T118 Hassan World’s Greatest Explorers — Duke of Arbuzzi

T118 ExplorersWinter has finally arrived in Boston; after months of mild weather there’s now snow on the ground and single digit temperatures. (And hockey! But more on that in a couple days.) So I thought I’d do a winter related post on a card from a T118 Hassan set: World’s Greatest Explorers.

I initially learned about this set from this article about Jefferson Burdick (which I seemingly can’t find and link to now) and how it was common for collectors to stamp their names on the back of their cards. The article had an image of a card from this set–James B. Lockwood–and Burdick’s stamp on the back. I’d love to get a card from a show or in the mail and turn it over to find it was once owned by the greatest collector of them all. Anyway. I decided to try and track down a few of these since they’re relatively inexpensive and focus on an interesting subject. First up: Duke of Arbuzzi.

The Duke, aka Prince Luigi Amedeo, is famous for exploring and mountaineering, particularly K2, the world’s second tallest mountain. In fact, one of the common routes to the summit is one he carved out and a part of the mountain, the Arbuzzi Spur, is named after him. I had planned on writing more about him but it seemed for more interesting reading about his life than typing about it here.

What I really like about this card is the background. The icebergs and starry night sky are beautiful and really round out the palette of the card. A few others from this set are painted to be at dusk, however, I believe this is the only to be at night. The whole image reminds me of the graphic novel George Sprott (1894-1975) by Seth. It tells the story of  the title character, an amateur Arctic explorer turned Canadian news personality. Seth is a professional nostalgic, so he’d definitely appreciate this set.

Being the first post of the year, I feel obligated to note a couple resolutions.

1. Make more trades. I think I made three last year and I have a giant box of doubles in my drawer.

2. Be a little more adventurous and get out of hockey and baseball more. Especially OPC/Topps.

This post was a good start to the second resolution!

T118 Explorers back

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