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Circa 1850s "H" Style Lemon Peel Ball
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,320
Well-crafted and slightly unusual early variation to the standard lemon peel balls of the 1850s/early 1860s. Like other lemon peel balls from the era, the offered example is constructed of a single piece of leather bearing four cut panels. However, instead of the panels meeting all together at a single point at the top, which is the defining feature of a lemon peel ball, this ball features an additional tiny straight stitch across the top that resembles an "H." This ball, which appears to be handmade, measures 9 inches in circumference and weighs 4.8 ounces. In the late 1850s the National Association of Baseball Players changed the standard specifications of a regulation ball. The new rules required that the baseball weigh 6.25 ounces (up from the previous standard of 5.5 ounces) and have a circumference of 10.25 inches (as opposed to the earlier measurement of 9 inches). Given that rule change and the dimensions of this ball, it seems highly likely that it dates to the early 1850s. The ball displays minor abrasions, as one would expect, as well as a few tiny tears. There also appears to be a slight, vintage repair to one of the stitched seams. In Very Good condition overall. This is a very rare baseball style and only the second example we have offered. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,320
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