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Lot # 1168 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Extraordinary Circa 1850 Lemon Peel Ball

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,528

This tiny leather-covered sphere, which is distinguished by its high degree of craftsmanship, represents one of the earliest balls we have ever seen, let alone handled. Based upon its physical characteristics, measuring just under seven inches in diameter and constructed from four separate pieces of leather, this ball most likely dates to the mid nineteenth century, which marked the dawn of organized baseball. This ball coincides with the earliest days of our national pastime, and may well have been used to play any number of ball and/or bat games, including, but not exclusively limited to, baseball, rounders, and "one ol cat." Balls constructed of four separate pieces of leather, like this example, represent the most primitive form of ball construction, as they are the easiest to cut and assemble. However, although simplistic in its design, the level of expertise displayed in the tight stitching seen here is evidence of this ball having been constructed by a skilled artisan. Adding to this ball's appeal is its remarkable condition. Despite evidence of former use, including minor abrasions and small cuts, all of the stitching remains perfectly tight, with no tears, and the leather retains is supple nature, displaying very little cracking as is normally found on nineteenth-century ball. In Excellent condition overall. This is a remarkable surviving example of a mid nineteenth-century ball and one of the finest we have ever seen. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,528

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