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Old 07-28-2009, 03:21 PM
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Default Where is all the original baseball card artwork?

At a recent card show, I came across what appeared to the original artwork of a couple National Chicle football cards from 1935. It occurred to me that I've never seen a single piece of original hand-painted baseball card artwork, which is pretty remarkable considering how much time I've spent looking at cards over the past 40 years. So my question is: where is it? Certainly there must be hundreds, if not thousands of pieces in existence, especially when you consider the sheer volume of cards ... from T206s to 1950-52 Bowmans ... that were produced. Someone could put together a fascinating exhibit. Also, does anybody have any resources for learning about the individual artists who created these sets. Some of these guys, particularly those who created T3s, T206s, Obaks and the 1950-52 Bowmans, are certainly worthy of recognition ...
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:48 PM
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There is a decent amount of Topps and Bowman original artwork around; I seem to recall over 100 1953 Topps paintings were auctioned fairly recently and Topps Vault has sold a ton of stuff over the years. I have also seen some 51/52 Bowman artwork from time to time. I would guess a lot of between the wars stuff is gone-I recall reading Goudey destroyed much of theirs and in pre-war I can't believe much American Litho or Caramel stuff has ever been out there.

Last edited by toppcat; 07-28-2009 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:33 PM
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There is minimal original art for Pre-War baseball cards. Original paintings for Diamond Stars and National Chicle football exist, photos for Exhibit Supply cards and a few other isolated cards and minor issues. You'll see the Diamond Stars and Chicle paintings for sale/auction every once in a while, and several Diamond Star paintings are pictured in the Halper catalog.

If you include proofs, which are production items from the making/designing of the cards, you can find Pre-War material, including from Old Judge, T206s and T3s.

Also rare but available are the original full color paintings for other pre-war items like magazine covers and calendars. Collecting original magazine cover paintings and art from all areas and subjects would be an interesting area of collecting, as you can get cover art for everything from Sports Illustrated to Vogue.

Last edited by drc; 07-28-2009 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:24 PM
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Default Lates 1930's photos

Most of the Playball's and other late 1930's issues are from original photos take by George C. Burke. At one time I had a few hundred them. These can still be found with his stamp and numbering on the back.

Scott
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:33 PM
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Here's a vintage pulp cover painting (I believe) of Bob Meusel in a Reds unifrom (the only year he played for them)

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Old 07-29-2009, 07:16 AM
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Default 53 topps

These were auctioned by Hunt's in Aug 2005 (not mine)




Last edited by rnisly; 07-29-2009 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:01 AM
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Also among the Topps 1953 artwork auctioned were the Mantle and Mays pictures that were purchased by Marriott Corp (I believe). They in turn, created 2000 numbered prints signed by Mantle and Mays which were sold to the public.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:30 PM
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A couple of years back there was an auction of original art for 1920-30s Vogue magazine covers, by well known artists. Some were normal paintings, but one was a collage of title. I didn't find the design particularly attractive, but the material was definitely interesting and physical.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:14 PM
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One last point, original paintings for magazine covers, etc are usually simple to authenticate. The magazines or cards images are direct reprints of the paintings and you can simply see if graphics they match up. In cases a brush stroke in the card will match the stroke in the card. And if someone tried to paint a copy of a Sports Illustrated painting, it will be noticeable different. Modern card artists like Dick Perez specializes in watercolors and there's no way you do the exact same watercolor twice as the watery paint has a mind of its own.

Looking at all the unique details below, you can see how a collector can personally verify a painting as being the original art for the below card. There's no way the minute details could be duplicated in a second painting, even if made the same artist. The only other thing the collector would have to be sure of is the item is a painting, not a digital copy or Xerox (hint, any print reprint would have the tell tale color dot pattern). In the case of an acrylic or oil painting, the collector could see and feel the raised texture of the brush strokes. Watercolors don't have raised brush strokes, but magnification show the waterlike brush strokes and uneven application of paint-- easily distinguished from the color dot pattern of a reprint. Much of the original art for 1950s-60s Topps and Bowman baseball and football cards were flexichromes, which were hand colored plastic film (very bright and gaudy colors typically). A verification key is flexichromes and the flexichrome process were commercially discontinued in the 1960s. A flexichrome itself is a bygone relic of the vintage Bowman and Topps era.


Last edited by drc; 07-29-2009 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I find it amazing that there aren't any examples of tobacco card original art out there somewhere, especially with all the T205s and T206s that were created ...
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:51 PM
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Didn't someone on the board possibly find an Allen and Ginter original piece a month or so back? I recall it was a painting that may have been used on the round album.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:17 PM
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Hey Chris --

Saw one table at the National this afternoon that had 5 or so pieces of original baseball card artwork. I think they were all Bowmans (though I freely admit I am not good with anything non-T206).

Hope all is well,
Adam

Last edited by Adam; 07-30-2009 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:45 PM
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I'd love to have one of the original 50's paintings. Doesn't matter if it's Topps or Bowman, it would just be great to have one.
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