Fall, 2018 Premier Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/25/2018

EDITED TO ADD: We have uncovered some more information about this piece that supports our opinion that this pin was likely given to players and dignitaries following the team's championship, likely at a team banquet on October 27 or November 6 of 1910.  You can read more about our research on our blog here, but the key piece of information lies in the description of a badge given to players at a team dinner to celebrate their championship the following year.  In the pages of Sporting Life, author Francis C. Richter writes:

...each guest as he entered the dining hall was presented with a blue ribbon badge bearing the words "Philadelphia Athletics, World's Champions, 1911" with a metal white elephant as a pendant.

We find it quite plausible that if the team presented its players and dignitaries with such a badge at the end of the 1911, it is likely they presented them with a similar badge the previous year.

Exceptionally rare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics pinback, with blue ribbon and white elephant. The souvenir pin was likely a presentational piece that served as a World Championship medal given to players and team officials in celebration of the team's 1910 World Championship; this would explain the extraordinary quality and workmanship of the piece.  The piece was manufactured by the Caldwell Company of Philadelphia, the same company that manufactured the Athletics World Series press pins from the era. We believe this increases the likelihood that the badge was manufactured for the team, as opposed for some sort of commercial use.  The fact that there are only three surviving examples known only strengthens our belief, as we feel that if the badges were made available for consumers there would surely be more.

The piece is anchored by a handsome enamel pin depicting a white elephant and the Athletics' familiar letter "A" set inside a blue pennant.  A blue silk ribbon heralds the team's 1910 championship, underneath which a white elephant charm hangs.  The elaborate pin focuses on the "white elephant" nickname associated with a 1902 pejorative declared by Giants manager John McGraw.  McGraw claimed the team were "white elephants," an attractive curiosity that was difficult and expensive to maintain, but that produced little.  Connie Mack capitalized on the insult, presenting McGraw with a white elephant statue when the teams met in the 1905 World Series.  The symbol has remained with the Athletics one way or another, ever since.

The badge itself is in excellent condition, the materials slightly worn and suffering from just a bit of age-related dirt, but otherwise completely intact.  An example of this pinback sold some time ago at auction for $9,000; as its story has been somewhat lost to history we feel subsequent sales have been bargains.  A beautiful presentational pinback, likely reserved for personnel associated with the 1910 Athletics, one of just three known to exist.

Rare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Champions Ribbon Pin w/White ElephantRare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Champions Ribbon Pin w/White ElephantRare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Champions Ribbon Pin w/White ElephantRare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Champions Ribbon Pin w/White Elephant
Rare 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Champions Ribbon Pin w/White Elephant
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,600
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Sunday, November 25, 2018.
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