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1948 Chesterfield Advertising Display
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,600
This stunning full-color advertising store display (21 x 22 inches) for Chesterfield Cigarettes features beautiful portrait illustrations of the game's top stars surrounding a large pack of Chesterfields, "The Baseball Man's Cigarette." Chesterfield certainly spared no expense in the promotion of its product during 1948, recruiting the cream of the crop in baseball talent to "pitch" its cigarettes. Joe DiMaggio and Bob Elliot (as noted in the ad) were the reigning MVPs of their respective leagues; Ted Williams was the current American League batting champion; Ewell Blackwell was the 1947 National League leader in wins; Bucky Harris had just led the Yankees to yet another World's Championship; and Stan Musial, well, he was simply "The Man." This piece is widely recognized by collectors as one of the key museum-quality advertising displays of the postwar era, and one of the most visually attractive baseball advertising displays of any era. The vibrant colors and appealing design are accentuated by the use of the most recognizable players in the game at the time. Joe Camel notwithstanding, this must have been one of the most successful advertising campaigns in the history of the tobacco industry. What person could resist smoking the same brand of cigarette as "Joe D" or "Teddy Ballgame"? It would have been almost un-American to do otherwise. It is fascinating to note, however, that upon close examination it's obvious that the players are not actually smoking. Chesterfield has simply cropped a cigarette into the mouths of Musial, DiMaggio, Elliot, and Harris. Luckily, even though the product they're promoting has largely fallen out of favor and is now considered socially unacceptable in many circles, we can readily assure you that there will be no detriment to your health in owning this, one of the most spectacular baseball advertising displays ever produced. Although the design of this advertisement was featured heavily in the company's print campaign and appeared in countless magazines, the actual cardboard store display (which is offered here) is extremely rare. The sign displays a moderate-to-heavy vertical crease running from border to border that bisects the images of Elliot and Harris. A number of other moderate creases are evident throughout, as are two tears along the right border and a tiny chip to the top border. Light staining affects both the lower left and upper right corners. The reverse displays minor surface paper loss and a few areas of paper residue. Fortunately, nearly all of the flaws are easily addressed by professional restoration. Although technically in Good condition overall, the piece presents at a higher level, with all of the colors remaining bold and vibrant. This is an appealing mid-grade example of one of the most desirable and classic promotional displays from the golden age of baseball advertising. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $3,600
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