Gorgeous portrait card of popular Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward. While not particularly scarce as far as Old Judges are concerned, his cards are still highly sought after, the demand far eclipsing the supply. In addition, this particular example pictures Ward out of uniform - N172s depicting players in "street clothes" are a popular subset among collectors, and this is no exception.
Boasting wonderful contrast and image clarity, virtually all the issues resulting in the low technical grade relate to the reverse, which exhibits significant staining and foxing. A tiny surface abrasion at the bottom center has resulted in a small spot of paper loss, barely visible but possibly the result of a tiny pinhole. Otherwise, however, the image quality is exceptional for the issue, clear and dark, with a clean surface, square corners and strong centering. With eye appeal far in excess of the technical grade, one of the most desirable cards from one of the era's most significant figures.