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Circa 1910 Fan-Taz Baseball Syrup Dispenser
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $3,819
Widely regarded as one of the most attractive baseball figural pieces ever created, this porcelain syrup dispenser, designed in the shape of a baseball, is a classic both in the Americana, advertising, and baseball collecting fields. It is also exceedingly rare. While estimates vary, it is believed that fewer than twenty of these dispensers exist today. To put its rarity in proper perspective, one only has to know that this was one of the few premier baseball-display pieces not represented in the famed Barry Halper Collection. The dispenser features the name "Fan-Taz" (highlighted by illustrations of baseballs interspersed within the letters), painted on the front in red. An illustration of a baseball bat appears directly below. The slogan, "Drink of the 'Fans,'" appears on the bottom panel of the "ball," while the circular base proclaims the fact that Fan-Taz is "A Pennant Winner." Further accentuating the overall design of the piece is the fact that the gold-painted "seams" on the "ball" have been produced in relief. The price of the drink, "5 cents," appears on either side of the piece. Dispensers such as this were common sights in drugstores, general stores, and ice cream parlors during the early 1900s and were used by "soda jerks" to pump out the syrup when filling a soda order. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only baseball-themed dispenser ever produced. The piece does not include the original metal pumping components. The porcelain surface displays a number of cracks (the largest measures approximately eight inches and runs down the back), including some that touch upon the "Fan-Taz" lettering. A few of the cracks, especially those to the rim, have been repaired. Despite the imperfections, the dispenser is completely original and retains all of its visual charm. 12 inches in height, with a base circumference of 21 inches. This is one of the most impressive and substantial generic baseball display pieces in the collecting world. It is also highly prized in the field of antique syrup dispensers, where it always commands premium prices whenever offered at public sale. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $3,819
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