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1912 New York Giants Colgan's Chips Premium + 1912 Pittsburgh (vs Giants) Program
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,185
Presented is the answer to one of the great mysteries of vintage-card collecting! Although collectors have always known that the Colgan's Chips Giants team premium 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, until recent years most collectors were uncertain as to what exactly the Colgan's Chips team premium was, or what it looked like. We have seen only three other examples over the years, two of which we sold at auction. The first was sold in the 1990s, while the other appeared as Lot 376 in our May 2009 auction, where it realized a final sale price of $1,880.
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 a 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 offered example has been trimmed to its current dimensions of 15.75 x 7.25 inches. It was originally issued with a white border, along the base of which was lettered, "The New York Baseball Club - Champions National League, 1912." Luckily, that lettered portion from the border has been saved and now appears affixed to the front of a vintage cardboard matting housing the photo. There was also additional lettering in the bottom left border of the photo, that was apparently not saved, which read "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. Without reference to the trimmed white border, the photo boasts an overall Excellent to Mint appearance and displays at a much higher level than the few other examples we have seen. The vintage matting (19 x 10.5 inches) displays a few minor stains along the edges. Framed to total dimensions of 21 x 12 inches.
When this item was sent to us for auction, the consignor understandably had no idea this was a Colgan's Chips premium. To him, it had always been just a great-looking 1912 Giants team photo, and he sent it to us with a 1912 Pittsburgh (vs. Giants) program as a pair of 1912 Giants-related items to be offered together.
The accompanying program is a1912 Pittsburgh Pirates program issued for a game against the New York Giants. The sixteen-page program features a portrait image of Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss on the cover and ten additional interior portrait images of Pirates players, including Honus Wagner (his T206 pose). The preprinted lineups include Wagner, Carey, Byrne, and Mensor for Pittsburgh, and Snodgrass, Doyle, Merkle, and Meyers for New York. The names of the pitchers, Howie Camitz for Pittsburgh and Christy Mathewson for New York, are noted in pencil in each respective pitcher's box. Neatly scored in pencil to record a 3-2 Pirates victory. The only two games in which the Pirates recorded 3-2 home wins over the Giants in 1912 occurred on the successive days August 23rd and August 24th. The program (7.5 x 9.5 inches) displays a vertical fold and minor creases. In Very Good condition overall. Total: 2 items (1912 Giants premium photo and 1912 Pirates program). Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,185
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