1955 Bowman Salesman Sample Three-Card Advertising Panel Collection (4) - Reese, Kell, and Lemon

Sold For: $1,080

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1167

Item Year: 1955

Category: Postwar Baseball Cards (1948-present)

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Presented is a very attractive collection of three-card salesman-sample advertising panels from the 1955 Bowman set, three of which are highlighted by a Hall of Famer: Pee Wee Reese, George Kell, and Bob Lemon. Salesman-sample panels were issued for use exactly as their name suggests: Salesmen were provided these panels in very limited numbers to show and distribute (in person or by mail) as samples to prospective vendors to illustrate what the upcoming series would look like in the hope of promoting sales. The front of the panels appears just like regular-issue cards while the reverse features a short advertising pitch about the new product, boasting "the greatest line-up of major league baseball stars ever presented in full color pictures" and advising retailers to prepare for "big demand" by encouraging them to stock a dozen boxes or more of the new product. Complete salesman sample panels have always been extremely desirable and quite rare as they were obviously produced in very modest quantities due to their intended purpose of advertising only to vendors. Each of the offered panels is extremely bright and clean. The Reese panel displays light wrinkling in the top card of Tuttle and a small crease along the right border of the Reese card, while the Kell panel shows a small scuff in the right border of the Kell card and a light crease in the bottom Kuzava card. The reverse of the Reese panel shows two small stains, while the Kell panel displays a small stain near the top and light paper chipping in a few areas. The Lemon panel is Excellent overall, with only light touches at the bottom two corners. The Vernon panel displays a surface scratch on the middle card of White, a couple spots of paper loss on the bottom card of Bolling, and also a couple wrinkles and a few surface indentations. This is a superb and very rare salesman sample collection, which would make outstanding companion pieces to any complete 1955 Bowman set or additions to any world-class advertising collection. Total: 4 panels. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).

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