August Live 2014
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
This spectacular baseball-shaped premium album was available only by mail, in exchange for coupons packaged with Goodwin Tobacco. The lithographed marvel's round shape and nearly three-dimensional look set this showpiece dramatically ahead of the conventionally designed, rectangular premium albums of the period. The "Round Album," as it has long been known to collectors, is simply one of the most popular of all 19th-century baseball items, and it is by far the most desirable of all tobacco albums.
To undertake examination of this superlative book is to journey into history, as an incredible, lifelike view of baseball's past is to be found among the volume's distinctive lithographs. Nine player pages, two covers (each in the design of a baseball), and an advertising page (with its captivating assortment of Dogs Head, Old Judge, Gypsy Queen, and other tobacco products) comprise the complete album as offered here. Four of the book's player pages feature single, beautiful full-color portraits of Hall of Famers Cap Anson, King Kelly, Charles Comiskey and John Ward, respectively. (Another five pages picture four players apiece, with these subjects shown in full-length poses. Mickey Welch, John Ward, Buck Ewing, Tim Keefe, Jim O'Rourke and Roger Connor are among the figures depicted on the four-subject pages.) The back of each page is printed in blue, and presents player records and team schedules. The outstanding graphics and color on all of these glorious pages have made them individually valuable as vintage baseball artworks, and this is one reason the book is such a rare and desirable collectible.
This cream-of-the-crop specimen showcases apparent EX/MT condition with virtually untouched central designs, beautiful original gloss luster, and some pages displaying overall at a much higher level. The all-important player pages boast eye-popping colors and startling clean backgrounds. On the reverse sides, there are light, ghostly shadows—creating a pleasing effect that at first glance resembles mild, vintage toning—due to the designs' heavy inks bleeding slightly during production. Both covers and one interior page (Welch/Ewing/Keefe/Ward) have benefited from professional restoration in the form of paper repair and color-touch-ups around the grommet holes (and at the bottom of the front cover). This very high-profile album is a pure treasure, and its components presented here are destined to become central masterpieces of an elite 19th century baseball collection.
Exceptional 1888 A35 Goodwin "Baseball Champions" Round Album - One of the Finest In Existence
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