Great Scot! Rare card could fetch £2,000 '¨at auction

IT'¯was AN achievement so impressive that even the cricket-neutral Scots had to sit up and applaud.

The rare Yorkshire cigarette card

Yorkshire’s victory in the 1900 county championships, their third in five years, was marked by the issue of the only known colour cigarette card of its type, by the Glasgow tobacco company, D&J Macdonald.

With only 10 thought to exist, it is a holy grail for hobbyists, and the auction of one on Saturday is described as one of the rarest events on the collectors’ calendar.

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“It is one of the most expensive individual cigarette cards out there today,” said Ian Laker, managing director of the London Cigarette Card Company, which is conducting the postal auction.

In mint condition, the card is said to be worth £2,500, and even with cracked corners and brown stains on the back, the one under the hammer this weekend is expected to fetch £2,000.

Macdonald’s produced a series of “winning team” cricket cards at the beginning of the 20th century, despite its products circulating mostly north of the border.

The inscription on the back of the Yorkshire card praises the team as “invincible” - a prophetic judgement, as the 1900 victory was followed by two more in succession. Wilfred Rhodes, who made a record 1,100 appearances in first class cricket, was the top wicket-taker.

Mr Laker said: “This is the first one of these cards I have seen in 47 years with the firm.

“It is potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to own such a card.”