Classic October 2005
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Goodwin's N162 Champions tobacco insert series affords the most eclectic and colorful view imaginable of 19th Century athletes. The set is distinguished from its multi-themed contemporaries by its blazing hues, crisp visual presentation and incomparable subject selection. Not only is the set populated by baseball's highest-profile players, and superstar-caliber boxers, wrestlers, weightlifters and pedestrians, it has even included chess masters and Buffalo Bill Cody, as well as one of the earliest college football cards ever conceived (featuring Beecher of Yale). The insert set's designs have been faithfully transferred to the pages of this showpiece premium. Cigarette ads, as collectors are accustomed to seeing on the bottom edge of each Champions card, have been eliminated in the album's versions. The 6" x 7-3/4" book is a treat to view. Page layout is marvelously accomplished, with each leaf reflecting its own style of artistry. Of particular fascination are the pages featuring the set's eight baseball figures. Brouthers, Anson, Andrews and Caruthers are arranged on the first of the volume's ten inside pages, and Kelly, Keefe, Dunlap (Pittsburgh) and Glasscock grace its back cover. The offered example displays very satisfactory preservation for the delicate production (minimally EX appearance overall), with natural wear, small creases and chipping at the corners, a few tiny surface faults on the back, and inner pages of fresh, generally EX/MT to NM image quality. The book's original linen binding remains securely glued at the spine. A couple of stray markings (inside the back cover and, lightly, in pencil on the front), as well as—interestingly—an Australian bookseller's unobtrusive label on the inside front cover, are mentioned strictly for accuracy. In every respect, the offered album is a thrilling representation of its classic premium type.
1888 A36 Goodwin "Champions" Tobacco Premium Album
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