T206: Classic Images
The T206 White Borders tobacco card set is commonly referred to as "The Monster" due to its size, as it numbers 524 cards. This is a phenomenal number of cards, given the 1909-11 dates of issue. The cards are rather small, as they were designed to be cigarette package inserts, and each one is an individual piece of lithographic artwork. The artistry, particularly the impressive aesthetics of the colors used, is what has captivated my collecting interest. Make no mistake, not all 524 of these cards are interesting or impressive (and many are far from it!), but I have begun a collection of this set by focusing on those cards which I feel are the most appealing images. These are what you see below.
The Donovan and Ewing are the most spectacular sunet backgrounds that I have found in the set, and the richness of a large color palette is the defining qualification for including cards such as the Keeler batting pose, Liefeld pitching, and Hans Lobert's portrait. Other cards are included for the striking solid background colors, such as the two Chase cards, the Beals Becker (the Christmas card), the Doyle portrait and the Rucker pitching pose. Lastly, you will find an occasional card that contains an exceptional amount of personal charicature detail for a lithograph compared to the rest of the set, and two excellent examples of this are the Lajoie batting pose and the Merkle throwing image.
It is a fantastic set of artworks with plenty to offer.