Or your den, living room, or memorabilia room, with the fantastic array of memorabilia we’re offering in this weekend’s auction.
Our favorite is not even sports-related. It’s an advertising poster from the Duke’s Cigarettes 1889 N70 Actors & Actresses “in the costumes of all nations” set. The set was extremely popular, and while the cards and picture albums are relatively plentiful (and widely collected) today, the advertising banner is extraordinarily rare, with just a few existing copies known. The banner was considered by Burdick to be important and rare enough to have its own ACC designation (G40), and remains highly sought-after today.
The colorful banner measures approximately 14″ x 28 1/2″ and features images of each of the cards in the set, surrounding a color image of one of the era’s leading actresses, Lillian Langtry. Exquisitely printed with rich colors and gold inks, the banner is framed on a green background with an ornate gold frame to 18″ x 33″.
While displaying incredibly, the piece is in fair condition with various elements of wear throughout. Still, it looks fantastic, with few of the flaws visible at a distance, and none detracting from the immense eye appeal of this amazing piece. In this case, the metal top and bottom reinforcements are completely intact, as is the loop at the top meant for hanging. This is an extraordinary piece with exceptional eye appeal, one of few examples known to exist, a document of an important and popular 19th Century non-sports set.
Of course we’ve got sports too, highlighted by this framed, typed and handwritten letter from Ty Cobb. The letter, written in late June of 1957 (partially typewritten with an extensive handwritten postscript in Cobb’s customary green ink), seeks helps for tax purposes. The letter, written to sportscaster Joe Clement of KLIX in Twin Falls, Idaho, asks Clement to help Cobb prove to California state tax collectors that he was actually a Nevada resident and should not owe taxes in California. The entire piece, framed alongside a color copy (so that both front and back can be read) and two pictures of Cobb, measures approximately 24″ x 31″, and makes for an exquisite display, particularly in an an attorney or accountant’s office (or a member of the IRS).
Few framed pieces that we’ve seen have been more interesting or attractive than this cloth tapestry, depicting a batter and catcher, awaiting a pitch. Expertly framed (in a modern but very attractive ornate wood frame) to approximately 25″ x 29″, the piece is a sort of textile that features a repeating pattern of the two ballplayers and a floral arrangement.
Whether the piece was intended to be some sort of wallhanging, a curtain, a bed sheet, or something else is of little concern to us – the craftsmanship is wonderful and in its frame makes for a beautiful display. A wonderful example of expert 19th Century craftsmanship coupled with the explosive growth of baseball as our national pastime at the dawn of a new century.
Equally interesting are the pieces of folk art that serve as examples of how baseball seeped into all aspects of people’s lives during the ascent of the game’s popularity in the early 1900s. Framed to approximately 23″ x 22″ (in a modern frame), this folk art bear “Cub,” wearing a cap and holding a bat, was likely intended to be a decorative pillowcase or pillow topper for a young baseball fan. In apparent VG/EX condition (we cannot view the reverse of the piece due to the frame), the stitching is still in decent shape, and the cloth itself, while stained in places, is attractive and the embroidery intact.
Of course if you’re interested in more modern memorabilia, we’ve got plenty of that as well. This attractive, limited edition giclee on canvas by contemporary artist Karen O’Neil Gancie (KONG) was derived from her original oil painting in 2001. Somewhat of a Renaissance woman, Ganci was a contestant on the 2004 reality television series Big Brother 5, has received a music production deal, has been a spokesmodel for Hush Fragrances, and, of course, is a well-known sports and entertainment artist. Her work has been commissioned for Michael Irvin, Roger Clemens, David Wells, and the cast of The Sopranos.
The painting itself, depicting Yankee captain Derek Jeter, is surrounded by images of New York, with two images of Jeter. The giclee features the Steiner and MLB Authentic holograms, indicating the authenticity of the Jeter signature, which is clearly visible against the white of Jeter’s uniform.
Elegantly framed on a black background, the famous Chicago Bulls #23 jersey has been emblazoned with the most highly sought-after signature of any modern player: that of Michael Jordan. Jordan’s exploits with the Bulls are legendary; he’s often called the greatest basketball player of all time and at least belongs in the discussion among those fans that won’t give him the title outright.
The jersey is in incredible condition, signed and framed shortly thereafter, with no signs of use whatsoever, The paper on the reverse of the frame has been peeled away in one corner – by us – so that we could remove the 1986 Fleer rookie card that was once part of this display. The card had fallen from its spot in the upper left side of the frame, and we felt it best to remove it altogether and offer it as a separate item (you can find it in the Featured Items section of this auction).
We’re also offering this gorgeous light blue UNC jersey, emblazoned with Jordan’s name and number, framed on a black background in an oversized frame to approximately 33″ x 39″, with Jordan’s signature in the white #2.
Jordan memorabilia remains extraordinarily valuable and highly sought after by collectors. Jordan’s signature is also one of the most frequently forged in the hobby, even today being considered one of the “most dangerous autographs” by PSA. With authentication from Upper Deck Authentic, this jersey, in excellent condition, could benefit by being re-framed (this frame has significant chipping around the frame itself), but remains an outstanding display piece.
Another lovely display, featuring 22 Negro League superstars, this artist proof from famed sports artist Ron Lewis was conceived as a tribute to superstar Leon Day. The 24″ x 30″ lithograph features the images of 20 Negro League greats underneath the angelic images of Day and Satchell Paige, old rivals meeting each other once more. The print, beautifully matted and framed to a size of approximately 31 1/2 x 39″, has been signed and numbered by the artist (6/150), and additionally signed in blue ink by each of the 20 living Negro League stars depicted in the painting, which includes such names as Buck Leonard, Monte Irvin, Armando Vasquez, Buck O’Neil, Wilmer Harris, Joe Black and more.
Few baseball names are more recognizable than that of Yogi Berra, and this oversized (33 1/2 x 42″) giclee on canvas of the Yankee great, posed with the “tools of ignorance” has been signed in silver by Yogi. An outstanding piece, marking the greatness of one of baseball’s elder statesmen and most popular figures.