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Pair of 1915 Boston "Royal Rooters" Pins Featuring Red Sox Owner Joseph Lannin
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $5,036
Pair of rare Boston Red Sox pins dating from the club's 1915 World Championship season. 1) The most elaborate of the two is an ornately designed pin worn by one of Boston's fabled "Royal Rooters." The top portion features a gilt-framed brooch reading "Boston," attached to which is a red-white-and-blue ribbon that is lettered "Royal Rooters 1915." A button (2.25 inches in diameter) picturing Red Sox owner Joseph Lannin (identified in print at the base of the red border) is attached to the end of the ribbon, both of which lie upon a small red sock that hangs from the brooch. This is one of only a few examples of this extraordinary Royal Rooters pin that we have ever seen. During the late 1890s, Boston’s most diehard baseball fans were organized into a cohesive group by saloon keeper Michael T. “Nuf Ced" McGreevy. Calling themselves the “Royal Rooters,” the group’s informal membership quickly grew into the hundreds. Each year the most fanatical Rooters often accompanied the Red Sox to spring training and important road games. During those excursions, the Rooters normally wore pins or buttons to express their loyalty. While we have seen other Royal Rooter pins over the years, the offered example certainly represents the pinnacle of their artistic evolution. The pin displays moderate wear to both cloth elements, the ribbon and sock, including fading of the lettering on the ribbon and a few tiny holes to the sock. The brooch and button remain in Near Mint condition, with the button retaining its original paper backing (manufactured by A. R. Lopez & Bro., Boston). In Excellent condition overall and probably the finest example we have seen. 2) The second item is a small celluloid button (1.25 in diameter) picturing team-owner Joseph Lannin that is lettered "Rockland Day at Fenway Park Aug 3, 1915" along the perimeter. A small red-white-and-blue knotted ribbon is attached to the button at the top. This button has the extraordinary provenance of originating directly from the Lannin family. It, along with a large number of other items, was originally sold by REA in its June1997 auction. As we noted at the time, this piece was from a special promotional day in which any one from Joseph Lannin's hometown of Rockland, Massachusetts, could go to the game for free. This button was not designed with a pin back, but it could easily have been affixed to a lapel with a pin through the ribbon. This is also an extremely rare celluloid (it is the only example we have ever seen), with its extreme scarcity no doubt related to its one-day issuance. Near Mint to Mint condition. Total: 2 items. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $5,036
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