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    Extremely Rare 1928 Harrington's Ice Cream Earl Smith Green Print #48 SGC 70 EX+ 5.5 - Finest Example of Only Four Known! NOTE: This card has been reviewed by PSA and confirms they will cross the card to a PSA EX+ 5.5.

    For over 125 years, tobacco, gum and food producers have engaged in the practice of inserting trading cards featuring a multitude of subject matter as an inducement to purchase their wares. At times, a complete set of cards could be exchanged for a valuable prize. Little did dewy-eyed innocent youngsters spending their nickels know the joke was often on them. To enhance sales, these exchange offers included the practice of choosing a particular card and severely limiting its distribution to lessen the amount of prizes that could be redeemed.

    The existence of these rarities is the grist of hobby legend, resulting in some of the most valuable and treasured cards in the hobby. At the top of this list are the 1932 US Caramels Freddy Lindstrom, V117 Maple Crispette Stengel, R306 Butter Cream Babe Ruth and Ivy Andrews from the R300 George Miller series. When a set was returned along with a prize to a consumer, the cards were canceled in some distinctive manner. The act of stamping, hole punching and even cutting cards in half was employed.

    Harrington's Ice Cream cards appeared in 1928 and are relatively scarce today. The backs advertise that a complete set of sixty cards can be exchanged for one gallon of ice cream. A second offer promising an ice cream novelty in exchange for one card--of course it was Babe Ruth--made for some gut-wrenching decisions. It fully appears that the #48 Earl Smith was the prize control card for Harrington's and other brands as well. The size, stock and print quality all match traditional cards except for the use of green printing ink instead of black and white. This is not some odd coincidence. It is widely believed that the green variation was supplied to shopkeepers to trade for the standard version, thereby avoiding the necessity of damaging the card as a form of prize redemption cancellation.

    To date, only four examples have been graded by SGC and none by PSA. This SGC 70 EX+ 5.5 is by far the finest copy known! The others grade no higher than a 30. Its rarity is unquestionable. Additionally, where Earl Smith does appear in other sets there are few, if any choices. To date, there is not one recorded #48 Earl Smith with a Yuengling's back. Only one Tharp's Ice Cream and a pair of Sweetman's have been submitted. As a W502, there are now eleven known, but note that set has a blank back and no prize exchange offer.

    To the skeptic, we remind them that even after all of this time new discoveries from single cards like the R306 Ruth to entire series like the 1920 Peggy Popcorn find are being made. The Goudey Lajoie and R328 Lindstrom have a marquee status all their own in part because they originate from immensely popular series. This card originates from a scarce edition and features a player largely lost to history, leaving little to artificially hype. The fact is this card is many times more rare then the "Magie" and Lajoie, twice as rare as the known R306 Ruth cards, and ranks just below the '32 Lindstrom and V117 Stengel. How many other cards can make that noteworthy claim?

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2011
    4th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,086

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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