Diamond Duos: Series Guide

Set Description:

  • Diamond Duos is a subseries of the Beginnings: 1880s: Base Set series of Ars Longa Art Cards
  • The Diamond Duos subseries was inspired thematically by a small group of related Goodwin & Co. products:
    • Old Judge (N172) cards & (N173) cabinets
    • Old Judge two-subject cards & cabinets
    • Dog’s Head brand cigarettes

Old Judge (N172) cards & (N173) cabinets

  • All of the player images used to make the Diamond Duos are original to the Old Judge (N172) series
  • Issued from 1886 to 1890 by Goodwin & Co. in packs of Old Judge and Gypsy Queen cigarettes, the Old Judge series depicts at least 520 different players, managers, owners and umpires from more than 40 major and minor league teams
  • More than 2,500 variations of these cards have been documented and previously unknown cards are discovered every year
  • Perhaps the greatest documentary of baseball in the 19th century and a permanent cornerstone of the baseball card hobby, the Old Judge series contains a trove of images that preserve and convey the unique character and characters of baseball during the sport’s pioneering heyday
  • Old Judge cards measure 1.5″ by 2.5″

Old Judge’s Two-Subject Cards

  • At least 50 Old Judge cards feature two subjects in the photo
  • On 23 of these cards, Goodwin identifies both subjects by name
  • On 27 cards, Goodwin identifies only one subject by name, but the second subject can be positively identified on at least half of these cards
  • Two two-subject cards can be found in both naming variations
  • While a majority of the subjects on these cards are players, two umpires and two mascots also make appearances
  • While its inclusion in this grouping is up to debate, I prefer to include the Whitney & Dog (499-1) card as a two-subject card

Dog’s Head Cigarettes

  • Goodwin & Co. produced three brands of cigarette: Old Judge, Gypsy Queen & Dog’s Head
  • While picture cards were oftentimes inserted into packs of Old Judge & Gypsy Queen Cigarrettes, cards are not believed to have been included with packs of Dog’s Head Cigarettes
  • Curiously though, while Dog’s Head branding does occasionally appear on an Old Judge cabinet, the method of distribution for Dog’s Head cabinets is unknown
  • No documentation about how one might have acquired a Dog’s Head cabinet has ever been found
  • Here is an example of a rare Dog’s Head cabinet. When compared to a more common Old Judge cabinet, the ease with which Goodwin added Dog’s Head branding becomes apparent
Willie Breslin
Dog’s Head Cabinet

Buck Ewing
Old Judge Cabinet

Ars Longa: Diamond Duos

  • From 2013 to 2014, I used three Old Judge two-subject images for cards that I originally included in the Ars Longa: Beginnings: 1880s series of art cards
  • Due to the cramped nature of these three cards and the desire to use other two-subject images to make new cards, I realized that the images deserved their own subset with expanded dimensions to better accommodate the spatial needs of two subjects on one card
  • Whereas the 1880s: Base Set features dimensions of 1.75″ x 3″, the Diamond Duos measure 2.25″ x 3.25″, increasing the 1880s format by 2 square inches
  • The three original cards are now retired outtakes of the 1880s: Base Set

Before & After:

Nicol & Reilly. Long & Short
Old Judge Cabinet (N173)

Reilly & Nicol. Long & Short
1880s: Diamond Duos

Old Judge Cabinet (N173)

Whitney & Mascotte
1880s: Diamond Duos

Card Reverses:

  • The Dog’s Head design has been used on the backs of all Diamond Duos cards from 2016 to present
  • The Dog’s Head design was inspired by and is an homage to the rare and mysterious Dog’s Head & Old Judge Cigarettes cabinets produced by Goodwin & Co.
  • The copyright & date stamp on the Diamond Duos’ reverse is updated yearly.
Dog’s Head Cigarettes

Diamond Duos
2017 to present

Size, Weight, Design, History & Status:

  • Dimensions: 2.25″ x 3.25″
  • Thickness: 24 pts
  • GSM: 300
  • Current Number in Set: 12 Cards
  • Inspiration, front: Two-subject Old Judge (N172) cards & (N173) cabinets
  • Inspiration, reverse: Dog’s Head cards
  • Designed: December, 2015
  • Introduced: February, 2016
  • Completed: This series is likely still a work in progress
  • Current Status: Active
  • Current Frequency of Release: On average, one of each card per year
  • I once declared the Diamond Duos subset complete at 12 cards. However, I recently found a fantastic Old Judge two-subject image that I have not previously tackled and the prospect of turning this image into a new Diamond Duo may prove too tantalizing for me to resist. I apologize in advance if that is super annoying. I just can’t help myself!