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Extraordinary Late 1930s Lou Gehrig Huskies Cereal Die-Cut Advertising Display
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $5,100
Exceedingly rare large-format die-cut store advertising display, with easel back, featuring Lou Gehrig in promotion of Huskies cereal. This is undoubtedly the finest and most impressive Lou Gehrig advertising display ever produced and one of only three examples we have ever seen. The display features a large portrait image of Gehrig in uniform, wearing his Yankees cap, to the base of which is attacheda box of Huskies Whole Wheat Flakes. The text along the top of the display reads "Lou Gehrig The Iron Man of Baseball." It should be noted that this display is missing a third attachment, featuring a picture of a young ballplayer with additional advertising text, which was situated in the lower right corner of the display, next to the box. (The box features two precut slots on the side for the attachment of the missing piece.) However, the loss of that piece is minimal in terms of aesthetics, and it might be argued by some that the piece actually looks better without it, as the image of the young player obscured a large portion of Gehrig's portrait, including his neck and ear. It should also be noted that of the three examples we have seen, only one was complete as issued (the complete example once resided in the famed Barry Halper Collection and later sold at auction for $14,950 in 1999).
It is interesting to note that Gehrig had been one of the first athletes recruited by General Mills to promote its Wheaties cereal, famously known as the "Breakfast of Champions." (Gehrig was the first athlete to appear on a Wheaties box in 1934.) Shortly afterwards either because of taste or more money (we're guessing the latter), Gehrig switched his breakfast cereals allegiance and became the new spokesperson for Huskies. Gehrig appeared in numerous print advertisements for the breakfast cereal, where he is often identified as president of the Huskies Club (members of the club enjoyed free gifts). The offered retail display was the granddaddy of all Lou Gehrig Huskie promotional pieces and it remains one of the most striking baseball advertising pieces from the era. This is a most extraordinary museum-caliber advertising display.
The cardboard display, which measures 17 x 29.5 inches, has benefitted from professional restoration. A new cardboard backing has been applied to both the reverse and easel stand, which has ameliorated many of the minor creases. Additionally, two fold-out slots, one rectangular (located in Gehrig's ear) and the other vertical (located along the right base), which originally accommodated the missing piece, have been repaired (outline of each still visible). The brim of Gehrig's cap displays a large vertical crease that may possible represent a repaired tear. The cereal box displays light wear, including a small abrasion along the left-front edge. Excellent in its overall appearance and perfect for display, as intended. This is a remarkable Lou Gehrig advertising display piece, distinguished not only by its size and tremendous visual impact, but by its extreme rarity as well. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,100
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