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Circa 1920s SABA Baseball Doll - Christy Mathewson Likeness
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $240
Scarce 1920s baseball doll produced by the A. Bucherer and Cie of Amriswil, Switzerland, the facial features of which bear a likeness to pitching immortal Christy Mathewson. The dolls made by the A. Bucherer and Cie were novel at the time due to their use of a patented metal ball joint at the neck, wrist, elbow, knee, and ankle, allowing for a wide degree of freestanding poses. The head and body are made of a composition-type material and the uniform appears to be sewn right onto the doll. These dolls, which are known in the doll/toy field as SABA dolls (an acronym for Speilwarenfabrik [toy factory], August [the first name of the company's owner], Burcherer Amriswil [location of the factory]), are of the highest quality and are prized for their exceptional attention to detail. Production of the SABA dolls began in 1920 and continued until 1935, during which time the United States was the largest importer. The company produced nearly 160 different dolls, the most popular of which were those of comic figures and celebrities, including Charlie Chaplin, Amelia Earhardt, and Buster Keaton. Our research has not found a definitive inventory of the company's dolls, so we cannot state with certainty whether or not this was supposed to be Christy Mathewson or just a generic ballplayer, but the uniform is similar in style to the plain pinstripes often worn by the Giants from the midteens to mid-1920s. The doll (7.5 inches in height) displays normal wear commensurate with its age and former use, and is missing its original cap. In Excellent condition overall. This is one of only two examples of this SABA baseball doll we have seen and the first we have ever handled; it is a rare, very interesting, and desirable display piece that would be at home in any baseball display and/or vintage toy collection. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $240
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