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The reason Grace, cricket and even Australian cricket cards were all the rage by 1883 was thanks to the first Ashes Test Match, which Australia won in London in autumn 1882. It was massive sporting news. A team had travelled the many weeks needed to sail by ocean from a former prison colony and dared to beat their 'masters'! Spirits were fired up! Baines made a stunning collection of octagonal-shaped cricket cards of the Australian team, and a W G Grace card, the key man (the keyhole design is notable on the Union Jack Grace card). Made for the season after the infamous 1st Ashes match versus Australia at the Oval, cricket was by far the biggest national story in sport.
This Dr. W G GRACE ROOKIE CARD! One of the very earliest cards of W.G. Grace, both known earliest being by Baines, from a Victorian scrapbook which contained 5 Grace cards: 3 Union Jack Grace and 2 Glos CCC cards. The best were placed near the front in a date order, then the spare cards, the doubles were placed near the end mixed in with other later acquisitions
W. G. Grace for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, from Baines' earliest collection of "Cricket & Word Competition Cards", issued in blind, sealed packets from 1883 onwards. The back of the card shows the coat of arms which Baines applied to some of the earliest of his cards. After the initial series this design was not used again, and a redesigned version appeared on the 1884-85 cricket balls cards (different to the later era 1920s cricket ball cards!)
John Baines was a relative of "Edward Baines & Sons", a firm of printers from Leeds. John followed his family into the printing business by opening his own lithography firm in the early 1880s..
SOLD AS SEEN.
CONDITION: this card has all of its 'points' which is a rarity for these cards. It has a with a crease at the side, as seen. SOLD AS SEEN. There is no better example known anywhere in the world!
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SOLD AS SEEN