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Lot # 983 (of 1336)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1909 Detroit Tigers Match Safe with Portraits of Cobb, Crawford, Jennings, etc.

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,040

Gorgeous ultra high-grade example of one of the great celluloid baseball pieces of the early 1900s. This outstanding example is easily among the finest of this classic we have ever seen or offered. Match safes such as this example that were produced to be given away as advertising vehicles were very popular in "the old days" to store and protect matches, and are naturally very popular with collectors today. Few celluloid match safes have baseball-related designs. They are rare and extremely desirable in any condition but usually have staining and foxing. It is extremely rare to find one this nice!

This celluloid advertising match safe features portraits of the Detroit Tigers and celebrates the Tigers' consecutive American League Championships of 1907 and 1908. It is one of the very few celluloid match safes featuring Major League baseball players. Measuring 2.75 x 1.5 inches, the celluloid covering features oval portraits of twenty-four members of the Detroit Tigers on one side and advertising for Mundus Beer of Detroit, Michigan, on the reverse. The storage compartment opens from the top (which is actually the right side when viewing the player portraits). Each team member is identified in print below his image, including Ty Cobb, manager Hughie Jennings, owner Frank Navin, Sam Crawford, Germany Schaefer, and George Mullin. Two illustrated banners, reading "Champions of the American League 1907" and "Champions of the American League 1908," respectively, complete the elaborate design. The match safe displays beautifully with absolutely no age toning or foxing, and only light wear to the bottom metal end. One of the most unusual celluloid pieces of the era, this is a very attractive and rare souvenir commemorating the Tigers' 1907-1909 dynasty, and one that would be a prize in many different types of collections. Striking Near Mint to Mint condition.  Reserve $500. Estimate $1,500+. SOLD FOR $2,040


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