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Lot # 1103 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1887-1889 Baseball Advertising Currency Collection (6 of 8 known)

Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $5,288

Presented is an extraordinary collection of one of nineteenth-century baseball collecting's most fascinating advertising issues. During the late 1880s "baseball currencies" were produced as a novel form of advertising for local merchants. These currencies, printed on thin paper stock, were issued for several teams by various merchants over a period of several years. The design of each currency was similar in that it featured the respective year along with woodcut portraits of the respective team manager or president on the front, and smaller portrait images of the respective players on the reverse. Each currency (approximately 7.75 x 3.25 inches) would then be overprinted (usually front and back) with advertising for a local merchant. They are known as currencies today due to the fact that they resemble paper money and the advertisements often offer consumers a discount on purchases made at the respective retail shop. Currencies were distributed in 1887 and 1888 featuring Chicago and Detroit clubs of the National League, and the St. Louis Browns of the American Association. Currency featuring the Chicago club was also produced in 1889, and in 1893 an example was produced featuring an all-star selection of players from various teams. Offered here are six of the eight known baseball currencies produced between the years 1887 and 1893, including the extremely rare 1887 St. Louis, with only the unique 1888 St. Louis currency (only example known, offered as a separate lot in this auction) and the extremely rare 1893 All-Star currency missing for completion. 1) 1887 Chicago. A. G. Spalding pictured on the front and twelve team members on the reverse including Clarkson, Anson, and Sunday. Advertising on front and back for "Geo. A. Johnston - The Cadiz Jeweler" (merchant's city and state unknown). Ex, with a very light vertical fold. 2) 1887 Detroit. Bill Watkins pictured on the front and twelve team members on the reverse including Hanlon, Brouthers, White, and Thompson. Advertising on the front and back for "J. Pfistner - The Leading Shoe Dealer" (Troy, New York). Vg-Ex, with a light vertical fold, tiny stain, and small corner crease. 3) 1887 St. Louis. Chris Van der Ahe pictured on the front and twelve team members on the reverse including Comiskey, Foutz, O'Neill, Welch, and Caruthers. Advertising on the front and back for "C. & W. McClean" (sporting goods, St. Louis, Missouri). Vg, with a vertical fold and numerous edge tears. 4) 1888 Chicago. A. G. Spalding pictured on the front and twelve team members on the reverse including Clarkson, Anson, and Sunday. Advertising on front and back for "Lindenbaum's Grand Central Boot and Shoe House" (San Francisco, California). Ex. 5) 1888 Detroit. Bill Watkins pictured on the front and twelve team members on the reverse including Hanlon, Brouthers, White, and Thompson. Advertising on the front for "O'Brien & Molloy - The Clothiers" (Troy, New York). Slightly miscut with a few tiny edge tears. Vg-Ex. 6) 1889 Chicago. A. G. Spalding pictured on the front and twelve team members on the reverse including Anson, Van Haltren, and Pfeffer. Advertising on front and back for "Koch & Shankweiler - Largest and Leading Clothing House" (Allentown, Pennsylvania). Slightly miscut with moderate vertical fold and a few tiny edge tears. This is the finest collection of nineteenth-century baseball advertising currencies we have ever offered. Total 6 currencies. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+. SOLD FOR $5,288


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