Many caramel card issues are difficult sets to assemble. One of those is certainly the E104 Nadja Caramels release, which is comprised of three distinct subsets. Here’s a closer look at the overall product, released by a Pennsylvania candy maker more than a century ago.
The E104 Nadja Caramels cards are believed to have been printed in 1910 and have a similar look as other E-card issues. The cards’ fronts include a color lithograph of a particular player and his name and team are printed at the bottom in blue ink. Backgrounds feature an assortment of colors throughout the set and the cards measure approximately 1 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ – a relatively common size for cards of the same era.
While there are three subsets, all have the same backs. Backs are either entirely blank or have a Nadja Caramels advertisement that reads, “Play Ball! And Eat Nadja Caramels.” Blank backs are easily the more common of the two.
The set is labeled as E104 by Jefferson Burdick, author of the American Card Catalog.
What makes the set a little unique are the three subsets that make up the release. These have been classified mostly by collectors as E104-1, E104-2, and E104-3.
When trying to determine to which subset a particular card belongs to, E104-1 can often be the easiest. The checklist includes only Philadelphia Athletics players and sometimes have a “World’s Champions 1910” inscription at the top. Neither the E104-2 nor the E104-3 subsets have that inscription.
Similarly, E104-2 is a team issue as well. This set features only the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were the 1909 World Champions. The E90-2 American Caramel set features the same players and pictures, which begs the question of how they can be separated. The answer, it turns out, is quite easy thanks to the reverse. E90-2 cards have an American Caramel back while the E104 Nadja Caramels E104-2 cards are either blank or have the Nadja Caramels back.
Finally, E104-3 is the only subset with players featuring a mix of teams. This seems to be the ‘primary’ E104-3 set while the other two were sets commemorating the past couple World Series champions. With a total of 36 cards, it is easily the largest of the three and features a wide range of players that are not featured in the first two sets.
E104 Nadja Caramels Stars
With only 11 cards, E104-2 is small but still has Cooperstown enshrinees Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke.
Finally, the E104-3 set boasts four Hall of Famers, including Sam Crawford, Hughie Jennings, John McGraw, and Vic Willis.
E104 Nadja Caramels Prices
E104 Nadja Caramels cards are few and far between. And when you do find them, you can expect to pay a hefty price.
Mid-grade commons at the lower end of the spectrum (i.e. PSA 3/SGC 40) start in the ballpark of around $400-$500. Mid-grade Hall of Famers are $1,000 or more depending on the player and grade.
Because of the few number of cards in the subsets, it isn’t absolutely impossible to put one together. But given the rarity of the cards and the high-dollar nature of the bigger names, piecing together any subset would be a considerable challenge.
You can see several for sale and auction on eBay by clicking here.