One of the most sought-after baseball card sets produced before the 20th century is the Yum Yum Tobacco N403 baseball card set. These cards remain difficult to find and expensive to collect.
The entire N403 set consists of 53 cards that measure 1⅜” by 2¾”. They were issued in 1888, around the same time as many of the other early cigarette and tobacco cards. The cards themselves are light photographic prints that are somewhat hard to distinguish from the ivory background. The cards are unnumbered and, like many other rare tobacco cards, have blank backs. The front of the cards has the advertising phrase “Smoke and Chew Yum Yum Tobacco” at the bottom. The cards have a similar design to the E223 G&B Chewing Gum set, which was the first candy card set ever made. Many of the players also have the same poses as the E223 cards.
The Yum Yum Tobacco cards were printed by August Beck & Company in Chicago. The wholesale tobacco and cigar manufacturer sold tins of tobacco and placed the cards at the bottom. There are two possible styles of card in the N403 set. The players are either sitting for a studio portrait or posing for a full-length action shot. The action shots are similar to many of the classic Old Judge cards. There are several variations in the N403 set that are differences in poses, usually a portrait versus an action shot.
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