funny thing is that even though collectors knew these cards were counterfeit, they were still in huge demand.  Today these cards can be found for around $60.00 or less depending where you look.  I believe they did the same with a large number of Dan Marino 1984 Topps rookies too.

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