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Old 08-20-2010, 10:57 AM
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Tom Boblitt
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Default Slightly OT: Edgar Wharton Tigar

Okay....slightly off topic. Everyone knows about Burdick, the American Card Catalog and the Metropolitan Museum in NYC that holds his collection. Some people might not know about Edward Wharton Tigar.....famous british collector of mostly tobacco cards which are now housed in a British Museum. In doing some research on E cards, I've befriended someone in the UK who recently had a trip to the museum to see a number of Tigar's cards. The cards are not glued or taped in to albums like Burdicks cards are and the person viewing them actually helped catalog and get them ready to put them in the museum years ago. They are in acid free pages as I understand it in huge catalog boxes on shelves.

Anyway, while the bulk of the collection is non-US, there are a significant amount of US tobacco issues--many of which are complete and most of which are in NRMT/MT condition, I'm told. The most recent trip was mostly looking at nonsports cards but I'm copying a paragraph from his email to me about the visit so everyone can get an understanding of the breadth of his collection.

I know Bruce (hi Bruce) corresponded with him, so maybe he'll chime in and Jay Miller may or may not have seen this collection but knows about it I'm sure.....

"Having got that off my chest here is a brief resume of the other highlights of my visit and items that ‘blew me away’. Box 86 contains all the A & G and Duke small cards and I doubt if the grading companies at your end will have seen cards in the condition as they left the printers. Such series included AMERICAN EDITORS; CELEBRATED INDIAN CHIEFS; GREAT GENERALS and THE WORLD’S CHAMPIONS. All the varieties of FLAGS OF ALL NATIONS were present and it was interesting that only the Roumania card list both it and Corea on the reverse. Possibly my favourite was the Duke set VEHICLES OF THE WORLD. Other sets to impress were Kinney HARLEQUIN CARDS and NEW YEAR 1890 CARDS and yes all 622 cards of the MILITARY SERIES were present and correct. Whilst I’m not a fan of baseball I do know how much the Goodwin photographic baseball cards are revered in the States so I had a quick dip into the box containing both the baseball and prizefighter subjects (2,268 cards in all ). I noted there were 10 cards depicting KELLY ($10,000) of which 3 were head & shoulder, 5 batting & 2 catching. There were also 3 cards of HARRY WRIGHT. (Did I read somewhere he was English?)."

Special mention to the use of 'whilst' for those of us in our midst who appreciate it!

Anyway, just a note about the collection. I know there are a few people who have over 2000 Old Judges and he's among that exclusive club. As with Burdick's collection, it is sad that they are not readily available for the general public to really fully appreciate them. Both are available through appointment only and then it must be a 'good' reason for viewing (research, etc.). Given the size of the collections, It would be near impossible I guess, but it would be a blast to see all them. As I understand it, Burdick's collection contains somewhere over 300,000 pieces while Tigar's contains in excess of 2,000,000.

Hopefully I didn't butcher too much of this. Anyone with knowledge of the collection or more information about him, please feel free to embellish. I know he had an exciting life--especially during WWII I believe.

Sorry for the slightly OT but I thought it was interesting.........

Last edited by autograf; 08-20-2010 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:20 AM
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Dave.Horn.ish
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What a great read-thanks Tom!
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:21 AM
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Barry Sloate
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Given the condition of these cards it wouldn't be a good idea for visitors to handle them. They wouldn't stay Mint for long. These collections need to be viewed by the public differently than they have been in the past. Maybe they need to wear white gloves and handle the cards with tongs...but no more touching the merchandise. It's not like buying a tomato; you can't squeeze them anymore.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:29 PM
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Tom Boblitt
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Barry....as I understand it from Bob Forbes, you have to have on white gloves to view the Burdick collection albums. Not sure about the Tigar boxes as they are in sheets. You can photo the Burdick collection cards but not the Tigar.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:42 PM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
Barry Sloate
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I haven't been to the Burdick collection in fifteen years. Glad they are becoming more conscientious.

And by the way...it's Edward, not Edgar.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:03 PM
Yankeefan51
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Default Our friend, Sir Edward Wharton-Tigar

As a young collector we first met Wharton-Tigar whilst we were both examining the Buridck collection in the print room of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As the story goes he asked to borrow our pencil, noting his distinguished British accent, we inquired as to whether he knew Wharton Tigar- When he responded "It is I" a 15 year friendship began. We had the pleasure of having lunch or dinner with himin New York on several different evenings.

We spent two wonderful evenings at his London flat and lovely dinner with his
wife, butler and chef- certainly the way we like to live---. His wife was one of the UK's leading collectors and breeders of rare sheep.

The entire 3rd Floor of the Flat was dedicated to his tobacco card collection. Whilst most of the samples were rare cards from the UK and around the world, the baseball display- especially 19th cards, 19th century team cabinets andthe largest collection of high grade Ramlys extant was breathtaking.

We corresponded numerous times. and Sir Edward shared many stories about
Bray, Burdick and other pioneering collectors. We also talked at length about his masterful 5 edition World Tobacco Index

And finally, we traded cards on at least half dozen occasions. More than 10 years before his passing he told us of his plans to leave his collection to the British Museum.

We were saddened by his passing, and miss one of the finest most knowledgeable gentlemen we ever had the honor to meet.

Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest want List

Last edited by Yankeefan51; 08-20-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:09 PM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
Barry Sloate
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I need to get a butler and a chef....
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:31 PM
Rickyy Rickyy is offline
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I suppose one way to make it available to the public is to maybe make digital scans of these cards like John Warnock of Adobe has done with his rare antique books. Perhaps a coporate sponsorship(s)/fundraising of some sort or MLB can pitch in and do that with Burdick's collection.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:03 PM
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5t3v3...D4.w50n
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I just did a quick Google search on Sir Edward Wharton-Tigar. Basically, he was a spy for the British Special Operations Executive (the equivalent of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services - the forerunner of the CIA) during WWII.

He amassed a collection of over two million cards, and yes, it does include a T206 Honus Wagner.

Steve
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:05 PM
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Jeff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
I need to get a butler and a chef....
Barry then you would be a Group.
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