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1916 BF2 Ferguson Bakery Handmade Folk-Art Wall Display - 205 Pennants Including Large-Format Alexander!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $6,000
Presented is a most exceptional and extremely fascinating display comprised of 205 BF2 Ferguson Bakery pennants, highlighted by a large-photo pennant of Grover Alexander, with an additional fifty-eight small pennants of Hall of Famers Sam Crawford, Walter Johnson, Nap Lajoie, and Connie Mack. The 1916 BF2 Ferguson Bakery pennants are among the most unusual, interesting, and displayable issues of the era. The small pennants (each 5.5 inches tall) were issued as a premiums with Ferguson Bakery products and are designed with a photograph of a given star affixed to a felt pennant with the player's name and team identified below. The BF2 set uses the same player images as the M101-4/5 Sporting News sets. Far less well known is a related series of gigantic BF2 pennants, which are designed exactly in the same manner as the small BF2s, but are an incredible twenty-three inches in height. These large pennants were available as special premiums, with one pennant available in exchange for fifty coupons from five-cent loaves of bread. These large-photo pennants are extremely rare, with only eight different players checklisted to date. (Alexander is only the second large pennant, of any player, we have ever offered.)
The display measures an impressive 63 x 32 inches, with all the small pennants carefully sewn into place side by side in six rows and the large-photo pennant of Alexander prominently positioned in the center. There is tremendous duplication on this piece as only nineteen different players are featured on the small pennants, highlighted by twenty-two Connie Mack (four yellow and eighteen purple), seventeen Nap Lajoie (yellow), fourteen Sam Crawford (yellow), eleven Chic Gandil (purple, "Black Sox"), and five Walter Johnson (yellow). Condition of the pennants in the display varies throughout, with scattered technical flaws, including cracking to the fragile photos and eight photos missing entirely (including two Macks), present and noted for the sake of accuracy. The large-photo Alexander is creased in the image area. Despite these flaws, the piece presents with an overall Excellent appearance, and its careful and deliberate craftsmanship is evident.
This tremendous display has been saved in the family of our consignor for nearly 100 years since the time it was assembled by his grandmother shortly after the year of issue. How exactly she came to acquire so many of these pennants, which were giveaways with bread manufactured in New England, is unknown (the family lived in Arkansas during this time). This is the only such display we have ever seen, and it is also the largest collection of BF2 pennants we can ever recall being offered at one time. BF2s have always been recognized both for their scarcity and for the exceptional value they represent compared to many other 1910-era baseball tobacco issues. Because of the unique nature of this display, it is impossible to know how to assign a value to such a piece. A Washington State Tri-City Herald antique appraisal column that was first contacted by the family attempted to assess the piece, and they did a tremendous job of recognizing its great collecting value, and also naturally wrestled with appraising its precise market value. Here is a link:
Advanced collectors who have seen this piece have estimated it is worth into the thousands of dollars, perhaps even more than $10,000. But as there is no consensus on the value of this unique display (all agree it is just that kind of item!), we are starting the bidding at a nominal level, confident that the auction process will provide clarity. This is a beautifully sewn folk-art display piece utilizing the colorful and scarce BF2s, dating from the time of issue. Total: 205 pennants sewn together into a single display. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).
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