I ran down
to L.A. (6 hr. one way) for the Rose Bowl Flea market
weekend before last. Nice driving my convertible down. Hit it at 6:15AM and the weather was perfect....overcast for the first three hours...sweatshirt and shorts...Had not been to the RB in YEARS and had been wanting to hit it for the last few months....it's such an investment in time and money to drive all the way down there I put it
off....it only comes once a month, second Sunday....I've always found L.A. to be tough for antiques...it's
as though there are more collectors than stuff...and the good stuff gets bought
quickly....lots of competition in L.A..
Was walking around grumbling about the crummy nights sleep I got for my $110.00 at the Ramada Inn.....didn't find a thing in the front part....just a lot of cool interesting non sport things...maybe got total of 3 hr sleep on account of the crummy A/C going off and on all night suffocating me...was wearing down so took a break at the food court....Danish and coffee under $5.00...which was fine....but then I went back for a
$3.75 bottle of
water....and it wasn't one of those big ones!
inch tall, c1880 baseball player
figure off a gas
Made it to the back part where it's mostly a sea of vintage
clothing dealers.....world's largest gathering I'm sure of
vintage bowling and Hawaiian shirts, and used Levis
....was nearing the end and blam!!!.....I walked up and saw a rare 7" tall 1880's baseball figure. Price tag $75.00....I wouldn't say they are extremely rare but they don't grow on trees....when they surface they seem to go in the $300.00-$400.00 range...Originally they were
part of a decorative gas lamp and they came as a pair...This
one has a "C" on his chest, and CHICAGO
spelled out on his belt at the hip.
on side of belt
The mate has an
"H" on his chest which as I recall stands for
Hartford Blues.....Sometimes you will see them still attached to the lamp apparatus...and sometimes you find them like this...with just the figure....As I recall the full lamps have a marble base....I've never done deep research on
them, and will be looking into them for another
Anyway...the dealer yells out to me from across the booth "prices are negotiable"....I looked it over while he's babbling away selling it to me....I'm hardly listening....just making sure they're not popping them out in China now...finally I go "what's the best you can do"...he looks it over with the price tag...you can have it for $40.00.....we chat...I go how about $35.00?...yeah sure he says.
gold paint was so bright and in such good condition, initially
I thought it had been repainted. But after examining it
carefully I believe the paint is original. I don't know
where it's been but it was well cared for. The issue of
these being part of a gas lamp is interesting, in that I
speculate the figures may have been sold separately as
well as on the lamps. We'll get to that in another
With three hours sleep and 2 1/2 hours walking it's hard to fully comprehend stuff....but I knew I scored and would take it in later....Before I could even get my bearings about two minutes walking later I see two scruffy ravaged easel back advertising signs for Kuppenheimer Clothiers illustrated by Joseph
Leyendecker...probably the biggest name American illustrator from the late 19th- early 20th century.
I wrote an in-depth feature on a c1910 Leyendecker
baseball poster for the February 28th 2010 Sports
Antique of the Week see
29" x 20" easle back advertising signs for Kuppenheimer Clothes,
illustrated by Joseph Leyendecker. Photo taken in the
booth just as I discovered them
You never see these Leyendedker posters....and one has a crew rowing
...bought the rowing one....got 15 feet further and came back for the other for $25.00....This is very odd....but then I get maybe ten booths up....and there's another Leyendecker Kuppenheimer sign...a bigger horizontal format one....obviously all from the same barn
x 25" Kuppenheimer Clothes advertising sign
illustrated by Joseph Leyendecker. Found ten
booths after first two Leyendecker signs.
....$20.00.....blam it's mine....the rower stays with me and will undergo restoration where they'll soak off the top litho....wash out the stains....remount it and paint in the missing gouged areas...It may look rough but that is very restorable condition..(easy restore)...the others are eBay bound where I'll let the Leyendecker collectors fight it out!
Now that's a good Rose Bowl!