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Lot # 10 (of 1336)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

The Extraordinary Mike Brown Baseball Sheet Music Collection (460)

Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $27,000

This enormous sheet-music collection, numbering an astonishing 460 examples, is, to the best or our knowledge, the largest single offering of baseball-related sheet music ever presented at public auction. Previously, the largest collection of baseball sheet music at auction took place in 1999, when a single lot of 257 examples appeared as the final lot (Lot 2481) in the historic sale of Barry Halper’s collection. This collection, which is almost double in number to Halper’s collection, spans the years 1867 to the 1970s and includes a large number of extremely significant nineteenth-century rarities, as well as many titles dating from the early 1900s. This historic collection was, by and large, put together the old-fashioned way. Over the course of the decades our consignor, legendary hobby veteran Mike Brown, traded, networked, advertised, and even regularly scoured collectibles and antique shows in search of any sheet music related to baseball. Many of the rarest and most important pieces in this collection were obtained either at auction or privately from dealers or other advanced collectors. No stone was left unturned! No baseball-related sheet music was turned away! The fruit of his considerable labors is nothing short of remarkable. This is a collection that we are not even sure could be assembled today, and even if it were possible, the cost would be exorbitant.

To put the Mike Brown baseball sheet music collection into proper hobby context: From the 1970s to the 1990s, various specialty fields of baseball collecting had their most well known collectors. For example, Mark Rucker was "the CDV guy"; Dr. Mark Cooper was "the baseball board game guy"; and Frank Steele and William Gladstone were the legendary baseball folk-art collectors (and Barry Halper gave them all a run for their money in every area). Mike Brown was the "baseball sheet music guy"! Over the years, Mike parted with very few pieces, and as souvenirs of his monumental collection he has kept just a few Brooklyn Dodgers-related sheet musics, but otherwise the collection is intact. Numbering an incredible 460 pieces, we must stress that this is a monumental museum-caliber assemblage. It should be noted that every sheet music in this collection relates to baseball in some manner. For most the association is obvious, but for a small percentage it might be simply the use of the word "baseball" or the name of a particular team in the song lyrics. Many classic titles universally familiar to fans and non-fans alike are included here, as are many obscure pieces, making this both a desirable and extremely fascinating collection.

A total of thirty-one nineteenth-century titles are featured in this collection, while an additional 160 titles date from the years 1900 to 1919. The total number of pieces for the other decades are as follows: 1920-1929 (43); 1930-1939 (44); 1940-1949 (47); 1950s through the 1970s (135, which includes many miscellaneous pieces, such as books containing sheet music and sheet-music related items).

It would be impossible to picture all of the dozens of highlights in the printed catalog. (There are too many! But we have gone out of our way to devote extra pages for illustrations of this special collection.) The collection, which is available for viewing in our office (by appointment), is extremely impressive! As always, many additional photos can also be found on our website. Total: 460 pieces.

Please Note: an inventory for all thirty-one nineteenth-century titles in this collection, complete with condition grades, as well as a year-by-year breakdown from 1900 to 1949 (with regard to total pieces and number of duplicates), is available either by email or fax upon request.
  Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $27,000

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