1910 Christy Mathewson Tuxedo Advertising Display

Sold For: $13,200

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1554

Item Year: 1910

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Stunning, full-color advertising display for Tuxedo Tobacco featuring Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson. This piece, which is one of only approximately six examples we have ever seen, is universally regarded by collectors as one of the most visually appealing baseball-related advertising items ever produced. Issued during the peak of his legendary career, the display features a large bust-length image of Mathewson in uniform as he makes his "pitch" for Tuxedo Tobacco: "Tuxedo gets me in a natural pleasant way. It's what I call good honest companionable tobacco, the kind to stick to." The price for a pouch (5¢) and tin (10¢) appears, respectively, on either side of Mathewson's image. It should be noted that the design of this display is identical to that featured on the actual tobacco box, with the exception of the prices for the pouches and tins. It is also similar to the design of the more commonly seen Mathewson Tuxedo trolley-car signs. Mathewson's star appeal, combined with his clean-cut image, made him the darling of Madison Avenue at the time, and among advertising displays featuring him, only the T202 Hassan Triple Folder advertising sign can compare, visually, to the Tuxedo Tobacco sign. This is the preeminent Mathewson display piece in the hobby and one of the premier 1910-era baseball advertising signs featuring any player. The piece (13.5 x 18 inches) has benefitted from significant professional restoration throughout, all of which was extremely well done, and the piece now displays a Near Mint overall appearance (evidence of the restoration can still be seen upon close examination). Matted and framed to total dimensions of 25 x 30 inches. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open).

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