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Circa 1905 Honus Wagner Advanced Brand Envelope
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $588
Few turn-of-the-century baseball items are as enigmatic as this rare piece: an Advance Brand Base Ball Envelope featuring a woodcut illustration of Honus Wagner on the front. The famed “Flying Dutchman” is pictured in uniform holding a bat and is identified in print below his image. The top of the envelope bears the preprinted lettering “Advance Brand Base Ball Envelopes – Open and examine before purchasing – One Cent.” While it is unclear whether the envelope itself was the item being sold, or if a product was contained within, we do know that this was one in a series. Many years ago Robert Edward Auctions offered a near-identical Advance Brand Base Ball Envelope, with the only difference being the player depicted on the front: Christy Mathewson. Obviously, the company chose wisely when deciding which players to picture on its envelopes, for Mathewson and Wagner were two of the greatest players of their era. While it is possible that other players were featured in the set, to date, the Mathewson and Wagner envelopes are the only examples we have seen. The envelope (3.5 x 6 inches) displays a few scattered light stains along both the front and reverse and there is a 1.75-inch tear along the top right seam. In Very Good condition overall. This is an extremely rare and interesting Wagner piece dating from the height of his illustrious career. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $588
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