Rare 1902 & 1905 Philadelphia Athletics Large-Format "Our Champions" Silk Banner by Joseph N. Pearce

Sold For: $1,440

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1804

Item Year: 1905

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Exceedingly rare silk banner, produced by noted Philadelphia photographer Joseph N. Pearce, commemorating both the 1902 and 1905 Philadelphia Athletics championship clubs. The banner features a team photo of the World Champion 1905 Philadelphia Athletics, with all of the players identified in print below the image, including manager Connie Mack, Chief Bender, Rube Waddell, and Eddie Plank (Plank and Myers are misidentified as each other). The text above the photo reads "Athletic Base Ball Club./Our Champions!" The years "1902" and "1905" are displayed, respectively, on the left and right side of the photo. This piece was originally offered at auction many years ago alongside a large collection of original photos by Pearce, all of which were consigned by Pearce's granddaughter. At the time of its initial sale, the auction house noted that according to Pearce family history, this particular silk was specially created by Pearce as a gift to his mother, which would make it unique. However, we have seen one other example over the years. Therefore, while the Pearce family history may have been inaccurate, it does not change the fact that it is still an extremely rare commemorative piece commemorating Connie Mack's first two championship clubs. (The 1902 Athletics were champions of the American League, but the tradition of the American and National League champions meeting in a "World Series" did not begin until the following year.) One important distinction regarding this piece must be noted: This is, to the best of our knowledge, one of only two examples of this extraordinary silk and should not be confused with the smaller and much more common 1905 A's silks issued as advertising pieces by Wanamaker Sporting Goods. The offered silk banner, which measures an impressive 24 x 18.5 inches, displays three horizontal and three vertical folds, as well as a number of smaller diagonal folds near the border areas. There are a few minor separations to the silk (primarily along the fold lines) and some fraying along the left and right borders, none of which detract in the least from its overall Excellent appearance. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 28 x 23 inches. The substantial size/weight of this item requires that there will be a shipping charge for this lot (which will vary depending upon where it is being shipped). The shipping charge will be billed separately from the auction invoice. Reserve $500. Estimate (open).

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