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  #1  
Old 07-28-2021, 02:44 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Default Walter Johnson L1 Leather

I just picked up this "Holy Grail," and am wondering if I should try to get it cleaned, stains removed if possible, and maybe even restoration of the missing pieces using a cheaper non-baseball L1 (assuming I could find one). I'm very happy just putting it up on the wall as is with this nice framing job, the WaJo image is quite sharp and that's what counts for me, but wouldn't mind exploring the other possibilities. Anyone here had any experience with leather restoration, where (other than the internet) I should look for that kind of expertise, or any other comments or advice?
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2021, 02:50 PM
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It's nice and if it was mine I would probably leave it just as it is. Good luck with whatever you do. Great leather.

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  #3  
Old 07-28-2021, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankphenom View Post
I just picked up this "Holy Grail," and am wondering if I should try to get it cleaned, stains removed if possible, and maybe even restoration of the missing pieces using a cheaper non-baseball L1 (assuming I could find one). I'm very happy just putting it up on the wall as is with this nice framing job, the WaJo image is quite sharp and that's what counts for me, but wouldn't mind exploring the other possibilities. Anyone here had any experience with leather restoration, where (other than the internet) I should look for that kind of expertise, or any other comments or advice?
I would not restore it.

I think it looks great the way it is and my opinion is the Restoration takes away from the Character of the piece and also potentially devalues it

Great Pickup
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Babe Ruth Cards (Pre 1925) Especially The Ruth Throwing Pose
Joe Jackson Cards (With emphasis on 1916 Advertising Backs)
1910 Old Mills Joe Jackson
1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson
1914 E & S Publishing Card Joe Jackson
other Joe Jackson playing day cards
1914 CJ Christy Christopher Mathewson
T206 Eddie Plank
1911 M110 Sporting Life Cobb and Wagner Cards
1908 Rose Postcard Ty Cobb
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  #4  
Old 07-28-2021, 02:54 PM
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Beautiful Hank, congratulations. I don't know what the +/- is on restoration of a piece like this but if you wanted to clean/restore it I would think a fine art restorer might be a good place to start. If you choose to go that route let me know, I have great guy here in town that's done a couple of pieces for me, I could give him a call and connect you two.
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2021, 03:55 PM
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Id leave it alone, looks great just as it is. Congrats on the pick up!
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2021, 04:04 PM
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Dont touch it
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2021, 04:28 PM
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I think it's a beautiful piece, and I would leave it as is.
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2021, 04:28 PM
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I would leave well enough alone.

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.



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  #9  
Old 07-28-2021, 04:31 PM
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That's a pretty great piece (congrats) and I wouldn't do anything to change it.

Doug
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2021, 04:33 PM
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Based on the current direction of our market - I would leave it alone. When the bubble bursts, altered cards(even preserved/restored) cards may have a scarlet letter of sorts. There's no correct answer and opinions will vary. Assuming your "holy grail" might end up in other family member hands when you're gone means setting them up for success to sell later is a consideration. If that's too morbid then maybe you stumble upon one at a flea market for a quarter and sell one off(lol). I approve of restoration when it's a necessity for preservation. That concept has not been adopted in our hobby. Beautiful piece and congratulations.
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2021, 04:54 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Default Thanks!

I really appreciate the comments, and as a result I'm leaning strongly toward leaving it as it is. When so many of the people here I have such great respect for feel so strongly, I'm definitely paying attention. It did pass my presentability threshold from the start, or I wouldn't have bought it. What got me thinking about cleaning, and possibly restoration, was this one I found in my search for other examples on the web, from a 2005 REA auction. It's tempting to think that I might be able to get mine closer to this kind of beauty with just a cleaning and/or stain removal, which I approve of in most instances with cards and memorabilia and don't really consider restoration, which is more involved with adding non-original material rather than subtracting dirt and stains that weren't there in the first place--so why not get rid of them if you can do it without changing the piece in any significant way?
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2021, 05:06 PM
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That's a really nice one. I've always thought this series was cool. What is the leather like to touch? I've never held one before.
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  #13  
Old 07-28-2021, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packs View Post
What is the leather like to touch? I've never held one before.
I'll probably never know!
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  #14  
Old 07-28-2021, 05:41 PM
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Default Congrats!

Congrats Hank on picking up your Holy Grail!

I wouldn't restore the leather, however, getting it matted with an oval opening might create a more enjoyable presentation.

I bought a T4 of John Tiedemann that was trimmed to the oval and I had it matted to mirror the original look.



Patrick
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  #15  
Old 07-28-2021, 06:12 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Originally Posted by Casey2296 View Post
Beautiful Hank, congratulations. I don't know what the +/- is on restoration of a piece like this but if you wanted to clean/restore it I would think a fine art restorer might be a good place to start. If you choose to go that route let me know, I have great guy here in town that's done a couple of pieces for me, I could give him a call and connect you two.
Thanks, Phil, I would like to talk to them to see what the state of the art is. But my condition for any work would be that it look like it had never been touched. If they could promise that while getting the dirt and stains out without washing out or bleeding the image AT ALL, and depending on the cost, I'd have to give it some thought, at least. Right now I'm guessing I will put it on the wall and smile every time I look at it. Then I'll look at the S81 and do the same.
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  #16  
Old 07-28-2021, 06:18 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Originally Posted by Vintagecatcher View Post
Congrats Hank on picking up your Holy Grail!
I wouldn't restore the leather, however, getting it matted with an oval opening might create a more enjoyable presentation. I bought a T4 of John Tiedemann that was trimmed to the oval and I had it matted to mirror the original look.
Patrick
Thanks, Patrick, that's a pretty good idea. It works real well with your photo, and I've probably done it myself with photos. But even though it's a beater, and with chunks missing you could hide with your method, I think I'd prefer to see the whole thing, warts and all. The L1s are such a strange concept to begin with, I'm not sure the damage mine has sustained takes much away from the overall wonder of it, especially with the extreme rarity in mind. It will be marvelous just to see it on my wall every day.
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2021, 06:20 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankphenom View Post
I really appreciate the comments, and as a result I'm leaning strongly toward leaving it as it is. When so many of the people here I have such great respect for feel so strongly, I'm definitely paying attention. It did pass my presentability threshold from the start, or I wouldn't have bought it. What got me thinking about cleaning, and possibly restoration, was this one I found in my search for other examples on the web, from a 2005 REA auction. It's tempting to think that I might be able to get mine closer to this kind of beauty with just a cleaning and/or stain removal, which I approve of in most instances with cards and memorabilia and don't really consider restoration, which is more involved with adding non-original material rather than subtracting dirt and stains that weren't there in the first place--so why not get rid of them if you can do it without changing the piece in any significant way?
Maybe it is my photographers eye, but I think I see brush and wipe marks on this one. That would bother me to no end.
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2021, 07:06 PM
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Hank fantastic pickup, Congrats!
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  #19  
Old 07-28-2021, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankphenom View Post
Thanks, Phil, I would like to talk to them to see what the state of the art is. But my condition for any work would be that it look like it had never been touched. If they could promise that while getting the dirt and stains out without washing out or bleeding the image AT ALL, and depending on the cost, I'd have to give it some thought, at least. Right now I'm guessing I will put it on the wall and smile every time I look at it. Then I'll look at the S81 and do the same.
I'll give him a call and have a chat with him.
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  #20  
Old 07-28-2021, 09:30 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
Maybe it is my photographers eye, but I think I see brush and wipe marks on this one. That would bother me to no end.
I see all kinds of shit that's happened to this thing, Michael. Tell me what you're thinking.

Last edited by Hankphenom; 07-29-2021 at 01:02 AM.
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  #21  
Old 07-28-2021, 09:32 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Hank fantastic pickup, Congrats!
Thanks, Jay!
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  #22  
Old 07-29-2021, 11:10 AM
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Awesome pick-up Hank. Congrats! I would leave it as is.

Chad
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  #23  
Old 07-29-2021, 11:32 AM
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Great acquisition Hank.

Though I'm certainly no expert, I would agree with the majority of comments and say leave it be.

One word of caution: Keep it out of direct sunlight. I know that sounds very common sense, but lots of us become even more leathery with that type of exposure.


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  #24  
Old 07-29-2021, 12:45 PM
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Congrats Hank... Such a tough item, and the WaJo image is stellar!

I would keep it original as well. The condition flaws mentioned are just a part of its history and charm.
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  #25  
Old 07-29-2021, 01:23 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Originally Posted by clydepepper View Post
Great acquisition Hank. Though I'm certainly no expert, I would agree with the majority of comments and say leave it be. One word of caution: Keep it out of direct sunlight. I know that sounds very common sense, but lots of us become even more leathery with that type of exposure.
.
Ha! Thanks, Robbie, I've learned over the years, sometimes the hard way, to beware the elements when it comes to my stuff: sunlight, moisture of any kind, even air are the enemies of preservation. Funny how the things we need to survive are not kind to our collectibles.
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  #26  
Old 07-29-2021, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by perezfan View Post
Congrats Hank... Such a tough item, and the WaJo image is stellar! I would keep it original as well. The condition flaws mentioned are just a part of its history and charm.
Thanks, Mark, that sure is the consensus here. And I'm leaning heavily that way right now myself, but do want to learn what the possible options might be. Looking at that gorgeous example from REA, I would be sorely tempted if a qualified expert told me that mine could look something like that with no effect whatsoever on the image itself. That's the only condition under which I would even consider it. I do appreciate and value highly your opinion and that of the other serious guys here.
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  #27  
Old 07-29-2021, 07:55 PM
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Congrats on your great pickup. I'n very happy for you. But, I wish I had known about this auction!
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  #28  
Old 07-29-2021, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ValKehl View Post
Congrats on your great pickup. I'n very happy for you. But, I wish I had known about this auction!
You must have opted out of the emails that are sent from the forum. An email about their auction was sent to all members who haven't opted out of those type emails.
.
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  #29  
Old 07-30-2021, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ValKehl View Post
Congrats on your great pickup. I'n very happy for you. But, I wish I had known about this auction!
Wow nice Leather.

Make me want to talk to my wife about us going out and getting Some Leather
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Jeff Kuhr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/144250058@N05/

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Looking for
Babe Ruth Cards (Pre 1925) Especially The Ruth Throwing Pose
Joe Jackson Cards (With emphasis on 1916 Advertising Backs)
1910 Old Mills Joe Jackson
1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson
1914 E & S Publishing Card Joe Jackson
other Joe Jackson playing day cards
1914 CJ Christy Christopher Mathewson
T206 Eddie Plank
1911 M110 Sporting Life Cobb and Wagner Cards
1908 Rose Postcard Ty Cobb
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  #30  
Old 07-30-2021, 07:31 AM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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You must have opted out of the emails that are sent from the forum. An email about their auction was sent to all members who haven't opted out of those type emails.
.
I didn't get it either, Leon, where do I go to opt in on those? The bids in this auction were so ridiculously low I'm guessing very few forum guys got any notice about it. I was the fortunate recipient of a tip from a very thoughtful member.
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  #31  
Old 07-30-2021, 07:33 AM
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Wow nice Leather. Make me want to talk to my wife about us going out and getting Some Leather
Might make her appreciate the hobby more.
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  #32  
Old 07-30-2021, 07:37 AM
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Congrats on your great pickup. I'n very happy for you. But, I wish I had known about this auction!
Thanks, Val, and there isn't the slightest doubt in my mind that you mean it. This was a bolt of lightning for me, straight out of the blue, and I know you've had a few of those in your time. It's all meant to be.
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  #33  
Old 07-30-2021, 08:00 AM
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I didn't get it either, Leon, where do I go to opt in on those? The bids in this auction were so ridiculously low I'm guessing very few forum guys got any notice about it. I was the fortunate recipient of a tip from a very thoughtful member.
I would never opt anyone out without them telling me. So at some point you in fact opted out and haven't been receiving them. I just opted you back in. I am the only one that does that (the other mods can but don't). I know people don't like marketing emails but the ones sent from here are spot on, on topic.

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  #34  
Old 07-30-2021, 08:13 AM
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I would never opt anyone out without them telling me. So at some point you in fact opted out and haven't been receiving them. I just opted you back in. I am the only one that does that (the other mods can but don't). I know people don't like marketing emails but the ones sent from here are spot on, on topic. .
Thanks, Leon!
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  #35  
Old 07-30-2021, 10:18 AM
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Might make her appreciate the hobby more.
Ride Em Cowboy Eh Ha
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Thanks all

Jeff Kuhr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/144250058@N05/

Kuhr@mac.com

Looking for
Babe Ruth Cards (Pre 1925) Especially The Ruth Throwing Pose
Joe Jackson Cards (With emphasis on 1916 Advertising Backs)
1910 Old Mills Joe Jackson
1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson
1914 E & S Publishing Card Joe Jackson
other Joe Jackson playing day cards
1914 CJ Christy Christopher Mathewson
T206 Eddie Plank
1911 M110 Sporting Life Cobb and Wagner Cards
1908 Rose Postcard Ty Cobb
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  #36  
Old 07-30-2021, 10:23 AM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Ride Em Cowboy Eh Ha
Oh, yeah. But I'm not sure I'd want to see the playroom of the guy or gal who came up with the idea for the L1s, they always seemed a bit kinky to me. Or maybe I would!
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  #37  
Old 07-30-2021, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
You must have opted out of the emails that are sent from the forum. An email about their auction was sent to all members who haven't opted out of those type emails.
.
Leon, I don't believe that I have opted out from receiving emails sent from the forum. I just now searched my email history, and I didn't find an email pertaining to Grant Zahajko Auctions. In fact, I've never heard of this auction house, until now.

Hank, today, someone at the NSCC told me how much you won the L1 WaJo for - you did very well, my friend! I take consolation in knowing there is no better place for this item than in your collection. BTW, I too, would keep this L1 ln its original condition.
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  #38  
Old 07-31-2021, 04:45 AM
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Leon, I don't believe that I have opted out from receiving emails sent from the forum. I just now searched my email history, and I didn't find an email pertaining to Grant Zahajko Auctions. In fact, I've never heard of this auction house, until now.
FWIW, I am on this list: didn't opt out, didn't get, never heard.
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  #39  
Old 07-31-2021, 06:13 AM
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FWIW, I am on this list: didn't opt out, didn't get, never heard.
Same Here. But I saw the banner on top of the forum
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Jeff Kuhr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/144250058@N05/

Kuhr@mac.com

Looking for
Babe Ruth Cards (Pre 1925) Especially The Ruth Throwing Pose
Joe Jackson Cards (With emphasis on 1916 Advertising Backs)
1910 Old Mills Joe Jackson
1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson
1914 E & S Publishing Card Joe Jackson
other Joe Jackson playing day cards
1914 CJ Christy Christopher Mathewson
T206 Eddie Plank
1911 M110 Sporting Life Cobb and Wagner Cards
1908 Rose Postcard Ty Cobb
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  #40  
Old 07-31-2021, 09:30 AM
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Hank, today, someone at the NSCC told me how much you won the L1 WaJo for - you did very well, my friend! I take consolation in knowing there is no better place for this item than in your collection. BTW, I too, would keep this L1 ln its original condition.
Thanks, Val, I just got lucky, as we sometimes do. After being alerted to the auction by a tip from a very nice Net54 member, I was surprised to even be able to register with such short notice. And then my bids were strictly of the bottom-feeding variety, expecting that once the live auction got underway, they would be quickly overwhelmed and that would be that. When I saw the results, I wished I had bid on a lot more! My friend Joe G, who really knows game-used stuff, said that some of the tough early Padres material went ridiculously low, a fraction of their market value in some cases. It was a very strange auction in a number of respects, not least being how it was possible that so few people were aware of it in the first place.
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Old 07-31-2021, 11:14 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Like others, I'd leave it as it is.

An idea that might work though...

re-frame with a backing mat that has the shape of a complete one in a similar tan. It would look complete from a short distance, but still not be restored aor altered.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:26 AM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
Like others, I'd leave it as it is.

An idea that might work though...

re-frame with a backing mat that has the shape of a complete one in a similar tan. It would look complete from a short distance, but still not be restored aor altered.
Thanks for the interesting idea. Not sure I'd go to that much trouble, and I think there's enough of it there to extrapolate the rest. I do wish they had done the metal plate in gold rather than silver, I might replace that or ditch it altogether.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:49 AM
DCDSports DCDSports is offline
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Always loved the L1 leathers set. If I recall correctly, we had a complete set of the baseball, and a good number of the other series, including 5 or 6 of the LL premiums. In addition we had some original advertising pieces (including a baseball one).

They make great displays, and the variety was cool.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:15 AM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCDSports View Post
Always loved the L1 leathers set. If I recall correctly, we had a complete set of the baseball, and a good number of the other series, including 5 or 6 of the LL premiums. In addition we had some original advertising pieces (including a baseball one). They make great displays, and the variety was cool.
I remember being blown away by your L1 collection, undoubtedly the best ever put together. Unfortunately, the Legendary archives has gone down the rabbit hole. You don't have photos of the items in the collection, do you, specifically the WaJo L1?
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:55 PM
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JeremyW JeremyW is offline
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Hank- I have that Legendary auction catalog. If you let me know your address, I'll try to get it mailed out to you this week. Jeremy
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  #46  
Old 08-02-2021, 03:11 PM
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Baseball Rarities Baseball Rarities is offline
K3v1n Stru55
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Beautiful L1 of Walter. I would also opt to leave it alone. I think that it has a tremendous look to it as is. Congratulations.
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Old 08-03-2021, 02:25 AM
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Such a great piece! Congratulation! It looks like I'm in the minority on this one, but I would be looking to clean it if it were in my collection. As long as it could be done without damaging anything or fading the image. But I also understand why others say not to touch it. As far as how to go about doing it though, I don't have any experience cleaning something like this, but I would look into options. Perhaps a museum curator might be a good place to start.
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:42 AM
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100% keep it as is.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:18 AM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Quote:
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100% keep it as is.
Thanks, Glyn, I'm only about 60% there right now. I do see the charm in it as it is now, but keep getting drawn to the clean version and think about mine with that kind of patina and brightness.
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:34 AM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankphenom View Post
Thanks, Glyn, I'm only about 60% there right now. I do see the charm in it as it is now, but keep getting drawn to the clean version and think about mine with that kind of patina and brightness.
Just get it cleaned!

You know you want to. And you got it for a great price, so put that money you saved for the cleaning.

It will look amazing and you won't be wondering "should I clean it or shouldn't I? for the next 10 years.

GO FOR IT!!!!!
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