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Lot # 832 (of 1137)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Nineteenth-Century Lemon Peel and Figure-Eight Baseball Collection (3)

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,304

Collection of three early balls, displaying both the lemon peel and figure-eight designs. 1-2) Two classically designed lemon peel balls, each constructed of a single piece of leather. Both employ tight stitching and show evidence of skilled workmanship. The smaller of the two, constructed with very light-colored leather, measures 5.75 inches in circumference and weighs 1.2 ounces. The other, constructed in dark leather, measures 6.5 inches in circumference and weighs 0.8 ounces. In the late 1850s the National Association of Baseball Players changed the standard specifications of a regulation ball. The new rules required that the baseball weigh 6.25 ounces (up from the previous standard of 5.5 ounces) and have a circumference of 10.25 inches (as opposed to the earlier measurement of 9 inches). The fact that these ball are so much smaller and lighter than either of those earlier specifications indicates that they most likely date to an earlier time period, when ball-and-bat games were still the domain of children. As such, they may very well have been used to play any number of games, including, but not exclusively limited to, baseball, rounders, and "one o' cat." The small, light-colored ball displays heavy wear, including a crescent shaped tear to the leather at the base, as well as a number of other moderate abrasions. The larger, dark-colored ball shows light wear, including a small abrasion. The ball appears to have been coated with a light layer of protective shellac. 3) Figure-eight style ball. This early figure-eight style ball, circa 1850s/1860s, is crudely stitched. However, portions of each leather panel display prior stitch holes, which are very small and uniform, indicating that the ball was either repaired or refashioned from leather pieces belonging to another ball. The ball measures 7.75 inches in circumference and weighs 3 ounces. Heavy wear is evident throughout. The core (smaller) is no longer proportional in size to the cover, with the cover extremely loose and pliable. Total: 3 nineteenth-century balls. Reserve $300. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,304

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