I've mentioned it more times than I can remember or link to, but a good batch of vintage anything beats a blaster of anything any day of the week, and twice on days when I post things like the lot below I snagged from one of my favorite eBay sellers. For just over twenty Card Draft # 1 dollars, I added these six awesome pieces of true vintage cardboard to my collection.
First, an actual Kimball Champions of Games and Sports mini. From 1887. Meet John Murphy, Driver Of Trotting Horses, and a man after my heart with that sweet 'stache he's sporting. This bad boy comes from the N184 Kimball set, and a higher-grade copy can be seen here.
Next up, a card from the twentieth century, and the '50s if we're being exact. I'm a History major, if I haven't mentioned that before, and my Bachelor's Degree and the Master's Degree I'm working on are only possible due to an appreciation of the field that I garnered in the sixth grade (thanks Mr. Garcia!). The Civil War is my favorite area of history to study and Abe Lincoln is my all-time favorite President, and the best this great country of ours has ever been privileged to have at the helm.
Which made the above an easy buy. I've wanted a card of Honest Abe since I reentered this grand hobby of ours, and it was actually a mild chase after the Lincoln card in '09 Heritage that made me interested in cards once again.
Sticking with the Presidential theme, another of my Top Five Commanders In Chief, and another historical period I immensely enjoy. Plus, nineteenth-century cardboard is hard for me to pass up when it's really affordable.
This beaut comes from 1889 and Kinney Bros. tobacco cards, in a set entitled "Leaders." Here's a high-grade copy currently on the Bay. George leading a crossing of the Delaware is an awesome touch.
Next up, a card I was actually able to use in a final paper in one of my grad classes. The paper looked at Western perceptions of Central Asians, and as a matter of fact, I only bought the card because I was in the class and we had previously discussed Kyrgyzstan.
The class seemed at least mildly interested when I brought it in as part of an earlier oral presentation, and my Professor seemed genuinely interested, which was pretty cool. It's from the 1800s as well (most likely 1888), and was put out by Duke’s Cigarettes and included in cartons of their Old Judge and Dogs Head brand smokes.
Penultimately, another nineteenth-century piece of goodness from Duke’s Cigarettes and the Old Judge and Dogs Head brands. Like the above, it comes from the 50 Vehicles of the World set.
This Elephant Carriage is just nails; that's some great artwork on the part of whomever drew it up all those many years ago.
And finally, we head back to the twentieth century and this 1939 card that both features fire and looks like it's been through one or two or three. As poor as this card is condition-wise, it has a guy - fighting in a war - using a flamethrower.
That alone necessitates money leaving my wallet (or PayPal account, as it were).
And it was.
So there you have it. Six cards, four of which hail from the 1800s, for the price of a blaster of your favorite twenty-first century product. I'd make the same decision each and every time.