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Lot # 1220 (of 1727)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1902 Seymour R. Church Baseball 1845-1871 Volume 1 Book - Signed by the Author

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,293

This oversized (14 x 11 inches) hard-bound volume of early baseball history, often referred to as "The Church Book," is highlighted by five beautiful full-color plates, as well as numerous black-and-white illustrations relating to baseball history. The book was self-published by legendary early baseball enthusiast Seymour Church in 1902 and chronicles the history of baseball, with particular focus on the history of the game in California during the nineteenth century. This particular volume is of special significance as it has been inscribed and signed by the author on the front flyleaf in purple ink (grading "10"): "Mr. F. W. Wallace - with compliments of S. R. Church." A pencil notation below Church's inscription chronicles a subsequent change of ownership and reads "W. B. Harlow From F. W. Wallace." This is one of the all-time classic early baseball books devoted to the history of baseball, with many photographs and a great deal of information which appear nowhere else. This book was intended to be the first of a series published by Church (it is "Volume 1") but a fire destroyed Church's business and his very substantial baseball collection in 1902, apparently derailing his plans for additional volumes. This particular book (11 x 14 inches), while having a number of flaws, is one of the more attractive examples we have ever seen of this important volume and includes all five spectacular color plates. The covers display only a modest amount of handling wear and all of the gilt-stamped lettering remains bright and intact. There is moderate separation of the covers from the spine and the first page of the book is detached. A small two-inch border stain affects the final twenty-six pages of the book. Aside from these few condition anomalies, the book is in a remarkable state of preservation, with all of the pages clean and bright, and projects a strong Excellent to Mint appearance. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,293

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