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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cool EBAY find!

Check this out! An auction for Walt Disney's first business card! What a neat piece of history! From the auction listing:

This business card was found in a career scrapbook compiled by Bert Sylvester of Los Angeles, CA.

Mr. Sylvester founded one of the first electrical lighting companies in L.A. during the Silent period. Two of his proteges went on to found the Mole-Richardson Company, which is today one of the largest and most successful movie lighting companies in the world. Bert Sylvester was right in the center of moviemaking during the early Hollywood years and would very easily have known and worked with Walt Disney in any number of ways.

This card has been authenticated twice.

First, it was confirmed by a dealer in Disneyana who surmised that the handwriting on the card must be Walt Disney's own and that this is in fact, a contract by which Walt promised to produce title cards (or "banks") for some vendor (perhaps Bert himself) who wished to use them in a film or in a movie house, projected onscreen between films. Since the card still has Walt Disney's Kansas City address, it is likely that he handed this out when he first arrived in L.A. in 1922-1923.

The second authentication came in 2003 when Antiques Roadshow came to my hometown of San Francisco. I signed up for an appraisal just to see if this card was real.
The woman who appraises collectibles and sports memoribilia took a look at it and claimed that I had found Walt's "Rookie Card". They even filmed a short segment which she said was sure to make it on T.V. Alas, I wound up on the cutting room floor.

Wow. What a find! Final bid: $1802.77!


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