Americana and ephemera collection lets bidders step back in time at Potter and Potter March 7

70 cigar and tobacco labels and trade cards, estimated at $2,000-$4,000 at Potter & Potter.

CHICAGO — More than 650 lots of Americana and ephemera ranging from Civil War items to advertising come to market at Potter & Potter on Thursday, March 7. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The collection of Mark Rucker includes photographs, trade cards, advertising, baseball memorabilia, and a wide range of printed paper ephemera. There are sizable groupings of African Americana and items surrounding pre- and post-revolution Cuba.

Brooks Locomotive Works of Dunkirk, New York was a manufacturer of steam locomotives for the growing American market. This salesman’s album contains 47 albumen prints mounted to board to preview designs and options for prospective customers. Used only internally by its sales team, the book may be unique. Brooks was founded in 1869, and this book covers locomotives built between 1871 and 1880. Brooks was part of the great merger in 1901 that created The American Locomotive Company (ALCO). The book is estimated at $1,500-$10,000.

Tobacco was one of the biggest consumer goods in the 19th century, and marketers went to great expense to establish and differentiate the countless brands of cigars, cigarettes, and chewing and snuff tobacco. This set of 70 tobacco trade cards and box labels is a colorful survey of the often ingenious and humorous caricatures used to keep brands top of mind. The lot is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

Color lithography was highly sought after in all aspects of commercial life at the turn of the previous century, largely because of its novelty. This collection of nearly 500 sheet music sets covers jazz, marches, patriotic songs, waltzes, and more. It is estimated at $3,000-$6,000.

A morbid but interesting element to the Rucker collection is this U.S. Army silver star removed from the wreckage of a 1938 Cadillac staff car in which General George Patton suffered the injury that lead to his death in December 1945. It is accompanied by a file photo of the wreck and the name and address of the Army soldier who recovered it, and it has an estimate of $1,500-$3,000.

Regino Mamelo Garcia was a catcher for 12 seasons in the Cuban winter baseball leagues. From 1905 to 1907, he was also a batting champion, and the league presented him with this award in 1907 to mark his feat. The highest-estimated lot in the sale, it is estimated at $20,000-$40,000.