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Circa 1953 Mickey Mantle Large-Format "Gem Razor Blades" Store Advertising Display
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $5,581
This exceedingly rare cardboard standup store advertising display, measuring 25.75 x 37 inches, features the New York Yankees' own Mickey Mantle in promotion of "Gem Razor Blades." Mantle, who is pictured in extreme close-up, offers firsthand testimony to the product's virtues: "Gem gives me more clean shaves than any other blade - Prove it yourself!" Pictured below Mantle is an illustration of the product and its astonishing low price, "Only 49 Cents." When our consignor first contacted us with images of this display we were stunned. We have never seen or heard of this piece before! In the short time that it has been in our office, a number of visitors, including several well versed in Mantle advertising displays, have also volunteered that they are unfamiliar with it as well. While no year is listed, Mantle's extremely youthful visage clearly dates it to the 1950s. In the lower right corner the lithographer's stamp reads "Litho in U.S.A. - 53." It is possible that the "53" refers to 1953, which would be consistent with its design features. The piece, which was originally issued with an easel back, is missing all of its rear "standup" components and displays a number of condition flaws. The centerfold is completely torn along the fold line and has been repaired with tape on the reverse. A large crease runs from the lower left border to the centerfold. A small number of what appear to be nail holes are evident along the top and bottom border, as well as one that affects the lower portion of Mantle's image. Additionally, a number of light stains are visible throughout. While technically in Fair to Good condition, the colors remain strong and vibrant and the piece still retains much of its attractive display value. This piece is an ideal candidate for professional restoration, but it presents exceptionally well just as it is and its rarity alone should make it a worthy addition to even the most advanced Mantle or baseball-related advertising collection. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,581
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