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1952 Roy Campanella Coca-Cola Cardboard Store Advertising Display
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,422
Coca-Cola cardboard advertising sign featuring Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella. Campanella is pictured in his Brooklyn Dodgers home uniform as he holds a bottle of Coca-Cola in his hand. The "Drink Coca-Cola" logo next to Campanella's image has been embellished with an illustration of assorted baseball equipment. The lettering above the logo reads "Roy Campanella/Catcher, Brooklyn Dodgers/Most Valuable Player, National League, 1951." A 1952 copyright notice appears in the lower left corner. Campanella (along with Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Monte Irvin, and Billy Bruton) was one of the first African American ballplayers to be recruited by Coca-Cola for one of its advertising campaigns, and his appearance on this sign is a clear indication of the enormous social change that was slowly taking place in America at the time with regard to segregation and race, and marketing to the black community. Although we believe this sign was produced to be displayed exclusively in black communities (perhaps playing a role in its extreme rarity today), it is possible that it saw wider circulation in the New York market as well. The sign (12 x 17.5 inches), which was designed for store display, exhibits moderate handling wear commensurate with its age and former use, including a large diagonal crease in the upper right, minor creases, light surface abrasions, and edge wear. There are also two large creases in one of the bottom tabs. Despite a technical grade of Very Good, none of the flaws significantly detract from its outstanding overall Excellent appearance. While we have seen one or two other Roy Campanella Coca-Cola signs over the past 40+ years (including one in the legendary Halper Collection, which sold as Lot 2275 for $2,300 at the 1999 Sotheby's Halper auction), this is the first example we have ever offered. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 19.25 x 25.25 inches. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $1,422
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