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SPORTS ANTIQUE 

OF THE WEEK

April 5th-11th 2009

Standout items 

by SportsAntiques.com

 

 

THIS WEEKS FEATURE

c1910

FAN TAZ 

SYRUP DISPENSER

15" tall x 21" circumference 

cast porcelain, sold May 3, 2008 in Robert Edward Auctions for $16,450.00 

 

 

......" This one sold in May 2008 in Robert Edward Auctions for $16,450.00. Come to find out though one sold in an April 29- May 1st 2005 Rich Penn Auctions in Waterloo, Indiana for $27,500.00".......

 

The Fan Taz syrup dispenser is in the exotic category of baseball memorabilia. The first recollection I have of one is from about twenty years ago. The now defunct Collectors Showcase magazine had a story about the All American Antiques show in Glendale Calif. In the story were various shots of the show, and I remember a photo of Leland's President Josh Evans holding one of these with the caption indicating he bought it there. This one sold in May 2008 in Robert Edward Auctions for $16,450.00. Come to find out though one sold in an April 29- May 1st 2005 Rich Penn Auctions in Waterloo, Indiana for $27,500.00. R.E.A.ís 2008 catalog estimates 20 exist.  Steve Wolter's StevesFanTazCMP60.jpg (474241 bytes)of SportsInvestments.com from Cincinnati has an example. I saw it in his great collection back in 2005. For my pocketbook though, the Fan Taz always been so expensive Iíve always just glossed over them. I can buy a lot of great stuff with $15,000.00-$27,000.00. I found an interesting story on- line from Art and Antiques Weekly which clarified the Fan Taz isnít an anomaly, but seems to sit about in the middle price range of rare syrup dispensers

 

EXCERPTED FROM ANTIQUES AND THE ARTS WEEKLY ON LINE - Soda Fountain Collection Means Sweet Success At Rich Penn Sale - June 28, 2005 full story

ďThe first of many syrup dispensers to break the $5,000 mark on Saturday was the Crawford's Cherry-Fizz, closing at $9,625. Among those over $10,000 were the Grape Punch at $12,100, the Ironport at $18,150 and the Drink Smack at $18,700. 

The first of several to break the $20,000 mark was the Cherri-Bon at $25,300, a Fan-Taz at $27,500, a Dr Pepper Urn at $26,400 and a So. Cas. Co Orange Ale at $26,400. Several dispensers broke the $30,000 level. The Grapefruitola made $34,100, as did the perfect condition Pepsi Urn. The Dixie-Flip, in immaculate condition and with several strong bidders, soared to $37,400. 

The $40,000 barrier, well into record territory, according to the gallery, was breached by the Root Beer collectors. A Jim Dandy, in excellent condition, ended at $44,000. A Hires "Ugly Boy" brown version urn was not hampered by a restored lid. It crowned the auction, selling to a phone bidder for $69,000.Ē

 

From that I get the feeling prices for the Fan Taz are perhaps driven as much if not more, by syrup dispenser collectors than baseball collectors. 

 

Syrup dispensers were used in soda fountains starting in late 19th century. Syrup makers would make porcelain dispensers with their name on them and give them to soda fountains as an advertising vehicles. 

jimdandy.jpg (276899 bytes) drswetts.jpg (329195 bytes) NesbittsOrangeCMP60.jpg (107061 bytes)
GrapefruitollaCMP60.jpg (77348 bytes) ReddyChocolate.jpg (60694 bytes) WardsOrangeCrush.jpg (70972 bytes)
OrangeJulip.jpg (26646 bytes) takakola.jpg (78931 bytes) LemonCrush.jpg (22167 bytes)

Here in the United States during the 19th century, the "soda fountain" as it is, or at least was known, originally evolved as a feature of the pharmacy. In summary, pharmacists would mix up soda drinks with sweet syrups which they made, in order to mask the bitterness of medicines. I use the term medicine loosely; narcotics would be a more accurate description. While preparing this feature I stumbled on the most interesting story.  I say story; actually it was a 2008 interview with a third generation pharmacist named Bill Soderlund. He's also a drugstore and soda fountain antiques collector and owns the website DrugstoreMuseum.com. He goes into detail on a lot of facets of the history of the pharmacy, and doesn't hold back any punches. Among other things he brings to light some very remarkable things about drug addiction on a wide scale from so called medicines during and after the civil war. I recommend reading it; here's the link to the interview on CollectorsDaily.com

 

Back to the Fan Taz, talking about this product is one thing but too bad we can only experience two dimensions of it, the visual and historical context. Wouldn't it be neat though if we could taste it? The internet is good but it's not that good yet! 

 

Today the rage for specialty drinks would be the Frappacinnos and Ice Mochas and such at Starbucks. I readily admit their strawberry cream is awesome. TapiocaDrinks3.jpg (50953 bytes)Also coming on strong  would be the tapioca pearl drinks found in college towns. Tapioca pearl drinks, originated in Taiwan in the 1980's and have migrated here to the U.S. and are growing in popularity. 

 

VicksIceCream.jpg (345606 bytes)

Vick's Ice Cream, Riverside Blvd., Sacramento Ca.

 

But in America all specialty drinks had their start in the pharmacy. I had the good fortune of growing up in the 1960's in a neighborhood with a classic ice cream parlor that made sodas the way Fan Taz was made. That is by mixing syrup and carbonated water by hand the old fashion way. Vick's Ice Cream on Riverside Blvd. in Sacramento California was and still is the classic neighborhood ice cream parlor. As a kid it was almost like something out of Leave it to Beaver. CheeseDogCherryPhos.jpg (263584 bytes)My usual was a cherry phosphate and a cheesedog. Probably some places serve phosphates but Vick's is the only place I've ever known of. A few years back I  took my friend and fellow collector John Buonaguidi to Vick's and he raved he hadn't had a peppermint shake like that since he was a kid. If you're in Sacramento don't miss Vick's, it's an institution.

 

Wrapping up this weeks feature of the Fan Taz; lastly I'll mention I came across a Fan Taz advertising sign someone was researching. see below. That would imply we may eventually see it in an auction. It's possible I may have seen one of these somewhere but I don't recall it.

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leftside.jpg (304207 bytes) closein.jpg (338830 bytes)

 

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