LOT 15: Circa 1934 Dizzy and Daffy Dean Union Leader Smoking Tobacco Advertising Display

Published by Robert Lifson on Tagged Uncategorized

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Spectacular full-color store display featuring Dizzy Dean and his brother Paul advertising for Lorillard’s Union Leader smoking tobacco. This is universally recognized as one of the premier player-endorsed baseball advertising displays ever produced, noted for both its immense size (30 x 42 inches) and striking graphics. The illustrated die-cut cardboard display pictures the famous siblings standing side by side in their Cardinal uniforms, each with a hand outstretched holding a baseball. The backdrop consists of a large can of Union Leader smoking tobacco. “The Great American Smoke” is printed along the bottom in bold white letters. Advanced collectors will immediately recognize that this piece is nearly identical in design to a different Lorillard’s advertising display issued at the time promoting the company’s Beech-Nut Chewing Tobacco. While both pieces are rare, the offered Union Leader example is by far the rarer of the two, with this representing the only example we have ever seen. Dizzy and Daffy Dean were at the height of their popularity in 1934. Not only did they combine for forty-nine regular season wins (Dizzy won 30, Paul 19), but they were also responsible for all four Cardinals World Series victories (each brother won 2 games) that fall. As one might expect, the duo signed on for numerous endorsements following their heroic exploits, but none can compare in either scope or visual appeal to those produced by Lorillard. This is a museum-quality display piece and, given its extreme rarity, one that is almost undoubtedly missing from even the most advanced baseball or tobacco advertising collections. The piece displays a number of common flaws commensurate with its age and former use, including nail holes along the top, sides, and bottom left and right corners, edge wear, a few light stains, and small areas of surface paper loss. Additionally, there is a thin vertical streak of what appears to be white paint on the depiction of the tobacco can, as well as an area of pencil scribbling on Dizzy’s uniform. Despite those condition anomalies, nearly all of which can be addressed by professional restoration if so desired, the colors remain bold and vibrant, and the piece has lost none of its extraordinary aesthetic appeal. This is the preeminent Dizzy and Daffy Dean endorsement piece and one of the true classics in the field of baseball advertising displays. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 39.5 x 51 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 $4,000. Estimate (open).

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