Note - I haven't gotten all the write ups for these cards done, but I do have the images all posted. Click on any of the links on the sidebar with the name of the card and you'll see the image of the card. Once I write it up I'll bump the post to the main page.
I'm way overdue for an Allen & Ginter post, so lets knock one out, shall we? This card here is from the N15 Great Generals set. When I scrounge around for these cards on eBay, some of them are plentiful like the Flags, some are ignored like the Birds, and some like the Generals are just damn expensive. The sets featuring actual historical people seem to have the most demand and cost the most. Indian chiefs, bloodthirsty pirates, and rulers of nations tend to attract a lot of attention with the baseball players trumping them all. The most hard to get set not including Cap Anson though is the one with the Generals.
This is one of those sets that in my many months of eBaying, I just haven't seen many of them out there. It could be that they are genuinely scarce, or possibly be due to collectors just not wanting to trade them away. I think I can safely generalize that a large percentage of people collecting these cards are males interested in history. This set chock full of historical greats would be catnip for those kind of people. It's also very nice looking set, featuring a bust of the general with a background relevant to his conquests. Here's the military man that made his way into my collection:
Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington was a general famous for defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. He's also a Prime Minister, a tasty dish and an action figure (sort of). I'm ptrety surprised I got him at all, I expected to end up with some third-tier Confederate General. Of course, with all the civil war buffs out there third-tier Confederate Generals are pretty highly sought after. This card was won from eBay seller eaglemom53. This was another "found the cards in an old trunk belonging to my grandfather" type auction. I'm far too jaded to believe any of those stories anymore, but she sure as heck had a lot of cards for sale. Some high rollers were watching her auctions too. There were a lot of N19 Pirates and Generals up for sale and quite a few of them were going for three figures. One day I caught a new batch right when it was listed and saw George Washington sitting out there with no bids. I certainly couldn't just leave a card like that alone so I put in my max $20 bid and waited to see what would happen. Needless to say completely blown out of the water very quickly. My bid was septupled or maybe even octupled when it was all said and done.
I knew it wasn't going to happen, so I wasn't too disappointed. It would have been cool to get a Washington card that was issued less than a hundred years from when he was first elected president, but oh well. I looked at the rest of the generals out there and saw Wellington. No bids. Pretty surprising, he was the next biggest name out there (at least as far as I could tell) and it was in pretty decent shape. The biggest problem was some paper stuck to the front. I watched the bidding start to climb on the other generals and figured I might as well at least make a run at him if I wanted to get an N15 anytime soon. I put in the max bid and waited. The auction ended. I won. How much do you think I paid for this card? Any guesses? Well I'll tell you.
That's including shipping.
One of the greatest Generals in history and I got it got the price of a large onion rings from Burger King. Apparently the high rollers weren't interested in a card with some schmutz stuck to the front. It's still a pretty nice looking card, you can pretty much still see everything and the back isn't too bad off. Plus there's enough silver ink on the card to put the modern manufacturers and their foil fetish to shame. Good looking card, famous general and cheap as hell to boot. The only thing that could make it better is some good hearty meat for ol' Beef Wellington. Thankfully James Lileks has a whole book full o' meat for Art and I to enjoy.
Ulp.... um, I think I'll just have some broccoli and ranch dressing instead.