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Pre-War Showdown: What's the most beautiful Iconic card ever?

What's the most beautiful iconic pre-war card ever?

  • N162 Cap Anson

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • N162 King Kelly

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • T206 Ty Cobb "Bat Off"

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth "Full Body"

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • 1934 Goudey Lou Gehrig "Portrait"

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters


Featured Contributor, Bridging the Gap, Senior Mem
May 18, 2012
As the graphic states, I've run polls over the past month to determine what the general consensus was for most beautiful pre-war cards in various categories. These are the finalists!

What do you consider to be the most beautiful iconic pre-war card ever? Please cast your vote, and feel free to put them in order in the comments!



Jan 19, 2010
It would seem that we are judging a background more than the card itself. If those same backgrounds were on commons, would we even care? Perhaps...perhaps not?

They are a bit cartoonish, but I have always really liked the 33 Delong and 38 Goudey cards. I could see myself going crazy over a full set of either series. Although star players are much more desirable, commons look just as good.

The horizontal Pepper is pretty cool, in the day when a majority of the cards were vertical.


I've also found the Waite Hoyt 33 Goudey to be very visually appealing above most of the others in the set. Another rare horizontal frame and a pitching "action" shot.



Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
1. Kelly. My vote for the 2nd-best looking 19th century card of all-time. I actually prefer the Anson as a card, but for aesthetic appeal it’s the King. I’m a sucker for background clouds

2. Ruth. Best-looking prewar card of all time. The Babe perfectly centered, classic batting pose, beautiful stadium background, vivid colors. I’ll forever kick myself for not buying one when they were below $5k

3. Cobb. Best of the four T206’s IMO. I personally prefer the T205 though

4. Anson. Personal top-5 most wanted for me.

5. Gehrig. I get why people like it, I’ve just never been much for 1-color backgrounds or portraits. Beautiful pose of Lou though. Also, the “Lou Gehrig Says” makes him sound like the precursor to Rickey Henderson. lol

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