Lot # 24: 1921 Voskamp's Coffee #20 Bill Skiff - SGC GOOD 2

Category: Featured Items

Starting Bid: $500.00

Bids: 78 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring, 2024 Premier Auction",
which ran from 3/11/2024 12:00 AM to
3/30/2024 9:00 PM

One of the most remarkable discoveries in the history of Love of the Game Auctions, credited to LOTG Operations Manager Andrew Aronstein.  Reviewing a number of documents and scrapbooks originating from the estate of former ballplayer, scout and PCL Manager Bill Skiff, Aronstein came across a sepia-toned, postcard-sized (3" x 4 1/2") portrait photo of Skiff inside a scrapbook.  Andrew remarked "I think this is a card," a statement that sparked a day of heavy research.

It turned out that Andrew was correct.  The card was a 1921 Voskamp's Coffee card - a set that is known only because up until the discovery of this Skiff card, one example of one card is all the hobby has ever seen.  

The Voskamp's name is known to advanced collectors primarily due to it's 1913 baseball cards, which were inserted into packages of coffee and tea produced by the Pittsburgh retailer, with complete sets redeemable for Pirates tickets.  The 1913 set was highlighted by a beautiful card of Honus Wagner, one of his most rare and beautiful cards.  As obscure as the 1913 set is, however, the 1921 set is even more so.  It is not listed in the Standard Catalog, and just one card - that of pitcher Drew Rader - had ever been discovered.  The issue's checklist is known, solely because it is printed on the back of the card - however, it has been speculated that the cards were never produced, and that the Rader was simply a proof or test of some kind, the only card ever printed.

The discovery of the Skiff card disproves that somewhat, as a card clearly made its way into Skiff's hands and into one of his personal scrapbooks.  The card reverse is slightly different from that of the Drew Rader, in that the Voskamp and Drawing Room Coffee brand names are juxtaposed on the two cards (Drawing Room appears at the top of the Rader card, with Voskamp's printed above the checklist; the reverse is true with the Skiff).  The word "SPECIMEN" is typewritten onto the reverse of the Skiff card, suggesting it was not circulated.  The card exhibits some creasing along the bottom, along with corner and edge wear.  Discoloration and glue staining is visible on the reverse, along with aforementioned typewritten notation.  An extraordinary discovery, just the second known card from the issue.

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