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Framed Baseball Board Game Display Including 1896 N301 Mayo Cut Plug Advertising Game
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,560
Pair of colorful baseball board games, each dating from approximately 1896, matted and framed together to create an attractive wall display. The first was issued by Mayo in promotion of the company's plug and cut-plug tobacco. The game board (8 x 15.5 inches), which displays printed advertising for the company, features an illustration of a baseball diamond and has been manufactured with precut slots for the insertion of paper die-cut baseball-player figures. The generic player figures could be obtained individually in packages of Mayo's Cut Plug Tobacco (one to a package). This example has thirteen figures very artistically attached to the game board (tabs clipped), including umpires, fielders, and base runners. The game spinner has also been affixed to the board in the area just to the right of home plate.The Mayo’s Game Card diecuts are unique among diecut game cards because they feature advertising on their reverses, and are a catalogued tobacco-card set (classified as N301). While this issue has been somewhat overlooked by most collectors in large part because they do not feature likenesses of actual ballplayers, they are very distinctive and as rare or rarer than many other nineteenth-century card issues. We have offered a few near-complete sets of N301 diecuts over the years, but this is the only example of this tremendously rare board game that we have ever offered (we have only seen one other presented at public auction). This is a tremendous display piece, all the more so with the cards as accents. The second game board was issued as an "Art Supplement" with the May 17, 1896, edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The single cardboard sheet (10 x 15 inches) features an illustrated baseball diamond, ten player figures, and a spinner, all of which were intended to be cut apart. The sheet also includes the printed rules for the game. Ideally, the sheet remains complete as issued and has never been cut apart. An additional (loose) Mayo player figure is included with the piece. This display once resided in the fabled Barry Halper Collection and was featured as Lot #326 in the historic sale of his collection at Sotheby's in 1999 (realizing $4,312). The original lot labels from that auction remain affixed to the glass in the lower left corner. It has been consigned to this auction by the original purchaser. Each of the two games is in apparent Near Mint condition, and they have been beautifully matted and framed together to total dimensions of 25 x 21 inches. SOLD FOR $1,560
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