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Rare 1955 Esskay Franks "Knothole Gang" Prize Catalog
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,200
While we humbly acknowledge the rarity of 1955 Esskay Hot Dog cards and, to an even greater degree, complete boxes of Esskay Franks, they are nowhere near as rare as this extraordinary piece: the official 1955 Esskay "Knothole Gang" prize catalog! This is the first example of this catalog we have ever offered and, frankly, we have never even seen nor heard of another. We didn't even know this item existed until it arrived in our offices, sent by an extremely advanced longtime Baltimore area collector who is a true connoisseur of rare collectibles and memorabilia spanning many fields. The illustrated catalog, which unfolds into four separate pages, printed front and back, pictures a complete Esskay Franks box with card (the card on the box is Gil Coan) as well as the many prizes that can be had by club members through the redemption of "Knothole Gang" coupons, which were found on every box of Esskay Franks. The cover features a portrait image of former major League pitcher Bobo Newsome, who advises kids to "Save Esskay 'Knothole Gang' Coupons for Valuable FREE Prizes." On the reverse of the page is an order form and visual instructions on where to find the coupon on each box of "wholesome" Esskay Franks. The regionally issued 1954 Esskay set featured only Baltimore Orioles players. One two-card panel was issued with each pack of Esskay hot dogs. Their method of issue, significance to collectors (they feature the first roster of the new Baltimore franchise), and their legendary rarity have always made Esskays one of the most highly prized regional issues of the era. The two-page "catalog" (5.5 x 8.5 inches folded and 22 x 8.5 inches unfolded) displays a single horizontal and vertical fold, as well as a number of light creases. In Very Good to Excellent condition. Value is always subjective, but in this case we cannot help but note that we do not have any way to provide anything resembling meaningful feedback regarding value on this item. All we can be sure of is we like this item! This is an exceedingly rare (possibly unique?) premium catalog and one that we think would be a highlight of any advanced Esskay Franks card collection. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,200
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