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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Allen Ginter Project : Card #24 N22 Racing Colors of the World

This is part two of the DavidB Nineteenth Century New Years Extravaganza post. Now you can partly see why I bought all that other stuff I didn't need for my type set. I did manage to find something to help fill out that second page of cards. These three cards are from the N22 Racing Colors of the World set. These cards show the official racing outfits of some of the world's most famous stables of the time. The silks are shown off with the help of some rather large-chested ladies, who quite frankly are much more the ultimate reason this set exists. Horse racing was extremely popular at the time and A&G dedicated two other sets to the sport, the lithograph N32 World's Racers set and the N52 Racehorses set which were sepia photographs. In contrast, 19 Allen & Ginter sets were wholly or mostly comprised of pictures of girls. Horse racing was popular, but there was at least one pastime that was much more popular. These cards were all part of a single lot, but let's show off my riders one at a time.

First up is the stable of William Lakeland. Lakeland was an American trainer whose horses included Domino, who won an incredible amount of money in his races, and Tea Tray, who is immortalized with a card in the N32 set. William's green and white silks are modeled by a good looking lass who seems to me like she belongs in the 1920's and not the 1880's for some reason. These cards all show the subject in front of a pastel background, some of which have no border like this one. And you thought 1991 Stadium Club was the first full-bleed border card set. This card is pretty beat up, but it displays nicely enough. There are a lot of wrinkles, someone went crazy with a push pin at the top and the hole... Well, I'll talk more about the hole later.

Up next is the stable of Sir George Chetwynd, who is blatantly British. If you have the audacity to spell wind with a y you're either an English Baron or a hippie artsy type. Since hippies rarely force their equine brothers to run all out for filthy lucre, we can safely assume the baron thing. Chetwynd Farm produced one of England's great horses, Isinglass, who won the English Triple Crown. Sir Chetwynd and his trusty steed Isinglass sounds like a minor subplot from King Arthur or a Book of Tolkein's Lost Tales, not a common race horse. The stable colors appear to be mustard and chartreuse, which are as unfortunate as the position the apparently hunchbacked model is in. There is also a significant amount of paper loss on the front (but not the back, surprisingly) and the large hole evident on the other cards doesn't actually go all the way through the paper on this one for some reason. This card has the best back with only a small amount of paper loss. This is another example of a full-bleed variation of this card.

Finally we have William Hendrie, the galloping Canuck. Hendrie was the start of a very successful horse racing family and is in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. William's yellow and brown silks are filled out nicely by this lovely Canadian damsel, who also plays defense for the Maple Leafs in the racing offseason. This card is probably the most attractive of the three but is very beat up. Bad creases go through the waist and neck and the pinholes are up top along with a black... thing... that I don't want to touch. It looks very suspicious and is embedded into the card. That weird round hole seen on the other two cards is going through her hand. I don't know if that hole was punched or burned or what, but if you line up all three cards it goes through all of them at the same spot. These are some really beat up beater cards. This one does have a white border around the card, but neither variation is more scarce than the other.

The back is typical A&G with a fancy title on top and a full checklist of the set. As you can see, the vast majority are of American and English stables, with a handful of French and a single representative from seven other countries. The backs of these cards are just as fascinating to me as the fronts. The detail put into these titles is really nifty in my opinion and I love some of the crazy old fonts.

So now I have three examples from the N22 set so which one goes into the official type set? All three have some pluses and minuses. Holes aren't good, but Hendrie hides them a bit better than the others. I like to have a full back on a card, but the only one that does has a big chunk missing from the front. It's going to be tough to decide, but I can say definitively that Sir Chetwynd is not going to make the cut. This is why:

What. The hell. Is that.

I thought that chick looked a little skinny. I'm putting this in a card saver, filing it away and I'm going to try not to think about it.

So it's down to Lakeland and Hendrie. I must say Hendrie has a lot of things going for it. Two big things for starters. My, that girl has some pendulous bazonkas. She's also apparently very well versed in the proper useage of a riding crop. Kidding aside, it's the more attractive lithograph of the two. The colors are brighter, the pastels are pastelier, it's a better pose and the yellow and brown are more visually striking. Plus there is a small but real possibility that the guy is related to Phil Hendrie which would be very cool. However, Lakeland is the better looking card.There's virtually no paper loss on the front, the creases aren't breaking up the picture and there's no black schmutz embedded into the card. The girl's not unattractive either and that is a factor in my decision. So I have one card that looks better and one picture that looks better. So which one do I choose?

Lakeland is American. Hendrie is Canadian. The Toronto Blue Jays are Canadian. Need I say more. I Blame Canada. William Lakeland is the official card for the set, at least as long as I don't find a better looking one.

One other thing, I promised last time I would tell you how much all this crap cost. I got this lot and all seven other cards in that last post for two dollars. No, not two dollars per card, not two dollars per lot, just TWO DOLLARS. For all of them. Shoot, the shipping was almost twice that. I would have paid two dollars for just one of the N22s to knock that one off my list. I just got lucky I had to work the night davidbvintage was blowing out a lot of junk. That's not all I got that night though. I got one more card, a really spectacular awesome card, which I will share in part three.

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