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Without a doubt, the "premium" cards issued by Turkey Red Cigarettes are among the most visually stunning cards ever produced. Referred to by hobbyists as "T3's" they have always been a staple of advanced collections. Throughout the history of our hobby there has never been a large find, in any condition - such has been the case with many issues dating back into the 19th Century. The diligent collectors that have amassed sets of these have either done so by purchasing cards "piecemeal" or by purchasing entire collections where someone else has put in the years of hard work and searching for upgrades. At the time of production, one would have needed the coupons from ten packs of Turkey Red cigarettes (or 20 from Old Mill or Fez) just to get one card. What the collector received in exchange for their coupons was less of a Baseball card and more of a piece of art measuring about 5 3/4" X 8"; arguably the most beautiful cards of the twentieth century. This card of Hall of Famer Napoleon Lajoie, along with all of the T3 Turkey Red cards proceeding this card in our catalog come to us from one "original" collection. As is the case with this Lajoie card, nearly all of the cards may be graded correctly from a technical standpoint however the aesthetics belittle the grades placed on them. A faint line at the lower right corner can be the only thing keeping this card from receiving a full grade higher than the one it was given. Only one example of Lajoie has ever been graded higher by PSA.
Other past auction items that may be of interest to you.
Summer/August 2006 Catalog