Thursday, June 7, 2012

Things You Should Know: Cracker Jack Matty

Here's another short post about something you should know if you're going to be in the vintage card hobby.

The Cracker Jack sets of 1914 and 1915 (E-145) are some of the nicest sets of the era.  The 1914 cards were only available in packages of Cracker Jack and therefore they generally all come with some sort of candy staining on them and that keeps their grades down most of the time.  A lot of collectors prefer to focus on the 1915 set both for it's availability as well as it's condition.

The 1915 set was available both in packages of the popcorn confection and from a mail in offer where a person could acquire the entire set in one shot.  And that set didn't suffer any candy staining as the cards were never included in packages.  Hence the much nicer examples from 1915 over their 1914 counterparts.  And since most of the images used between the two sets are the same from one year to the next, it's not a lot different if you had to choose just one year to go after. 

One thing to know about Cracker Jacks is how to tell the two different years apart easily.  The backs of the 1915 set were printed upside down if you flip the cards over.  This way, if the cards were mounted into an album (of which one was produced for the 1915 release) with a flip mount at the tops of the cards, then when you flipped the card up to see the back, you would be able to read the print. 

Image Courtesy Robert Edward Auctions

Well the most important card in the entire series can easily be argued to be the 1914 Christy Mathewson.  It is extremely rare and because the 1915 Matty uses a different portrait image, the only way to get the horizontal throwing pose is to find a 1914 example.  The pictured example sold in a Robert Edwards Auction for $40,600.00.  It is one of the finest examples known to exist, as you can see it has minimum candy staining on it. 

Enjoy the hobby's a wonderful one.

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