Summer, 2019 Premier Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/25/2019

Extremely rare, colorful and bold tin sign issued around 1910 in conjunction with the promotion of Reach Sporting Goods' promotion of their line of "Blue Ribbon" Bats.  The colorful sign pictures three detailed bats, each a different model number, alongside an image of a ballplayer at bat, ostensibly wielding one of the "Burley" clubs.  Extraordinarily colorful, this is one of the more attractive, desirable, and of course rare of all the advertising display signs of the era.  

The Reach Co. produced some of the finest tin lithograph advertising signs during an era when such signs were in their "golden age;" they were typically well-designed and colorful, and of exceptionally high quality.  The signs are in considerably high demand today, and typically are not found available for sale with any regularity.  Unlike many tin litho signs during the era, this one actually features embossing; the letters, bats, and player images actually stand out from the rest of the sign.  

The sign was manufactured by the American Art Works, an Ohio-based manufacturer of beer trays and advertising novelties best known for manufacturing Coca-Cola advertising trays favored by collectors today.  The industry leader, the company was so strong that their home city of Coshocton became an economic hub, even during the Great Depression.  Today, their products are highly desirable among advertising collectors, part of the reason that Reach sporting goods advertising items are so seldom found.

The extremely high production value is part of the reason this 6" x 13" sign has remained so attractive despite its visible wear.  Indeed, the Reach company touted its quality and the considerable expense involved in manufacturing it, with printed instructions on the reverse: "This sign is one of a series and costs us big money to have them made...if, for any reason, you do not care to hang it up kindly return it to us and we will put it to work elsewhere."  While the Reach signs, in general, are very desirable (note the similar Reach baseball sign that sold in our Fall, 2018 sale for $20,400), it is the Blue Ribbon "Burley" Bats sign that is the most rare.  Highly coveted among collectors, an example sold just three years ago for $45,000.

The sign itself does exhibit surface wear in the form of visible oxidation, particularly along the bottom, along with mild surface abrasions. Some foxing and mild surface staining is visible on the reverse.  PLEASE NOTE: It was pointed out to us that this sign closely resembles a dirtier example of the sign that was recently sold at auction.  In discussing this with our consignor, we were advised that this sign was cleaned with cotton balls and distilled water.  While this type of cleaning is typical with non-porous items of this nature, in an effort to be consistent with our policy regarding restoration, we have communicated this with our bidders and are amending our description accordingly. 

An extremely rare and valuable piece, one of the most highly coveted of all the tin lithographic advertising display signs.

Exceptional 1910 Reach Blue Ribbon Burley Bats Tin Advertising SignExceptional 1910 Reach Blue Ribbon Burley Bats Tin Advertising Sign
Exceptional 1910 Reach "Blue Ribbon Burley Bats" Tin Advertising Sign
Click above for larger image.
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $3,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $16,800
Number Bids: 19
Auction closed on Sunday, August 25, 2019.
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