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A little more than a century ago, a Pittsburgh-area insurance firm prevailed upon the high art of double meaning in the design of this famously rare "Our Protection Against Loss" advertising pin that showcased Pirate shortstop and local icon Honus Wagner. (Baseball fans in the region certainly regarded the "Dutchman" as their "... Protection Against Loss" on the field, so the company logically reasoned, why not translate the perception to the commerce of insurance as well?) The result of a simple, yet deft, brainstorm is this now intensely scarce relic, of which fewer than a half-dozen are now known to survive. The 1-1/4"-diameter celluloid antique projects the immediately recognizable image of the beloved (and trusted) Hall of Fame athlete in his Pirate uniform...along with the promotional slogan, last-name caption, and a pair of stars that are symmetrically arranged to embellish his portrait. A legible backpaper insert attributing manufacture to an obscure Rochester, New York lapel pin maker—F. F. Pulver Co.—remains intact in the reverse, and its attaching device is still strong and secure. Although this remarkable pin shows light measures of spot-toning and routine evidence of handling, few authorities would assess its condition less than EX. This is a hallmark pin in the genre—one that projects an uncommonly detailed countenance (with perfect resolution) of Pittsburgh's Favorite Son and charter pillar of Coopertown renown.
Circa 1904 Honus Wagner "Our Protection Against Loss" Pinback
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