The 1910 E103 Williams Caramel set is a rare candy/caramel card set from the pre-war card era. Here’s a closer look at the release.
Williams Caramel Company
Based out of Oxford, Pennsylvania, the Williams Caramel Company produced a variety of caramel products, including some non-sports sets like the E18 Flags of All Nations.
Their name is printed along the bottoms of the E103 cards. Following production of this set, the Williams Caramel Company became Oxford Confectionery before later going out of business.
E103 Williams Caramel Basics
The E103 Williams Caramel card set won’t win many awards for aesthetic appeal. While
the pictures of players are rather striking, the issue is also relatively bland. All of the cards are portraits of players and each one has a red background with a white border. Because of that, they all sort of look the same and while the players are certainly distinguishable, the repeated portrait pose and red backdrop doesn’t give much variety.
Also adding to the somewhat bland design is the fact that the backs of the cards are entirely blank. In addition, the thin paper stock makes them incredibly fragile and is perhaps partially responsible for so few being in existence today.
Most of the portraits used to create the cards were also utilized in the M116 Sporting Life set. Some were also used in other sets, such as T206.
Still, despite the somewhat plain look, the portraits are quite well done and that alone gives the set enough appeal to make it desirable. The cards are the typical caramel card size, measuring slightly bigger than popular tobacco issues at approximately 1 3/4″ x 2 5/8″. In all, 30 cards are in the entire set.
E103 Williams Caramel Stars
Williams Caramel made sure that there were plenty of quality players in the set. Hall of Famers dot the checklist and include Chief Bender, Roger Bresnahan, Mordecai Brown, Frank Chance, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Sam Crawford, Hughie Jennings, Nap Lajoie, Christy Mathewson, and Honus Wagner.
In addition, while he’s not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, former Yankees star Hal Chase is here. His cards are typically treated as those of a lower-level Hall of Famer in terms of value. Chase’s portrait was also used in the T206 set.
E103 Williams Caramel Prices
The E103 Williams Caramel cards are very rare and because of that, prices remain high. Even in low-grade condition, the cards can fetch $100 or more for commons. Because of the thin card stock used, finding even mid-grade cards can be challenging. When you do see them, commons generally start around $300.
The SGC and PSA population reports show a total of just over 800 total cards graded. SGC has rated only six of the 465 submissions better than 60 (EX) while PSA has graded only five of 350 cards better than EX+.
The most valuable cards in the set are those featuring Cobb, Wagner, and Mathewson. Their cards in decent shape sell for thousands of dollars, depending upon the condition. A Cobb PSA 4, for example, sold for over $9,400 a few months ago. In 2015, a Wagner graded SGC 20 sold for $5,736. Bargains can occasionally be found. A PSA 2 Lajoie sold for just $600 in the spring of 2016 while a Roger Bresnahan graded SGC 40 brought only $265.
Complete sets are difficult to find but because there are only 30 in the entire release, sets do surface from time to time. Finding a mid-grade or high-grade set is virtually impossible. However, a complete lower-end set sold at auction a few years ago for nearly $13,000.
A few dozen can usually be found on eBay. Click here to see them for sale and auction.