One Week to Go in the Legendary March 7-8 Catalog Auction, Featuring a 1912 S81 Turkish Trophies Complete Set

There is one week to go in the Legendary March 7-8 Catalog Auction. Featured from the Dreier Collection is the unprecedented offering of a 1912 S81 Turkish Trophies Large Silk Premiums Complete Set, with each silk offered individually.

During just a few months in 1911-12, smokers of Turkish Trophies cigarettes were offered a variety of premiums in exchange for coupons that were inserted into their cigarette packages. Collectors were able to choose from a trio comprised of a cabinet card (T3), a silk (S81) and a leather (L1). Standing among the titans from the tobacco card age are the stupendous premiums-emanating from this promotion-catalogued in the American Card Catalog as the S81 silks. They measure approximately 9” x 7”, and were available only through the redemption of 25 cigarette coupons, specifically from the Turkish Trophies brand.

The silks’ imagery parallels that of the card premium T3 (Turkey Reds). But unlike their elite S81 kin, T3’s could be attained by remitting a more modest 10 coupons. The arithmetic then infers that S81’s should be available today at a rate of about 40% that of Turkey Reds (imagining, of course, equal consumer popularity of the two cigarette labels). This rationale, however, belies the facts. Because of the nature of their medium, the silks are very difficult to find in top condition. Many were sewn into pillowcases or just became unraveled over time. Too, there lurks a subtlety here that helps to explain the much wider gulf in their respective emergings. Silks, certainly, were intended to appeal to the distaff smoker, whose numbers were few in that era. To be sure, men constituted the vast majority of tobacco consumers in those days, but dainty silks upon which to rest their weary heads simply weren’t…well, manly. Ladies tended domestic decor; their mates admired hard pictures of ballplayers. And through this lens, a better understanding of the commercial dynamics of these two, related issues becomes clear.

Presented in this auction is a complete, 25-piece set of S81 baseball silks. Seldom, if ever, can that sentence be found in the text of any of the hobby’s most prominent auction venues, and, accordingly, this showpiece gallery is displayed with not-inconsiderable pride.

This collection of S81 silks is an opportunity immune to the whim of demand. The S81’s offer themselves to availability only grudgingly-and never in a scope such as this. And, to be sure, their beauty is exceeded only by their stark scarcity.

We are always accepting consignments for our upcoming auctions. To partner with an auction house dedicated to maximizing the value of your fine collectibles, visit or call us today at (708) 889-9380.

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