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19th Century Baseball Memorabilia

  6 Lots      

Lot 113.  Currier & Ives Lithograph – “The American National Game of Base Ball." This undated print, almost 5.75” x 8.5” on 8.5” x 11.5” paper, is subtitled the “Grand Match for the Champion at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, N.J” in 1865. The competitors in this game were the Mutual Club of Manhattan and the Atlantic Club of Brooklyn. Some sources report that almost 20,000 spectators attended this game. Meanwhile, at least one source asserts that the game is a myth; it never took place! Whatever the reality, the artwork is excellent. This print carries the notation: “Entered According to Act of Congress A.D. 1866” in the Southern District of New York. The print is nm; the page has some wear at the corners and a small edge crease. This work of art is among the most recognized and celebrated images of a 19th-century baseball game.
Winning Bid $40     

Lot 114.  Harper’s Weekly Woodcuts of 1884 Champion Baseball Players and Charles Comiskey. An 11” x 15.75” page (May 16, 1885) has portraits of 12 stars. According to an accompanying article, nine of these players “are universally acknowledged as the most expert players in their respective positions in the field.” They are accompanied by “the champion batsmen of the National League and the American Association respectively, and the most noted baserunner.” The article then provides a brief profile of each player: Old Hoss Radbourn, Providence, pitcher; Buck Ewing, New York, catcher; John Morrill, Boston, first base; John Burdock, Boston, second base; Edward Williamson, Chicago, third base; Arthur Irwin, Providence, shortstop; Joseph Hornung, Boston, left field; George (Piano Legs) Gore, Chicago, center field; Mike Kelly, Chicago, right field; John Ward, New York, the best base runner; Jim O’Rourke, Chicago, champion National League batsman, and Thomas Easterbrook, New York, champion America Association batsman. The page is vg with some edge chips and stains along the bottom. Comiskey and W. A. (Artie) Latham are in woodcuts on a half-page (11.5” x 9.5”) from the Oct. 27, 1888 issue of Harper’s Weekly. Comiskey was the St. Louis Browns’ manager and first baseman, and Latham was the team’s shortstop. Later, Comiskey owned the Chicago White Sox. The half-page is vg with a light stain between the two players and in the lower right corner. These two vintage collectibles feature five members of the Hall of Fame – Comiskey, Radbourn, Ewing, Ward and O’Rourke.
Winning Bid $30     

Lot 115.  4 “Harper’s Weekly” Pages with Baseball Woodcuts or Engravings, 1886-1900. Two pages present the artwork of Harper’s cartoonists – William Allen Rogers on one, and Edward W. Kemble on another. Woodcuts of Charles Comiskey and W. A. (Artie) Latham occupy slightly more than half of a 10” x 15.25” page from the Oct. 27, 1888 issue of the New York magazine. Comiskey was the St. Louis Browns’ manager and first baseman, and Latham was the team’s shortstop. Later, Comiskey was a key figure in the formation of the American League, and he was the founding owner of the Chicago White Sox. The page is vg+ to with a couple of light creases and two small edge tears that have been taped on the back. The Comiskey and Latham images display very nicely. The earliest offering, from the May 15, 1886 edition, is a half-page woodcut of “The New Grounds of the Metropolitan Baseball Club on Staten Island.” The Metropolitans were an American Association team. In 1886, under new ownership, they moved from New York City to Staten Island. The move was unsuccessful, and the team folded after the 1887 season. The woodcut shows a game in progress and well-dressed fans, many of them women, in the stands. The woodcut is ex. The page has a crease in a corner below the woodcuts and a tear well above it. Part of a serialized version of Thomas Hardy’s “The Mayor of Casterbridge” is on the reverse. The June 22, 1888 edition of “Harper’s” provides an article and illustration concerning the “Hall Championship Cup.” Tiffany & Co. created it for presentation to the winner of the championship series between the National League and the American Association. In the 1888 World Series, the New York Giants were awarded the trophy after defeating the American Association St. Louis Browns. The trophy now belongs to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Harper’s page with the article on the trophy is ex. The reverse prsents a full-page illustration by widely regarded Harper’s cartoonist William Allen Rogers. It’s titled “A street in a Mining Village in Pennsylvania.” Artist-illustrator-cartoonist Edward W. Kemble presents a humorous view of baseball in a full page from the July 28, 1900 issue of Harper’s. In the engraving, he gives “Some Fine Points of the National Game,” which are accompanied by 12 cartoon baseball players. From 1903-07, Kemble was a staff cartoonist with “Harper’s.” He also worked for “Life” and “Collier’s” and illustrated the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” other books and many “Uncle Remus” stories. The page has a vg-ex appearance with some edge tears and creases that don’t affect the illustrations or the text.
Winning Bid $40     

Lot 116.  1973 TCMA 1886 NY Giants Baseball Player Cards – Connor, Ewing, Keefe, Ward, Etc. These 14 cards, each approximately 3.25” x 4.5”, are one card short of a set; the Bat Boy is missing. TCMA produced these cards from the July 10, 1886 edition of “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.” Six Hall of Fame members are among the 14 – Roger Connor, Buck Ewing, Tim Keefe, Jim O’Rourke, John Ward and Mickey Welch. The cards are ex.
Winning Bid $10     

Lot 117.  Humorous Vintage Cartoons, One with a Futuristic View of Baseball. One cartoons is from the March 30, 1889 issue of the English magazine “Punch,” and the other, from the inventive, forward-looking mind of Harry Grant Dart in a 1912 edition of “Life.” A 5.5” x 7” half-page illustration from an 8” x 10.5” page from “Punch” has a illustration of a baseball game with a player apparently sliding. The action is accompanied by a poem titled “Lines on Base-Ball” by “an Aesthetic and Sentimental Young Lady” with these words: “I feel that I could watch Base-Ball / With interest, and even passion / If but the Players wouldn’t fall / In that extraordinary fashion!” The illustration is ex-m; the border has some minor creases. In Dart’s illustration on a 9” x 11” page from “Life,” chaos reigns as fans watch the “World Series International Baseball Championship” game between New York and London from rooftops and numerous types of airborne transportation. A sign on one building advises “Tenants View Baseball Games from the Roof at Own Risk.” Dart’s imagination includes coverage of the game by “Wireless Press.” His cartoons frequently were futuristic and involved aviation. He was a prolific cartoonist who served as art editor of “the New York World” newspaper. Dart’s futuristic World Series illustration is ex to ex-m and free of problems. The border, which is as much as 1.5” wide, has chips, creases and some tears.
Winning Bid $30     

Lot 118.  1894 “Yale Murphy, the Great Short-Stop” from the New York Five-Cent Library. Subtitled “The Little Midget of the Giant New York Team,” this 16-page story is attributed to “Billy Boxer, the Referee.” Only 5’3”, Murphy played for the New York Giants in 1894, 1895 and 1897. Subsequently, he coached football at Fordham, and basketball at Yale. His 1902-03 basketball team was the Helms National Champion. The paper for this magazine-format publication is somewhat brittle and shows some small edge chips and a tiny tear at the spine. “One of 1st baseball novels 1894” is lightly written in pencil on the cover. Murphy was only 36 when he died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1906. This short novel based on Murphy’s life appears to be in short supply in any form.
Winning Bid $20     

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