1939-66 Exhibit Supply Company Archive Of Original Baseball Photos

This lot of 342 Exhibit Supply Company photos is a genuine piece of hobby history. It was originally purchased at the time of ESCO’s liquidation in 1979 upon the owner’s retirement. Mastro offered it in their April 2003 Sports Premier Catalog Auction.

I can’t get a clean scan of the lot’s description because the catalog is so thick, so I’ve re-typed it:

Presented is the absolutely unique hoard of 342 original photographs and artist’s proof pieces that were used to construct Exhibit Supply Company’s baseball-themed arcade cards from 1939 to 1966. The importance of these images cannot be overstated. They were the foundations for some of the hobby’s most cherished collectibles, and every illustration is a one-of-a-kind origin item behind the production of an industry favorite. The long span of years covered allows a flight of fancy through the game from its early 20th Century Hall of Famers to the more recent superstars we watched in action during the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is an unbelievably compelling assembly of material! Many of the stars are presented in multiple poses (since they appeared in more than one Exhibit set) and the array of talent included is simply incredible. The original images for the much sought-after Exhibit “team” cards are here also. A tiny sampling of the players represented, mentioning just a fraction of the stars included, reveals: Hank Aaron, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Evers, “Jimmy” Foxx, Frankie Frisch, Lou Gehrig, Henry Greenberg, Carl Hubbell, Walter Johnson, Connie Mack, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Christy Mathewson, Willie Mays, Joe Medwick, Mel Ott, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, Tris Speaker, Joe Tinker, Rube Waddell, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams (including ‘number 9 showing’), Cy Young, 1949 Yankees, 1950 Yankees, 1951 Yankees and many, many others. (Only space constraints prevent the listing of dozens more from this mind-boggling roster of baseball giants.) These photographs are b/w glossies of 8” x 10” or smaller dimensions, or have been fashing as “paste-up” grafted likenesses. Almost all have artist’s or editor’s working specification notes attached. A number of the images are actual “wire photos,” with news service attributions stamped on the reverse sides, and most of them display an enhanced definition of appearance that made them suitable for quality reproduction on cards. Overall condition is EX to EX/MT. This breathtaking archive was purchased at the time of Exhibit Supply Company’s liquidation in 1979 (upon the owner’s retirement), and has been preserved in full, intact form. An LOA, from the industry veteran who obtained the items directly from Exhibit Supply Company, accompanies. This amazing assembly includes an unbelievable wealth of key rarities and stars, and offers phenomenal “break” value!

The minimum bid was $2,500. If anyone knows the final price, let me know in the comments.

Leave a Reply