1888 N332 S.F. Hess “Athletes and Celebrities – Boxers”
Welcome to a truly special event in the boxing card specialty: an unprecedented array of 1888 N332 S.F. Hess Boxer subjects. The magnitude of this pugilistic line-up is simply unheard-of in its comprehensiveness.
The insert products of S.F. Hess & Co. are much-coveted paper antiques. All of the Hess-issued sets of the 1880s have become known as hallmarks of distinctive themes, as well as rarity. The N332 “Athletes and Celebrities” group is one of these elite Hess issues, and the only one to feature Boxers – a peerless selection of which is presented in this catalog section.
Among 19th Century photographic boxing cards (a category that includes very few “types” of any kind), the S.F. Hess sepia collectibles set an extremely high standard in desirability. Their true-to-life portrayals of pioneering boxing champions provide the ultimate in historical depictions from the early days of boxing as a professional sport. This fabulous gallery of 41 different cards – presented in individual-card lots – is quite likely the largest single collection ever offered at public auction.
All of these pieces are members of single-digit SGC census totals, and many occupy the highest grading tiers awarded for their respective subjects. A majority of the items emanate from the prestigious Hull Collection. The cards' images are almost universally riveting and clear, and their formal grades are occasioned largely by fundamentally inoffensive corner wear or nominal faults affecting only their unprinted backs. Overall, these extraordinary relics retain a fresh, vivid character, with exceptionally strong illustrations.