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teza

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Hi. I have an image of what I believe to be one of the scarce extra large tobacco premiums available for the return of 245 gift slips around 1913-1914.  I don't own the leather, but it was described to be approximately 2.5' x 2.5' square.  Both the coupon and LL #359 George Washington images shown below.  Is this an actual LL premium?  If not, why?  Anyone else have any other LL images to share?

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Jeff

LL359.jpg 
LL1 GW o.jpeg 



forbesrs

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Reply with quote  #2 
The answer is "maybe" ...

The Washington image here is a very close match to the one found in the S76 & L4 series. I've only seen a single example of what I believe to be an XL leather - the Gen. Grant that Chad Dreier had in his collection. I had a chance to examine it a number of years ago & there are some similarities and some differences.

The XL Grant also had very similar artwork to the Grant in the S76 & L4 series.  If I recall correctly the Grant had color and was embossed not printed. This one looks printed without any additional color. Both the Washington & Grant have the image over-sized compared to the regular large leather & silk images. The shape of the cut of the two XL leathers is quite different. In several of the large premium leather issues, subjects were produced both embossed and printed. My theory is that the production of the premium leathers was a partially manual process, possibly done by more than one leather-working business, and variation in the products was, therefore, quite common. I am certain that there were very few requests for the XL leathers as it required 245 coupons compared to only 35 for the large premium leathers, which are quite scarce themselves. I would not be at all surprised if a number of the XL subjects listed on the coupon were never even produced.

It is quite likely the XL leathers were produced manually, using a print or embossed stamp then hand-colored. The XL leather was probably cut based on the shape of the hide the leather-worker was using so I'd expect a lot of variability there.

Now here comes the caveat - as there is no source information or pictures at all that I've been able to find that would confirm or deny my belief that the XL Grant I inspected is truly one of the XL leathers listed on the coupon, I can't say for certain it actually is. As the Washington example is a bit different from the Grant, either or both or neither could be.

So, in my humble and semi-uniformed opinion, without examining the item, I think that this Washington very likely is an XL leather as shown on the coupon but I would not be able to give any absolute confirmation. 

L4 201 Genl. Washington XX.jpg  L4 XL Grant 1.jpg 

teza

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Appreciate the feedback Bob.  As you know most of the large tobacco premiums had some sort of an identifier (e.g. embossed issue number) easily identifying them as a premium.  In addition, most of the subjects were named.  The lack of any visible identifier or stated "George Washington" were among a few of the reasons I did not bid on this item.  Perhaps the lack of these attributes can be explained by the manual processes more than likely involved in producing these.  Can you recall if Chad's Grant had any stamped markings or was a named subject?  I can't tell by the picture.

Jeff
forbesrs

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No name or number on the Grant. That's one of the reasons I can't make a positive confirmation. Who knows why they did what they did - maybe they didn't think they needed to number them as there were so few issued? I've seen other XL leathers that I'm pretty sure aren't tobacco issues and also some large leathers the same size and similar shape as the L1 through L9 group. Different subjects and without numbers on them. I'm speculating that other non-tobacco companies used the same type of premiums for their products but I've never found any source information to prove it one way or another.
swarmee

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6 foot by 6 foot must be an entire cow's hide.  I could easily that being a case of overpromise and underdeliver if these are only 1/4th the size.  Plus, where would you hang such a leather?  Or use it as a rug?
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teza

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John, 6 square feet as in 2' x 3'.  Not 6' x 6' which would equal 36 square feet.
Six Ft.jpg

swarmee

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Reply with quote  #7 
Good point.  I read your title.
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1880nonsports

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Reply with quote  #8 
I've seen the Grant and agree with our past NSOY might/might not be the premium and that VERY FEW of these were actually "produced". There were quite a few LARGE hides painted with famous native americans, animals, war heroes and the like. I've sold 4/5. They were available at trading posts and elsewhere produced by working painters as well as home artists. I believe the Grant may have come by way of Tik.
One problem relative to production of the VERY LARGE leathers as opposed to simply large leathers would likely be PROPORTION. The image from the smaller wouldn't look right on the larger and therefore the larger figure would have to be individually produced. Couple that with an expectation that very few would be redeemed.
As an aside there are 3 leathers listed as "enormous" (NOT mine) in the latest Love of the Game auction; pilgrim, woman, windmill........

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teza

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Reply with quote  #9 
Very interesting Henry. I had not seen the 3 XL leathers currently listed by LOG. The "Windmill" piece is almost identical in hide color, spotting, and displays other imperfections that also appear in the George Washington piece. Both pieces are also printed (not embossed) and have similar color blending and muting. I'd bet that these were produced by the same manufacturer. I am now more doubtful that the GW XL leather is a tobacco premium.

Jeff
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Reply with quote  #10 
The tobacco companies did not produce their tobacco cards, silks, flannels, or leathers in-house. They paid printing companies, fabric manufacturers, etc. to make the inserts & premiums. Therefore, it would not be surprising for some leather-working company to make selected XL tobacco premiums for the tobacco company (in this case P. Lorillard) and also similar premium in the same style for some other non-tobacco firm. Therefore, just because there are similar non-tobacco examples, it doesn't mean the Washington is not a tobacco item. On the other hand, it certainly does not mean that it is!  Bob
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