Extremely Rare 1950s New York Yankees "Three-Dimensional" Pennant

Sold For: $2,700

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1542

Item Year: 1955

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Exceedingly rare New York Yankees "three-dimensional" pennant dating from the 1950s. This is the first example of this extraordinary pennant we have ever offered, and we can only recall having seen just one other at auction in the past twenty years. The unique design features a colorful illustration of Uncle Sam at bat with the words "New York Yankees printed to the right. The "three-dimensional" aspect of the pennant is in the use of a real, wooden bat (sliced in half and mounted by means of staples and a slit in the fabric), a separately applied red-white-and-blue top hat that extends over the top border, and applied white cotton strands for the whiskers hanging from Uncle Sam's chin. A "Collegiate Manufacturing Co." (of Ames, Iowa) label appears on the reverse. It should be noted that during the 1950s the Brooklyn Dodgers also produced a similarly designed, and equally rare, "three-dimensional" pennant featuring the beloved "Brooklyn Bum." (As a point of reference, an example of that Brooklyn "three-dimensional" pennant appeared as Lot 1222 in REA's Fall 2013 auction, where it realized $3,851.) Another unique feature of this pennant is that the illustration and all of the lettering are done in colored felt, as opposed to standard paint. Given the cost of its manufacture, this was probably a very expensive pennant at the time, and one that only the wealthiest fans could afford. That fact, plus its fragile nature, probably explains why so few are known today. In addition to its rarity, the offered pennant, which is complete with tassels, is almost certainly the finest example of its kind. Except for a tiny chip to the white fabric along the left border, the pennant remains in spectacular Near Mint to Mint condition. This is a most extraordinary example of one of the "holy grails" of both pennant and New York Yankees collecting. 28.5 inches in length. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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