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Lot # 835 (of 1137)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1888 "Bostons vs Chicagos" Parlor Base Ball Game

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,067

With regard to historical significance, beauty, and rarity, few nineteenth-century baseball games can compare to the 1888 "The Parlor Base Ball Game." This indoor amusement is more commonly referred to in the hobby as "Bostons vs Chicago" because the interior game board features a colorful lithographic illustration of the two clubs in action on the diamond. While the players appear to be generic in form, the two clubs are identified in print along the outfield fence, making this the earliest baseball game to feature recognized baseball clubs. Its historical significance notwithstanding, it is also one of the most attractive in design. The game is housed in an unadorned wooden case with a hinged lid that opens to reveal the decorative interior. The top half features a series of alternating ramps with a bell at the bottom. A ball is rolled down the ramps, strikes the bell, and lands in one of fifteen different spaces in the base. As noted by the instructions on the underside of the interior compartment lid, reading "The Fortune Teller," this is a three-in-one game. The game can be played as a baseball game, as an adding game, or as a fortune-telling diversion. This is a particularly scarce nineteenth-century game and one of only a few examples we have seen, let alone handled. Manufactured by the "Forbes Co. Boston," as noted on the interior. The wooden case (13 x 10.5 x 2.5 inches) displays heavy wear to the exterior and moderate wear to the interior, including a slight chip to the illustrated left panel on the underside of the lid. The original fortune-teller cards and tiny pins are no longer present, but the game ball remains. In Very Good condition overall.
Reserve $500. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $1,067

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