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Early 1920s Tris Speaker H&B Die-Cut Advertising Display
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $7,200
Presented is one of the most stunning 1920s counter display store advertising pieces we have ever encountered. Even more remarkable, this is a newly discovered piece! Extraordinary circa 1922 Hillerich & Bradsby die-cut counter display featuring Tris Speaker in promotion of the company's line of "Louisville Slugger" bats. It is almost inconceivable that such an incredible advertising display could surface for the first time ever at such a late date, but occasionally collecting miracles do happen, and this is a prime example. The sign features a full-length illustration of the legendary "Grey Eagle" in a batting pose, as well as a detailed image of a Tris Speaker store-model bat. The text reads "Tris Speaker 'Slugging Manager' of the Cleveland Indians Makes his Hits and Records with the . . ." below which is an illustration of the center brand of a Tris Speaker "No. 40 TS" model bat. Additional advertising text in the lower left corner lets patrons know that "The same model Speaker uses is SOLD HERE." Speaker was player/manager of the Cleveland Indians between the years 1919 and 1926, thereby dating the piece to the early 1920s. Early H&B player-endorsed advertising pieces such as this, especially those featuring a player of Speaker's stature, are virtually nonexistent. We have never seen or heard of another example of this sign, nor have we seen a similar example featuring a different player. Visually, this is one of the finest point-of-sale baseball advertising pieces of its kind, and one that is all the more distinguished by it remarkable state of preservation. The cardboard sign (9 x 12 inches) is complete with its original easel back, which allows it to stand freely, and all of the colors remain as bold and bright as when produced by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company in the 1920s. Close inspection reveals a crease to the fragile barrel head of the bat and a number of very light horizontal surface creases running through Speaker's image. However, those minor flaws are quite unobtrusive and do not detract in the least from its outstanding Excellent to Mint overall appearance. This is an extremely spectacular display piece in all respects and very likely the only surviving example. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $7,200
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