Allen & Ginter N1-N44 Population Update

Joe Gonsowski theorized that with 34 small Allen & Ginter sets, 24 of which don’t have a corresponding large format set, the 10x number on graded small cards to large was somewhat skewed.  When looking at small sets with corresponding large format sets, the smaller ratio was, of course, correct. The number wound up at 3.4 to 1 on those 10 small sets v. 10 large corresponding sets. You can see below.

The individual sets are interesting though…..there are 8x more N2’s graded than N36’s which I figured would be lower. On the other hand, there are more N44 World’s Decoration large format graded than N30 small format for a ratio of 0.7 to 1; the only one with a sub-1 ratio.

I also did a ranking by total PSA population by issue, so you can see the most popular issues or most graded issues (in all grades total). No surprise but N28 is far and away the winner in that race with N2 a distant second. And then only three other issues with more than 1000 graded for N11, N20 and N29.

Sorry the above chart is so tough to see.  I have attempted to review the SGC population report but it is WAY tougher to work with than the PSA pop report.  SGC is in the process of updating their website and I’ll revisit the population report when that update is complete.  When I can get good data from SGC, I will present than and then a combined report for both PSA and SGC.


Allen & Ginter PSA Population Analysis

I was curious about the Allen & Ginter N1-N44 sets and the population reports for both PSA and SGC.  I took a little time and analyzed the PSA pop reports for all the sets and looked at them in terms of small format cards (N1-N34) and large format cards (N35-N44).  

There is almost exactly 10-1 small format to large format Allen & Ginter cards graded by PSA. Not sure what the SGC or the combined look will yield, but I’d assume something similar. The large format cards are super tough to find. If you assume that submissions are rational, then the small sized cards are 10x more plentiful. As a collector of all the A&G sets, my totals are about 10x small to large as well (1140/133).

Interestingly, looking at the pop reports, on the small-sized A&G’s, 5’s and 6’s are approximately half of the cards graded. For the larger-sized A&G’s that census drops a notch to 4’s and 5’s. Anyone who’s graded some can probably attest to the difficulty of the oversized cards.

The PSA census of graded N1-N44 cards is outlined in the picture below…….

In addition to the census of graded cards for Allen & Ginter, I also looked at the dates of issuance that PSA claims for the 44 sets.  They are as follows:

1886…..N16, N17
1887…..N1, N3, N9, N35
1888…..N2, N4, N6, N11, N15, N18, N19, N20, N22, N25, N26, N27, N28,
N29, N31, N32, N33, N36
1889…..N5, N7, N8, N13, N14, N24, N34, N38, N39, N42, N43
1890…..N10, N21, N23, N30, N37, N40, N41, N44

Type Card Update #2

Another batch of beautiful cards from (member_15875) just closed out on ebay bringing strong prices for tough material.  Some rarely seen cards continue to leak out of his collection with more to come.  Pictures and prices realized on the cards are outlined below…..

Leading off the group was a clean mid-grade copy of the N9 Belgium Fancy card.  A tough card in any grade but $860.00 was a HUGE price for this card.  I think the last one went for $300-$400, so some strong appreciation on that card and more love lately for the N9 Allen & Ginter flag set with all its variations and back combinations.

A group of three tougher N500 flags went for strong prices as well.  The toughest was the N500 My Sweetheart type that eclipsed $75 with the H. Schwabacher bring near $70 and the Summit Cigarettes bringing $45.

A complete set of (8) N562 Wilson & McCallay “Art Gems” brought a good $293 price tag.  Rarely seen as a set and even rarer to see the envelope they came in.  The singles are seen occasionally on ebay and often with the offer tab cut off.

Tough Types N563, N517, N498 all brought near or over $150 each as well.  And strong prices on tougher, clean,  mainstream cards from Kimball, Lorillard and others.

Looks like the 19th century nonsports arena is heating up.  Stay tuned for Update #3 from the large batch of this seller’s cards up on eBay right now….

Some Cool Things…..Batch #1

Sometimes, the main stream stuff gets a little pedantic, so here are some really cool items that I’ve pulled pictures of from ebay or gotten in other ways.  These items are NOT in my collection, so don’t ask if I want to sell them…would love to have any of them though……

Super African-American Advertising card for Cable & El Padre Cigars from Canada…..these sold on ebay 5-6-8 years ago in the $600-$700 range for the pair.

Premium Card for The Philadelphia Confections set E31 – Game Fowls.  This card was about 12″ by 10″ and was previously in my collection.  It is the only premium card I have ever seen for any of the Philadelphia Confections/Caramels animals sets.

This was a play program that someone had used to glue 6 of the N510 Globe Tobacco celebrities onto.  These cards are super tough to begin with and seeing 6 of them in a single shot was pretty exhilarating.  Unfortunately, being the underbidder was not.  They sold for about $400-$500 on ebay 8-10 years ago.

Stay Tuned……….I’ll have another batch of these down the road!

Victorian Album #1 – Actresses

Maybe 8-10 years ago, I was perusing Abebooks searching for “Tobacco Album” when I came across a homemade album of actresses that had been skinned and pasted ever so neatly into album pages which were lined off by pencil.  The album was in Stockholm, Sweden, for sale by a book shop.  I corresponded with the proprietor and we settled on a price a hair below what he was asking for them.  Within the book of albumen actress cards was also a few pages of Duke, Kinney and Goodwin cards.  My hope was that those cards could be rescued from the pages and I could sell them or use them for trade bait.

The payment was sent and couple weeks later the package showed up at my box.  Inside the album was 57 pages, most of which had 20 skinned actress cards pasted neatly onto the page.  With no backs to speak of, looking through the cards, I think it’s safe to assume that the lion’s share of the cards were Sweet Caporal actress cards with some Duke cards and the occasional Kimball.  In addition to the actress cards and the other cards, five of the skinned cards were political subjects from the 1892 U.S. Presidential election as outlined below:

One page of the chromolithographed cards were Occupations of Women cards from Goodwin/Old Judge.  Cataloged N166A, these 11 cards soaked off the album pages with little to no back damage and looked fantastic.  They were all alone on the 20 quadrant page as shown below:

Maybe they left spaces hoping they could fill up the page with more of these cards.  The backs of them turned out so great and were jet black.  Wish I had some of those pictures to show.  The 57 pages contained over 1000 individual actress photos from cards and was a great reference work.  I ultimately sold the 54 pages or so of the album that weren’t chromolithographed cards to an advanced collector of actress cards to use as a reference book for poses that he might still need.

The album pages, in order as found in the album, can be viewed in a Google Photos Album located HERE

The album was very organized.  In addition to the lined 20-section pages, the first half or so of the book was for titled subjects and they were loosely organized in alphabetical order.   In the center of the book was three pages of the chromolithographed cards.  The back half of the book was for uncaptioned subjects and it also seemed to be organized loosely into head shots, full body shots and any time there were multiple examples of similar subjects such as dresses or multiple subjects or other similarities.  I always wonder who put books like these together when and how they accumulated the cards.

If you’ve collected these cards or the similar Goodwin Old Judge baseball cards from the N172 set, right away you’ll notice that a number of the cards in this collection had the pink hue that a number of the baseball cards have as well.  There were full pages of the cards like this and others just interspersed within individual pages.  The Whitelaw Reid, Benjamin Harrison and Adlai Stevenson shown above were also from this pink subset of cards.  I’ve always heard that there must have been a different chemical used on the albumen processing of the photos to create this type of finish.  In most cases, the pink finish causes the actual photo clarity to be much less clear and significantly lighter than other cards as shown below:

In addition to the US cards, there were other cards from a different set I believed to be of Swedish origin.  The cards from this set were numbered, on a white type, glossy stock and mainly comprised European subjects.  The majority of the scenes were of Stockholm, Sweden with the individual subject cards being of European Leaders and a few actresses.  A selection of these cards is illustrated below:

The only part of the album I have left are the five political cards shown in the initial part of the post.  I’m glad I saved the photos, however, so I could document how the album was constructed.  I love the old victorian scrapbooks–particularly those that have some type of insert cards in them that I collect!

Stay tuned down the road for Victorian Album #2 – Caramel Cards

Advertising Subjects on Common Stock

I always find it interesting when there are tobacco or other cards that have been used to advertise other products in other fields.  Case in point was a recent card I was told about by current 2017 Vintage Nonsportsman of the Year Marty Krim.

The N427 American Eagle actress set is a sepia colored lithographed set likely issued in the late 1880’s to 1890’s.  A subject card is illustrated below:


Similar photography and stock was used for the Purity Cough Drop product and Purity Chewing Gum from the J. Falke company of St. Louis, Missouri.  Some quick research put J. Falke gum production in the 1890 time frame, so the cards were likely issued in a similar time frame as the N427 American Eagle Cards.  Lithographers created these base stock cards to use for multiple manufacturers of goods in many categories and sold them whenever and wherever they could.  The similar-looking J. Falke Purity Chewing Gum card is pictured below:

The one difference I can note is that the stock number “C-729” is on the front of these cards in the lower left.  In many cases, these numbers were used to Identify the stock number for this particular type of cards.  It is not, however, used on the N427 American Eagle Cards.  The checklist for the N427 set numbers some 23 cards as outlined in American Tobacco Cards by Mitchell and Forbes.  They note a dozen cards are captioned with the actress name and eleven are uncaptioned.  The captioned cards include both the Purity example above of Lily Elton and the N427 American Eagle example of Maud Stafford.  In addition to those two subjects, the set also includes Lena Campbell, Mollie Fuller, Sophie Hummel, Lillian Russell, Van Oastan, Flora Walch, Carrie Wallace, Mlle, Weber Lizzie Winner and another subject that was in too poor of condition to name the subject although it was captioned.

If you have any of these cards from either set that aren’t noted above, please let me know or if you have cards from another manufacturer, also let me know.

Stay tuned for other examples from other well-known sets that fall into this “often used” category….

Type Card Update #1

I’m going to attempt to keep up with some type card pricing when good groups come up more for reference than anything else.  It’s always good to know how much items are selling for when you go to buy or sell some of these super tough N500-up type cards.  They so rarely come up for sale, sometimes past pricing isn’t indicative of what they will bring but it’s the only reference we have.

An eBay user (member_15875) recently sold a good deal of 19th century actress cards.  Some were lots of mundane stuff like Sweet Caporal or single lots of Admiral, Virginia Brights and Old Judge.  Others were much tougher cards that are typically what I’d call BOB or Back OBook (borrowing stamp collector’s jargon) cards.  I pulled photos and pricing from a handful to post here for future reference.  Hopefully it helps you out in some capacity.  I think any/all of my posts on this blog are searchable, so if, in the future, you’re curious about what an N665 Our Knocker tobacco card sold for you can search that term on the blog and see previous posts.  I’ll try to remember to title them all “Type Card Update” and whatever number it is.

Some of these cards are super scarce and some are traded more often.  The N427 American Eagle, N611 Queen’s Cup and N657 Kalamazoo Bats cards are more common.  The Kalamazoo Bats, in particular, are also collected because there are Baseball Cards from the same manufacturer and there are a number in the set.  I know of at least a couple collectors actually working on the set of these cards.  Anyway, here are the results for those recent sales in early January of 2018.

Building a type card collection

Those that know me may know that I spent much of 2017 deconstructing what was a pretty large type collection.  Not entirely sure how it all started but by the ‘end’, I had 2-3,000 type cards in my typecard collection.  It was heavily weighted to tobacco and candy/gum issues because those were always my favorites and because I also collected many of those cards as complete sets.  As cards came into the sets and either got upgraded or large lots were bought, I would pull the card and put it in a semi-rigid and then label them with the American Card Catalog (ACC) classification with white DYMO tape labels at the top of the semi-rigid like this:

Boy….I spent a lot of money on those white DYMO label cartridges…..finally bought some on ebay in bulk.  For mainstream sets, like the ones above, just the ACC was sufficient.  For sets that were uncataloged, I did something like the card on the left below.  And for sets that had variations….like back variations….I did something like the card on the right.

Some sets were represented by a single example while others had many examples.  It was all a function of what was upgraded, what lots were bought and what was needed in my sets.  As a result, the type collection grew to a pretty large size.  I was up to nearly three full three row larger white card boxes.

I had cards from the ACC classifications of 19th century tobacco (N), 20th century tobacco(T), Early candy and gum (E), later candy and gum (R), Canadian Tobacco (C), Canadian Candy and Gum (V), US Tobacco Silks (S), US Tobacco Leathers (L), US Tobacco Blankets (B), Coffee (K), Baking soda (J), and many many more.  It got a little difficult to keep up with them all.  They were organized within each ACC classification within the boxes.

Things that were oversized went into 4×6 top loaders, 5×7 toploaders, 8×10 toploaders or other types of containers.  The same DYMO tape labels accompanied and identified those cards too.


Hello Nonsports Fans!

Welcome to Vintage Nonsports blog, site and home to some photos of my collection.  With the move of the Vintage Nonsports chat board to the Websitetoolbox platform, Bill set up this WordPress site for me on  I’m hoping to do some daily/weekly posts about things I find interesting.  Not sure I’ll be able to do daily as it becomes a job then.  But check back often.  I will update the site as regularly as I can.  Thanks for all the support on the nonsports forum.  It’s been a fun 11 years!