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Lot # 1010 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1950s Baseball Calendar Collection (18)

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $1,160.00

Extraordinary collection of eighteen Brown & Bigelow baseball calendars dating from the 1950s. During the 1950s, noted illustrator William Medcalf produced a series of now classic baseball artworks that were used by the advertising firm of Brown & Bigelow to produce a variety of products. To collectors, perhaps the most famous use of those beautiful illustrations, which capture the spirit of the game by picturing a young ballplayer in the shadow of a Hall of Fame great, are those which appeared on playing-cards, as many complete decks have survived. The primary use of the art, however, was on promotional display calendars from the era. Because of the disposable nature of calendars, these have tended to not survive, and few collectors today even realize how many images were created and used in this manner. During the late 1950s and 1960s, other noted artists such as James Bama and Civil Etti carried on the artistic tradition begun by Medcalf years earlier. Today Medcalf's original works hang in the Hall of Fame and over the years have been seen in person by millions. Offered is a spectacular collection of eighteen baseball calendar displays featuring illustrations by Medcalf and others. Brown & Bigelow custom-made these calendars for businesses to use as promotional giveaways, in the hope that they would be displayed with their advertising all year long. The calendars, which vary in size, include the most familiar images as well as many rarities. The artists and titles included in the collection are as follows: 1) Medcalf (7 total): "Atta Boy!" with Lou Gehrig (3), "C'mon Kid" with Babe Ruth, "Spring Training" with Dizzy Dean (2) and "Keep Going" with John McGraw. 2) Etti (6 total): "Showing Them How" with Mickey Cochrane (2), "Warming Up" with Carl Hubbell, "Coaching The Hitters" with Mel Ott, "Keep Hustling" with Frankie Frisch and "The Winning Run" with Jimmie Foxx. 3) Bama (4 total): "Nice Going, Fella" with Rogers Hornsby, "Babe Ruth, A Double Legend of Fame" with Babe Ruth, "That's The Way" with Bob Feller and "Joe McCarthy and a Host of Memories" with Joe McCarthy. 4) Mayo (1 total): "Star of Tomorrow" with Joe DiMaggio. Sizes range from 9.5 x 15.5 inches to 22 x 46 inches; however, the vast majority (12) measure 16 x 33.5 inches. Twelve of the pieces still display either their complete or partial tear-away calendar along the base. Condition breakdown (without regard to the absence or presence of the tear-away calendar): Ex (5); Vg-Ex (4); Vg (6); Gd-Vg (3). It should be noted that the majority of the condition flaws found on the calendars are relegated to the bottom portions and do not affect the attractive illustrations. Five of the calendars have been framed to slightly larger dimensions. This is by far the largest and finest collection of Brown & Bigelow baseball calendar art we have ever seen or heard of. Many of the designs included we have never before seen. This collection has been assembled over a period of approximately twenty years and we believe it would be virtually impossible to duplicate. The rarity of these calendars has contributed to there being very little in the way of an established and well-defined market for them. Occasionally the most common designs surface and are offered individually, sometimes at very high levels. Someday in the future each one of these may be appropriate for an auction lot. The combination of the fact that their "day in the sun" is still in the future (in large part due to rarity and lack of published information) and that our consignor desires to keep the collection intact dictate that we offer the collection as a single lot, presenting a very interesting and unique collecting opportunity. Total 18 calendars. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+.

Additional images are available at SOLD FOR $1,160.00

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