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Lot # 1181 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1888 The Pictorial Base Ball Album

Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $4,443.75

The Pictorial Base Ball Album, published in 1888 by Mussey & Harper (Chicago, IL), is highly prized by collectors today both for its remarkable content and extreme rarity. This extraordinary example once resided in the famed Steve Cummings Collection, which was perhaps the finest and most complete collection of baseball books ever assembled. Nearly all of the highlights of Cummings' collection were sold at public auction in 2000, at which time our consignor purchased the offered book. It has been in his personal possession since that time. The sixty-four-page soft-cover booklet (5 x 6.75 inches) features woodcut illustrations of nearly all of the top players and figures in the game, many with accompanying biographies, including Henry Chadwick, Albert Spalding, George and Harry Wright, Charles Comiskey, Cap Anson, John Ward, Mickey Welch, Buck Ewing, James O'Rourke, Roger Conner, Mike Kelly, John Clarkson, Charles Radbourn, Dan Brouthers, A. J. Reach, and Chris Von Der Ahe. Also included are team woodcuts of the 1869 Red Stockings and 1887 Detroit Wolverines, and a brief history of baseball, titled "Old Base Ball." Additional information includes the complete schedules of both the National League and American Association for 1888 and box scores for each game of the 1886 and 1887 World Series. This is one of the rarest of all nineteenth-century baseball guides. In all our years we have seen exactly four other examples of this book, including one in the famed Copeland auction in 1990. It is one of the great prize items featuring information and images of ballplayers of the era. The format of much of The Pictorial Base Ball Album is very "card-like" in design and it is essentially a pictorial yearbook featuring the greatest stars of 1888. The offered example remains in remarkable condition considering its age and fragile nature. Both covers are firmly attached and display only modest wear. There is a very tiny area of surface paper loss on the rear cover, as well as evidence of a light water stain along the base (not affecting any of the pages). The pages are all clean and bright, with the exception of a tiny area of light discoloration on the title page. In spectacular Excellent condition overall. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+.

SOLD FOR $4,443.75

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