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The Terrapin Tobacco Treasury

  • August 20, 2014
  • Leighton Sheldon

T206 Tris SpeakerTobacco was first grown in the colony of Maryland in the late 1600’s, and by 1740, was the leading revenue-earner for the Land of Crabcakes located at the northern end of the USA’s Piedmont region.  Who knew that the cash crop, with the addition of images of baseball players in packs, would become a “cash crop” for a Maryland collector’s family recently? Just Collect was provided with a plethora of gorgeous 1909-11 T206 white border cards, with a smattering of gold-edged T205s in the collection.  Featuring high quality cards from these two sets, a tremendous Terrapin Tobacco treasury was acquired just weeks ago, and will be available for auction in the next few weeks.

This gorgeous collection includes approximately 150 beautiful cards, which coincidentally, have a prominence of the total printed with the Piedmont Cigarette advertisement.  A few Sweet Caporal backs appear in this super selection. Additionally, two Old Mill brand backs are also part of the acquisition. “Caporal”, by the way, is translated from a French term referring to superior, which the English used to describe a “strong” variety of tobacco.  So apt are these translations to this group of Whites and Golds… the high quality, presentation, vivid coloring and overall conditions are, indeed and in fact, Super and Strong!

T206 Vic Willis Pittsburg T206 Tris Speaker Boston T205 Clark Griffith Reds

 This group contains prominent stars of the era, specifically a slightly “long” Tris Speaker card.  Little reference material exists concerning a possibly miscut Speaker card from the T206’s, but like the Boston Hall-of-Famer, this one “stands just a little taller” than the others in the collection.  Some of the other fellow enshrines include Chief Bender, Johnny Evers and Clark Griffith, the latter in the T205 gold bordered edition. The terrific treasury from the Terrapin territory came to Just Collect from a family in Baltimore who originated, dealt and completed the deal through phone conversations and shipping the cards to us.  Our evaluation led to a satisfactory offer to the family, who inherited Grandpa’s incredible early 20th century gems. A very few of these “T’s” were displayed, and later removed from, an album in which Grandpa first saved some of his cards. After completion of professional grading, this fabulous find of “Terrapin Treasures” will be available to the public in an upcoming auction. Maryland tobacco growing resulted in several fortunes being made for planters.  Tobacco cards, as this collection indicates, brought a Maryland family an appreciable profit.  Collectors may not need a fortune to add singles from this group to their T206 and T205 baseball card collections.  Just Collect is always buying T206 tobacco cards and other vintage baseball cards from 1879 up to 1979.

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