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CPAGE 4H

SPORTS ANTIQUE 

OF THE WEEK

Feb. 28th- March 6th 2010

Standout items 

by SportsAntiques.com

 

 

THIS WEEKS FEATURE

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PURDUE

VS.

NORTHWESTERN

 

c1910 Baseball Broadside

GAME POSTER

Illustrated by 

Joseph Leyendecker

21 1/2" tall x 14" 

wide, printed on cardstock

Only known example of a 

Leyendecker baseball game poster

 

 

PAGE 4

By Carlton Hendricks

 

Antiques and the Arts Weekly

Leyendecker cover story Oct. 2nd 2009

Click here to r

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Close in of Catcher  Front page Antiques and the Arts Weekly Oct 2, 2009 Close in of Leyendecker Signature

 

LEYENDECKER'S ARE RARE

Over the twenty three years I've been collecting, I have only come across a handful of Leyendecker  sports posters...more football than any sport probably. I was pleased to see my poster's catcher illustration on the cover of the Oct. 2009 Antiques and Arts Weekly publication. It had been included as part of a story on Leyendecker

 

IT'S UNIQUENESS

As mentioned, generally any antique sports event poster is rare, but ones by recognizable teams or schools are more so. And within the few of them that have survived, probably about half of them will have some kind of illustration. And about half the illustrated ones are of decent art quality. However, I don't recall ever seeing an antique sports event poster illustrated by a major American illustrator. Much less by one as celebrated as Leyendecker. So I know it's a very rare poster in terms of art quality and it's pretty much a stand alone example of a sports event poster by a big name illustrator. Leyendecker did do a football poster for the University of Pennsylvania, but it wasn't an event poster, but one that celebrated football at U.P., and is more an art poster. Amazingly I did once have a high school poster that employed the same image as the U.P. one, but with a red jersey. 

 

Possible stock images by Leyendecker
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Close in of Purdue vs Northwestern Leyendecker  catcher

Leyendecker 14" x 22" High School 

football poster

 

LEYENDECKER'S SHREWDNESS

The two anomalies of the high school and this Purdue vs. Northwestern seems to imply business acumen on Leyendecker's part. That is, I speculate Leyendecker moved to extract all he could monetarily from his work. Perhaps by selling his archived work from former projects to printing firms as stock images. I don't know the proprietary mechanics of how that worked for images that had been commissioned by the likes of the Saturday Evening Post, as this catcher was. But I do know a high school used the same basic illustration of the football kicker that was used for a Saturday Evening Post cover and that a high school would not typically hire a nationally recognized artist to illustrate a poster. University of Pennsylvania maybe, high school no...and I doubt Northwestern would either. 

 

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The J.C. Leyendecker Mansion,

New Rochelle N.Y.

 

The other indicator of Leyendecker squeezing profit from his work took place later in his life. According to accounts he lived in a mansion in New Rochelle New York and put on lavish parties. So based on that we know he was a spender. But it's reported that late in life he had to let his household staff go and he and his family attempted to keep up the mansion by  themselves. Which indicates he didn't save for rainy days, which again implies he was a heavy spender during the good years of his career and may have needed to sell some of his old  illustrations as stock images to help support an extravagant life style. If that's how it played out, it was a boon for poster collectors. Although this is the only example of this poster I've seen in twenty three years of collecting.

 

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Purdue vs. Northwestern baseball poster in action

 

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