Extremely Rare 1909 Frank Chance Pocket Mirror

Sold For: $4,994

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1325

Item Year: 1909

Category: Pins

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Presented and documented for the very first time ever is one of the most extraordinary baseball celluloids that we have ever seen. It may well be the only example in the world. We have specialized in rare baseball celluloids of all types for forty years and have never seen or heard of another example. This 1909 Frank Chance advertising pocket mirror, issued by Holik, Filip & Co., a local Chicago tailoring firm, is an incredible and exciting find! The circular mirror, which was issued as a promotional piece, features a color-tinted portrait image of Cubs manager Frank Chance in the center, surrounded by the 1909 home schedules for both the Cubs and the White Sox. Aesthetically, this is one of the most elaborate and beautifully designed baseball celluloid pieces ever issued. The outer rim, which is tinted green, is lettered "Cubs Home Games 1909 - Sox Home Games 1909." The names of each team's league opponents and the dates of the games are printed, in circular fashion, around the center display area, with an illustrated baseball bat used as the divider for each. Displayed below the printed home dates for each opponent are colorful illustrated baseball images, each different in its design, including crossed baseball bats, a glove, a catcher's mask, a base, etc. The merchant's name and address are prominently printed, in large letters, around Chance's portrait image in the center. There is no way to know how many of these mirrors where distributed at the time, but it was likely very few, based both on its extreme rarity (this only example known was just discovered a few years ago) and the fact that it was made to advertise a single commercial location. Advertising mirrors promoting products and commercial establishments of all types were very popular in this era, but very few featured baseball themes, and fewer still featured specific players. Frank Chance, manager of the World Champion 1908 Chicago Cubs, was the toast of the town in 1909, and it is fitting that he was chosen to be so honored on this advertising vehicle. The fact that the mirror doubles as a schedule for the Chicago Cubs and White Sox games is a design element intended to give it an additional utility, and encourage recipients to carry it around for reference all season long. The front of the celluloid is in spectacular Excellent to Mint condition, with just a few light scratches of no consequence (the largest of which runs through the word "Chicago" under Chance's image; however, they can only be seen when viewed at certain angles and the piece displays as Near Mint). The reverse mirror is cracked and there is light oxidation to the exposed metal rim, but those flaws, which are common for pocket mirrors of this age, have no impact with reference to its extraordinary visual appeal and display value. We have known of this mirror and its whereabouts for a couple of years. When the scan of this mirror first arrived, we were floored. Our great interest in celluloids makes us particularly delighted that the consignor has chosen Robert Edward Auctions to both offer and fully document this important piece for the very first time. As one can clearly see from the catalog image, it is one of the most extraordinary celluloid pieces to ever surface. This is not only a paragon in the world of baseball celluloids, but one that will now rightly take its place among the finest baseball advertising collectibles known dating from the 1900-1910 time period. Diameter: 2.25 inches. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,994

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