Thursday, October 22, 2015

Watch Me Soak It.

Another commissioned cachet for a long-time patron of mine who happens to collect the first U. S. stamp celebrating the centennial of baseball. I've done a number of these for him, and I've still more to do. This particular image is from a tobacco card using a caricature representation of Hall of Fame power hitter Dan Brouthers.

I'm including a photo image I gleaned from the web while I was researching the tobacco card. I discovered that the artist apparently was unaware that Dan batted left his entire career. He dominated 19th-Century baseball by winning 5 batting titles and two home run titles during his career. Some little known facts about the man: He accidentally killed a fellow baseball player while sliding into home plate when he was 19 years old. He was the vice president of the first baseball players union. He briefly held the record for the most career home runs before it was broken by Babe Ruth.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Home Run firecrackers

Another commissioned First Day Cover for the same patron who commissioned me to do the Brownie Nine cover. I've done firecrackers before...The links to my previous efforts are here, here and here. Doing the packages is a lot of fun, as the images used are brightly colorful and imaginative.

I have a third First Day of Issue cover that was serviced for Mr. Kleinod, and I haven't decided what I'm going to put on it. Perhaps another baseball themed cigar label...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Brownie Baseball

Occasionally I accept commissioned work to  supplement my passion for old paper. On top of that, I began to create collectibles in 1989, although it was unwittingly at the time. Having begun to put art work on envelopes in the mid Fifties after seeing the art of C. M. Russell, I had no idea that there were people who collected these little gems. I have posted a number of pieces of 'mail art' since I began publishing my blog, and looking for the mail art label HERE will keep you busy for awhile. Properly called first day covers, these regular envelopes carry stamps cancelled in the city where the stamp is first released for public sale, and in this case it was Cooperstown, New York.

In 1939, a person interested in creating a first day cover would have to send self-addressed envelopes and cash to cover the cost of the postage to the postmaster of the city where the stamp was to be released. I have three of these envelopes with the same name on them, and a little research informed me that Mr. Kleinod was a member of the American Philatelic Society as early as 1921.

As for the art work, it is a cigar label for the Beckett & Brown Company of Eastport, Maine, who sponsored and fielded a baseball team called the Brownie Nine. The cigars were a nickel. Before 1920, there were over 25,000 cigar manufacturers in the United States. Cigar sales were strictly regulated and taxed by the government, and the labels produced between 1880 and 1920 were works of art produced using a method of printing called stone lithography.

I urge those who are interested in the label as an art form to visit the Cigar Label Junkie for a virtual library of labels of every description. This is either my fourth or fifth cover that I have created for the same gentleman, and I have not run out of baseball related cigar labels quite yet.