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1867 Barrington Nine Trophy Bat
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,800
Substantial nineteenth-century trophy bat, measuring 41.75 inches in length and weighing over five pounds (83 ounces), issued to the Barrington BBC (New Hampshire) in 1867. Originally, the bat had a silver plaque that encircled the top end of the barrel (the outline of the plaque is clearly visible) that was engraved, "1st Prize/Won By/Barrington Nine/1867." Unfortunately, that plaque was long ago stolen when the bat was displayed, so the family had a new replacement plaque made, with the identical engraving, and affixed it to the barrel. Not much is known regarding the Barrington BBC, but the bat has a unique provenance. Our consignor first saw it many years ago when it was displayed at a museum in Manchester, New Hampshire, as part of an exhibition on the history of baseball in the state. At the time of the museum exhibition it was accompanied by a vintage photo of the bat (with the original silver plaque affixed to the end of the barrel) as it appeared decades ago when it was displayed on the wall of the family's local store. Our consignor, a longtime collector, was so taken with the bat that he took down the name of the family listed as the owner and, after the exhibition closed, contacted them to see if the bat might be for sale. It was, for the right price, and after a little negotiation, he was able to add it to his collection. According to the original owner, the original silver plaque was stolen from the bat long ago, but when they decided to loan it to the museum they had a new plaque made featuring the exact wording of the original engraving. Sadly, the family was not willing to part with the photo of the bat, but the style, size, weight, and composition of the bat leave little doubt as to its nineteenth-century origins. The bat, which features a stylized knob from the period, displays moderate wear, including a number of minor scratches and nicks, primarily along the barrel. A lathe hole appears in the knob and nearly all of its original finish has been retained. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Nineteenth-century trophy bats are rare, especially those of this size, making it both a highly desirable and significant relic dating just prior to the rise of professionalism in our national pastime. SOLD FOR $1,800
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