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1910 Christy Mathewson Won In The Ninth Signed Presentation Edition
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $8,295
Rare 1910 special signed presentation hardcover first edition of Won In The Ninth (R. J. Bodmer Company, New York) by Christy Mathewson. This is the ultimate Christy Mathewson signed book, featuring a special bookplate signed by Mathewson affixed to the interior cover. Mathewson's signature, flawlessly rendered in black fountain pen, grades "10." The original recipient's name, “Mr. F. S. Fox,” is printed on the bookplate, as is the presentation number, “443.” It is unknown exactly how many special presentation copies of this book Mathewson signed, but over the years many have speculated that the number is somewhere between 300 and 500. The discovery of this book, as well as two other examples we previously offered (numbered, respectively, "471" and "499"), all of which are the highest-numbered copies (by far) that we have ever seen, appears to end the speculation and it now seems very likely that 500 was the limitation number. More important than the exact number of presentation copies signed by Mathewson is the fact that very few have survived. Won In The Ninth signed presentation editions have always been highly prized by collectors as it is the only title authored by Mathewson that features a photograph of him on the cover, making it ideal for display. The 298-page book of baseball fiction also has a special instructional section in the back. Over the years some collectors have questioned whether these limited-edition signed Won In The Ninth books were signed by someone other than Mathewson ("ghost-signed"). This volume is accompanied by a copy of a universally recognized authentic Christy Mathewson handwritten letter (one of the very few in existence) that is from an extraordinary original archive of correspondence to Cincinnati baseball promoter Daniel A. Fletcher (sold by Hunt Auctions in November 2011). Of special note is that this handwritten letter happens to date from the very same year as the signed Won In The Ninth editions (July 23, 1910). The accompanying copy of this relatively newly discovered letter is presented online as well for reference and speaks for itself. The covers display moderate wear, including a few small areas of minor discoloration on the back cover. A few of the pages, most notably pages 51-76, exhibit a tiny crease and/or tear in the lower right. Despite the minor condition anomalies, the book remains in Excellent condition overall and represents one of the most attractive examples we have ever seen or handled. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $8,295
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