Fall, 2019 Premier Auction - Closes November 30
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/1/2019

The Hassan Triple Folder advertising display signs are among the most rare and highly coveted advertising displays in the entire hobby.  The Triple Folder display was a large, three-panel cardboard display featuring end panels depicting Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, respectively, each flanking an illustration of the famed Conlon photo of Ty Cobb sliding into third base.  The three elaborately-designed pieces were meant to be displayed together, the "Triple Fold" display recalling the unique design of the T202 Triple Folder cards themselves, while simultaneously advertising Hassan Cork-Tip Cigarettes.  The piece is extraordinarily significant, because the Hassan display is the only display known that was produced specifically to promote a baseball card set during the tobacco era.

Surviving examples of the Hassan advertising pieces are extraordinarily rare.  Just one complete three-panel display is known to exist, and until the discovery of this example, two Mathewson end pieces and just one additional example of the Cobb end piece were known.  Rarely available for public sale, even the end panels - which, in and of themselves are beautiful and desirable - achieve extraordinarily high prices.  The other known example of the Cobb, which, like the complete three-panel example, originated from the collection of hobby pioneer Dr. Lawrence Kurzok, was initially sold at auction in 2001 for $45,919.  It re-emerged at a subsequent auction 13 years ago and was sold for $59,135.  The full, three-panel advertising piece realized nearly $100,000 in 2006 and that is the last public sale of the Cobb display of which we are aware.  Indeed, this example is likely the first time a T202 Cobb advertising display piece has been brought to market in 13 years.  

Each of the three previously-known end panels have exhibited a variety of condition issues resolved by restoration and inpainting, and this recently-discovered example is no exception, with approximately 86% original ephemera and 14% restoration.  Our consignor, a longtime vintage baseball ephemera collector and scholar, discovered the display being offered for sale by a gentleman who acquired it from a former employee of an old, Midwestern pharmacy.  Sadly, due to poor storage, the sign had suffered significant damage, in the form of staining and surface abrasions.  The top third was completely detached, and the piece exhibited paper loss as well, most notably along the top edge, which was missing entirely.  Still, our consignor recognized the significance of the piece, understood its rarity and historical importance, and elected to purchase and preserve the piece by having the damage reversed and carefully restored by a paper conservator.  

The restoration was a multi-stage process that began with a careful cleaning and deacidification of the paper, followed by reattaching the original pieces with an acid-free, archival bonding procedure.  Once the pieces had been cleaned and bonded, surface abrasions were restored using hand-ground, vintage pigment.  Missing paper was then recast using vintage paper, artwork carefully inpainted and the banner at the top of the piece carefully reconstructed. Smaller areas along the bottom-right corner and left edge were similarly restored.  The restoration is truly remarkable, and the damage resulting from decades of improper storage and handling has been stablilized.  

Measuring approximately 15" x 35", the heavy cardboard piece is more than a quarter-inch thick. Age and wear have resulted in fading and slight darkening of the overall image, though the detail is truly exceptional, and the display quality is jaw-dropping.  Professionally mounted and framed in a heavy maple frame with UV-shielded museum acrylic, the artwork is mounted with archival backing and Japanese paper hinges and rice starch paste.  Professionally cleaned and deacidified to prevent further degradation, the staining and reattached areas have been left visible on the reverse, should a future owner elect to remove the piece from its frame or reverse the restoration.  Our consignor truly wanted to save this piece, and to carefully restore and conserve a rare and extremely valuable piece of advertising art, and we think he did just that.

One of the hobby's most elusive and beautiful advertising display items, one of just three known examples of the Ty Cobb Hassan Triple-Folder advertising piece (including the one that is part of the only known full, three-panel display).  An extraordinarily rare, beautiful and highly-regarded display item, an exceptional discovery and a remarkable work of art, a museum-quality piece that would serve as the centerpiece of even the most highly-advanced, valuable collection.

Exceedingly Rare and Beautiful 1912 Ty Cobb T202 Hassan Triple Folder Advertising Display - One of Three Known ExamplesExceedingly Rare and Beautiful 1912 Ty Cobb T202 Hassan Triple Folder Advertising Display - One of Three Known Examples
Exceedingly Rare and Beautiful 1912 Ty Cobb T202 Hassan Triple Folder Advertising Display - One of Three Known Examples
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $20,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $38,400
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Sunday, December 1, 2019.
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