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The 2005 National



Carlton Hendricks





Next up was the booth of Geppi’s Memorabilia Road Show (pronounced Jepp-ies) from Timonium Maryland. Some of the things that will be in their upcoming October 25th 2005 auction, were on display. I saw some very impressive items that were from the Stanley Weston boxing collection. I learned Stanley Weston had been a publisher of Ring Magazine, and had also illustrated some of it’s covers, and that his collection had been displayed in Madison Square Garden. On display was a plaster cast of Jack Dempsey’s fist, a humongous pair of boxing gloves worn by Primo Carnera, and a very archaic and decorative, circa 1890’s Police Gazette Championship belt that appeared to have been of woven silk. Also on display was an incredible and large, framed silk souvenir banner from the 1892 Corbett Sullivan fight, which Corbett had personally given to a Mr. Walter Slechter. Also in the mix was a signed letter from Jack Johnson addressing his fixing a 1915 fight between him and Jess Willard. The Geppi’s booth was pretty much like a museum actually. Also in the same auction will be some items from the sports and Americana collection of Bert Padell. This Geppi’s is an interesting outfit.

Next up, Steve Erickson of Atlanta had a large red, reverse printed glass sign for Allen and Ginter Tobacco, said he got it out of an antiques store in Marietta Georgia, 42 ½” wide by 20 ½” tall, $1,995.00. There were two of these at the convention, as I saw another in Tic and Tic’s booth later. Next door, Darrell O’Mary of Marietta Georgia had a pair of 1920’s shin guards, $100.00. 

Next was the booth of John Ross. John is a regular at the National, and you can always count on him to bring a good selection of display pieces. First up was a very nice figural basketball trophy, 22 3/4" tall, $1,200.00. John Kanuit had another example of this trophy at last year's National. Next was a c1902 paper poster with a Harvard football player in a red turtle neck letterman's sweater, 22 1/2" tall by 13 3/4" wide, $400.00. Next was a c1890 Chicago Tribune newspaper supplement print of a football game action scene. The print was illustrated by J.C. Widney, 21 1/2" wide by 15 1/2" tall - framed, $350.00. Next up were two c1900 Winchester sporting goods advertising signs for baseball equipment. One was just for bats. Each were 40" tall by 18" wide, $1000.00 for the pair. Next John had a Babe Ruth board game 19 1/4" wide by 10" tall, $450.00. Lastly, John had a Waner brothers board game 14 3/4" wide by 9 1/2" tall, $350.00. 

Next was the booth of Heritage Galleries of Dallas. They had a 1913 Giant's vs. Atlantics movie poster displayed that brought me over. I learned it was a reproduction of the real one that will be in their upcoming October 2005 auction. They also had the earliest known Mickey Mantle trophy in a display case. Heritage Consignment Director Jonathan Scheir told me something interesting. He said Heritage intends becoming the largest auction house in the country. Do-able, but to accomplish that, they better bring back Brittany Pratt, from last year.

Next up was Rob Lahammer's booth from Minneapolis. Rob is a prolific basketball collector, and an interesting guy. Very big on coin-op basketball games as well as all things antique basketball. He had two basketball coin-op games for sale at the convention, both squeaky clean. One was called Baffle Ball, 22" tall by 22" wide by 9" deep, $2,000.00. The other was called Play Basket Ball, 22 3/4" wide by 17 1/2" tall by 9" deep, $1,000.00. Rob also had a very rare College Heights fruit label on display, depicting a circa 1910 girl basketball player. It wasn't for sale though, just show and tell.10" tall by 11" wide. 

Next up, Jeff Kleffman of Sports Lot, Inc., from Boca Raton Florida had an interesting Jim Thorpe display from the College Football Hall of Fame, 25 1/2" wide by 45" tall, $3,500.00.

Next we come to probably the most powerful booth at the convention. That of Terry and son Nathan Knouse of Tik, Tik & Nik, from Wapwallopen Pennsylvania. The first mention was a paper poster for Sensation Cut Plug Tobacco, 34 3/4" tall by 23" wide, $200.00. Next was a tin Murad Cigarettes sign, 36 1/2" tall by 29" wide, $3,500.00. Next was a very nice framed poster for Helmar Cigarettes, 41 1/2" tall by 20 1/2" wide, $1,600.00. Next was a powerful Newsboy poster, 31" tall by 23" wide - framed, $4,500.00. Next in the Tic, Tic & Nik arsenal was a framed collage of photos by J.Wood, of the 1886 N.Y. Baseball Club, 35 1/2" tall by 33 3/4" wide, $75,000.00. These were the proofs that the N167 cards , and the Wood cabinet cards were made from. Next up, a framed poster for D.M. Osborne & Co. that advertised the Runners and Jockeys of America cards, 36" wide by 26" tall, $4,000.00. This was one of my favorite things at the show, what a great poster. D. M. Osborne was the precursor to the International Harvester company. Next up were four silk cards issued by Richmond Straight Cut Cigarettes as follows: with red hat 9" tall by 5 1/2" wide, $1,500.00; with yellow jacket, 9" tall by 5 1/2" wide, $1,500.00; with stage coach, 10 3/4" wide by 6 3/4" tall, $1,000.00; with single horse 8" wide by 5" tall, $2,500.00. All afore mentioned Richmond cards appeared to have been Stevengraphs from Scotland.

Next was Dean Zindler's booth of Zindler Sports Collectibles, from Norcross Georgia Dean had two matching photos. One was of the 1895 Purdue University Boilermakers football team, 10" wide by 8" tall, $350.00. The other was a 1903 University of Pennsylvania football team,10" wide by 7" tall, $250.00.

Next up was the booth of Ron Vitro, and Ron Vitro Jr. of E&R Galleries/Fancraze Collectibles, from New Rochelle New York. The Vitro's had a 1931 world series broadside poster, 22" tall by 14" wide, $1,500.00. Next in their booth was a framed oval photo of a football player with a C on his chest, 19" tall by 13" wide, $850.00. As I was in the Vitro's booth I witnessed a sale. Scott Ireland of Shelburne Vermont bought a tin Piedmont Cigarettes advertising sign, 26" wide by 19" tall, for $850.00. The Vitro's also had a very rare original photo of Jim Thorpe in his older years, wearing a coat and tie, 9 1/4" tall by 9 1/4" tall, $350.00. 

Next up was the booth of Darla Bernhardt of Lit'le Rascal's Relics from Cincinnati Ohio. First item was a plaster statue of Babe Ruth, 17 1/4" tall, $950.00. Next was a 1907 World Champion Detroit Tigers miniature souvenir baseball hat, made of a pressed paper type material, 2 3/4" tall by 6" deep by 4 1/2" wide, $950.00. 

Next up, I saw two neat signs in the booth of Edward Lawson and Wes Starkey of Billy Ball Cards, from Floyd Virginia. Turned out they weren't for sale and that Edward had bought them at the show. One was a late 1930's card stock poster with a football scene of a pack of Phillip Morris cigarettes getting tackled, with Phillip Morris' famous Johnny the Bellboy icon refereeing in the center, giving the touchdown call with hands over head. Just good solid display material, big and colorful, 28" wide by 21 1/2" tall, paid $750.00. Edward also had a Wings Cigarettes poster, same late 30's type look, with a baseball player reaching high for a catch. The advertised price was ten cents, 20 1/8" wide by 30" tall, paid $550.00. Nice finds Edward!

Next up was the booth of Pat Armstrong of Hawkeye Baseball Cards, from Burlington Indiana. Pat had a small, framed football print by Brown and Biglow, 9 1/4" by 7 1/4", $48.00. Next Pat had a lamp with a plaster baseball batter figure, and shade with the Yankees logo, 30 1/2" tall, $650.00. Next, were three small advertising signs for D&M Sporting Goods, all framed, all 23" wide by 6 1/4" tall, boxing gloves $395.00; sporting goods department $395.00; football $295.00. Last mention was a 1937-38 basketball team photo from El Paso Texas, probably a high school team.

Next up was the booth of the prolific Glen Mechanick of Mechanick's Historical Gallery from Passiac New Jersey. Glen was there with his lovely new bride Lisa. So make that the booth of Glen AND Lisa Mechanick! Congratulations to them both. The first item I mention from Lisa and Glen’s booth was a whale tooth with an engraving of two boxers, and the inscription: “One good face worth two pair of hands” Very 1860’s. When I went to write it up I couldn't recall for sure if this was for the Heenan Sayers fight so I called Glen. He said there was a label of sorts inside it, referencing Heenan Sayers. 4 ¾” long, $6,500.00. Next up, Lisa and Glen had a c1890 Stevengraph with a scene of high wheeler bicycles racing, titled: “The Last Lap”, 8 ¾” wide by 6” tall – framed, $800.00. Lisa and Glen also had the baseball Stevengraph titled “The First Inning”, 9 ½” wide by 6 ¼” tall, $3,500.00. Next up from their booth was a c1890 Black Stockings Nine card issued by Virginia Brights, 13” tall by 7 ½” wide, $6,500.00. Next were some great looking Victorian era, round paper containers for mantle candles or something....what ever they were, the containers were spectacular, with great illustrations of collegiate girls The tall one was 4 7/8” tall by 1 ¾” wide, the shorter, 3” tall by 2” wide, $600.00 for the pair. Next Lisa and Glen had a wood pencil box with litho scene of high wheeler bicycles, worn but nice, 7 ½” wide, $300.00. Lastly was a glass negative photograph of Abraham Lincoln standing in front of a tent with other soldiers, 4” wide by 3 ¼” tall, $1,200.00.

Next was the booth of perennial National golden boy John Kanuit of Vintage Sports Collector, from Palos Verdes Estates California. By the time I got around to his booth he’d already sold a lot. Tore it up Wednesday and Thursday morning he said. So this review of his things doesn’t reflect his prowess. Who knows all the great stuff he had! Thanks to the “no press in till opening day” rule we’ll never know. Anyway…First item up that I saw was a pair of c1920 bronze bookends, one with a football player kicker, the other with a baseball batter, both excellent casting, 6 ¼” tall, $475.00. Next was a remarkable pair of c1930 plaster baseball player figures, One player was sliding into a base, while the other was reaching down for the ball to put him out. Very rare, with modeling that resembled a WPA era art style. 7” tall by essentially 21” wide, $650.00. Next in John’s booth was a very nice c1880 Spalding ring bat, two rings in the center with a red finish, 34” length, $1,800.00. John Gennantonio couldn’t make it to the convention as he had to work. I mentioned this bat to him by cell phone from the convention floor. Turned out he’d been looking for that particular red bat forever. I tried to explain Kanuit had told me it was already sold. That didn’t dissuade him. In agony he still had to know every detail, and who got it, hoping he could buy it from them. Finally I just gave the phone to Kanuit. Whoever got it could make a sweet profit. Email me on the comments form at the bottom of my home page, and I’ll see that Gennantonio gets it.

Next up in Kanuit’s booth was a movie lobby card for the movie “One minute to play” featuring Red Grange, 14” wide by 11” tall, $750.00. Next were two unusual little posters that must have hung in a finance office. Both had financial related copy, and showed colorized photos of c1930 kids playing football, very period, very cool, each was 12” tall by 9 1/8” wide, $175.00 for the pair. Next was a very nice c1930 framed color advertising sign for Standard Beer featuring a baseball batter in full swing, great colors, 24” wide by 16” tall, $425.00. Next up was another c1930 color sign on card stock for Mason’s famous Peaks candy bars. The sign showed a guy eating a Peaks candy bar while watching a baseball game thru a hole in a fence, 24” wide by 16” tall, $375.00. Next was a set of four c1930 die cut caricatures of kids playing baseball, that advertised Keds tennis shoes, tallest 8 ½” tall, $550.00 for the set. Come to think of it I have one from this set in my collection, that John didn’t have. Next was an exceptional color sign that said “Baseball goods for sale”, but didn’t say the company, 26 1/2"” wide by 22 ½” tall, $1,400.00, Had excellent graphics, I recall it in the last Robert Edward auction. The sign had been cut in half vertically and reassembled, but still a strong piece. I have a hunch this was a Spalding sign that may have had the Spalding name trimmed off. I have a football goods sign that has a similar look and size (click here). Plus, Lew Lipset once described to me a Spalding baseball goods sign that sounded like it. Last mention in John’s booth was a c1930 multi-sport, color die cut sign for the Thomas E. Wilson Company. The sign illustrated four athletes, a football and a baseball player plus a woman golfer and a woman tennis player, 25” wide by 14” tall, $1,250.00. 

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