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1912 New York Giants Colgan's Chips Premium
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,880
Presented is the answer to one of the great mysteries of vintage card collecting! Although collectors knew that Colgan's Chips team premiums existed because it was advertised on the backs of both 1912 Colgan's Chips Red Borders and 1912 Colgan's Chips Tin Tops as available by mail only, they have been uncertain as to what exactly the Colgan's Chips team premium was, or what it looked like - now they'll know! We have seen only two other examples over the years, and actually auctioned one in the early 1990s, but otherwise we have not seen this item offered or even properly documented in recent times.
The premium offer on the backs of E270-1 Colgan's Tin Tops and E270-2 Colgan's Red Borders refers to a "photograph of the World's Pennant Winning Team". The 18 x 10-inch photo, printed on heavy paper stock with an embossed border, features the 1912 National League Champion New York Giants in a classic team pose. The premium was sent by mail rolled up in mailing tube to anyone who, as instructed on the backs of the cards, sent in twenty-five tin tops (not the cards, but literally the tops to the tins in which Colgan's were packed) and a two-cent stamp.
Twenty-nine uniformed team members are present, including manager John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Rube Marquard, Wilbert Robinson (coach), Fred Snodgrass, Heinie Groh, Fred Merkle, Art Fletcher, and Hooks Wiltse. Each player is identified in white lettering along the base of the photo. A Pach Bros., N.Y., credit stamp appears in the lower left corner. "The New York Baseball Club - Champions National League, 1912" is lettered below the photo. The printed notation in the lower left corner reads "Compliments of the manufacturer's of Adams' Pepsin Tutti-Frutti Gum." The reason for the different brand name on the premium (Adams' Pepsin Tutti-Frutti Gum as opposed to Colgan's Chips) is business-related. In 1911 the Autosales Gum & Chocolate Co. purchased a large number of candy and gum companies, including Colgan's Gum, with plans to market its products through automated vending machines. The company also marketed the gum specialties of the American Chicle Company, the makers of Adams' Pepsin Tutti-Frutti Gum. In 1912 Autosales decided to discontinue the Colgan's Gum brand name. Therefore, when this premium was distributed to its customers, it chose to promote one of its active gum lines as opposed to Colgan's Chips, which would no longer be available. Because of its extreme rarity, the Colgan's Premium has long been under the radar of most collectors, many of whom are viewing it for the first time in this catalog. This long-hidden gem is an exceptional early baseball premium and display piece with a special significance to advanced E-Card or Colgan's Chips collectors. This example, which has been mounted onto a cardboard back (20.25 x 12.25 inches) for framing (and could presumably be removed by a professional if desired), displays vertical folds, minor creasing, and a few edge tears, all of which have been ameliorated by the mounting process. In Very Good condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,880
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