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1953 Satchel Paige Coca-Cola Advertising Sign - Extremely Significant Advertising Rarity
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $8,295.00
Exceedingly rare Coca-Cola advertising sign featuring Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige. This is one of only two examples we have seen of this very well made and highly prized Coca-Cola store advertising sign and the first we have ever offered. The irrepressible Paige is pictured in his St. Louis Browns uniform as he holds a bottle of Coca-Cola in his hand. A Coca-Cola banner is pictured along the top border while an illustrated baseball to the left features the text "Satchel Paige Famous Major League Pitcher." A 1953 copyright notice appears in the lower left corner. This is one of the premier 1950s baseball advertising pieces and one that has equal appeal to collectors of both Negro League and Coca-Cola memorabilia. 1953 marked Paige's final season in Major League baseball (not counting his one-time three-inning stint with the A's in 1965) and the fact that Coca-Cola chose to use him in an advertisement at the time was a clear indication of the enormous social change that was slowly taking place in America with regard to segregation and race, and marketing to the black community. Paige was one of the first African American celebrities to appear in a Coca-Cola advertisement (it wasn't until two years later, in 1955, that an African American woman was finally chosen to model for the company). Though we believe this sign was produced to be displayed exclusively in black communities (possibly playing a role in its extreme rarity today), it is also the case that Paige had a universal appeal that crossed all racial divides. Like Dizzy Dean, Paige was more than just a ballplayer: he was a folk hero who was always worth the price of admission on the field, and equally reliable for sharing amusing quotes and stories off the field. That winning combination made him a universal fan favorite and a natural choice for Coca-Cola. The sign (11.75 x 14.75 inches) displays scattered light staining, two tack holes in the top border, a minor abrasion in the upper right corner, and a vertical crease extending downward from the top border into the Coca-Cola banner. Despite a technical grade of Very Good, none of the flaws significantly detract from its overall Excellent appearance. This advertising sign is seldom seen at public auction. In fact, we have only seen it offered twice in the last twelve years, and in both instances it was the VERY sign offered here. Our consignor purchased this piece in 2006 and it has remained in his collection since that time. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 17.25 x 20.25 inches. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,295.00
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