Ca. 1945 New Canaan License Plate Topper

You don't see too many of these around. We came across this for today's edition of eBay Saturday.


The license plate in this eBay item is a reproduction with New Canaan’s ZIP code, but what’s being called the ca. 1945 “license plate topper” isn’t.

Given that the license plate topper features New Canaan’s nickname “Next Station to Heaven,” I’m guessing that’s the Congregational Church steeple on the right, since there’s such a strong association between that church and God’s Acre. It’s interesting that there’s a basketball player featured on the other part of the item—maybe that’s New Canaan High School Hall of Fame athlete Tom Sirico (who excelled at basketball, among other sports, and had graduated just a few years earlier).

One are of interest, for me at least, is the whole idea of a license plate topper itself. Here’s what one website says about them:

“License Plate Toppers are small porcelain signs with a tail that can be screwed over the top of your license plate. License toppers were very popular in the 1930’s and 40’s. Toppers are somewhat hard to find these days mainly because of their small size and the fact that not many of each topper was minted. However, despite their small size, they can still bring a high price.”

This one is listed at $225, the item is listed as up for bid on eBay for a few more days.

If you’re thinking of picking it up, think twice about putting it on your license plate—state law prohibits motorists from putting anything on their license plates that obstructs a view of them (see comments on this article).


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