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1955 Bowman Salesman Sample Three-Card Advertising Panel Featuring Willie Mays
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,440
Presented is an incredible three-card salesman-sample advertising panel from the 1955 Bowman set highlighted by New York Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays. This is one of three rare salesman-sample panels from this set offered individually in this auction; the other two also feature top-level Hall of Famers in Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle. (A collection of ten panels from this set is also available in this sale.)
Salesman-sample panels were issued for use exactly as their name suggests: Salesmen were provided these panels in very limited numbers to show and distribute (in person or by mail) as samples to prospective vendors to illustrate what the upcoming series would look like in the hope of promoting sales. The front of the panels appears just like regular-issue cards while the reverse features a short advertising pitch about the new product. The reverse of the offered panel boasts "the greatest line-up of major league baseball stars ever presented in full color pictures" and advises retailers to prepare for "big demand" by encouraging them to stock a dozen boxes or more of the new product. Complete salesman sample panels have always been extremely desirable and quite rare as they were obviously produced in very modest quantities due to their intended purpose of advertising only to vendors. The offered panel is extremely bright and clean, presenting as Ex-Mt to Nr/Mt overall (centered slightly to the bottom). Free of any creases or wrinkles, and boasting brilliant colors and crisp images. The reverse is entirely clean. This is an extremely noteworthy Bowman advertising panel that is likely missing from even the most advanced Willie Mays collection and of course would be at home in any salesman-sample panel collection or would serve as an ideal companion piece to any 1955 Bowman collection. Encapsulated "Authentic" by PSA. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,440
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