The E94 cards are mostly attributed as George Close Candy cards. While some of the cards have only a checklist back, some of these cards feature an assortment of stamped advertisements for that candymaker from Massachusetts.
These are mostly blue-ink back ads with a variety of slogans. Some of the ads are even dotted with a typo, reading, “Your Out” or “Your Safe” that would make an English teacher cringe. As you can tell by those slogans, these advertisements generally had a baseball theme. Other known ones include statements such as, “Home Run,” “Three Strikes,” or “Base Hit.” But while the cards are generally listed as E94 Close Candy cards, that name could be kind of misleading. We can say that for at least three reasons.
First, the set shares the same checklist and pictures as those found in the M131 Baltimore Newsboys set. A slight text variation is on the back for those cards. However, this is essentially the same set shared by more than one company. Second, only some of these cards have the George Close Candy overprints on them. It may be appropriate to call those cards Close Candy issues. But others do not have any type of business printed on them, making them similar to several anonymous candy card issues. Finally, some of these cards have a different stamp on them entirely for a company called Blome’s Chocolates.
Here’s a closer look at the Blome’s Chocolates cards.
1911 Blome’s Chocolates Basics
The Blome’s Chocolates cards utilized the exact same pictures/checklist as the Close Candy ones. The only difference is that, instead of having an unstamped back or a back with the Close Candy ads, these cards have a Blome’s Chocolates name on them.
They are, technically, a sort of ad, I suppose. However, they differ from the Close Candy cards because they do not carry a slogan or any other print. Backs only have the name Blome’s Chocolates. And while there are many known types of Close Candy back advertisements, this one shown here is the only known type of Blome’s ad.
Collectors have handled the naming of these cards in a few ways over the years. Some call them an entirely separate issue from the Close Candy set. Others prefer to call them a subset of the Close Candy cards or a variation.
While the Close Candy company was located in Cambridge, Mass., the Blome’s cards have a closer link to the aforementioned Baltimore News M131 cards. Like the Baltimore News, Blome’s was actually a Baltimore-based company, too, as highlighted here by Love of the Game Auctions. That both companies were located in Baltimore and used these cards further separates a pure black and white definition of calling all E94 cards George Close Candy cards. The cards were distributed by Blome’s and who can tell how many others may have used them?
The set of 30 baseball cards includes notables such as Ty Cobb, Nap Lajoie, Cy Young, Honus Wagner, Tris Speaker, and more. The cards have a similar look to many other candy issues with the traditional white border, full color picture, and checklist back.
It should be noted that, while there are 30 cards in the E94 set, I am not sure if all cards have ever been confirmed to exist with the Blome’s overprint.
Prices and Rarity
Just how rare are the E94 Blome’s Chocolate cards? It’s not possible to say for sure. But PSA has only graded three to date and, assuming they did not just begin to distinguish between them and other E94 cards, they have seen very few Blome’s cards.
Population reports, however, are not necessary to see the rarity, though. Even a cursory glance around the hobby and online shows few of them available. eBay, for example, usually does not have any available for sale.
As a result of their rarity, the cards do not come cheap and even low-grade commons sell for a few hundred dollars. While many are not offered there, eBay did recently have an SGC 1 of Red Kleinow with it selling for $335. Stars and bigger names will, of course, cost more — sometimes exponentially, depending on the player and condition. A similarly low grade SGC 1.5 of Honus Wagner with the Blome Overprint, for example, sold in a 2010 REA listing for more than $3,500.