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1825 to 1860 Baseball "Chapbooks" Collection (13)
Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $928.00
Anyone searching for the true origins of baseball can learn much by examining the images and words contained within these rare nineteenth-century publications. Comprised of twelve books and one school certificate, the collection is significant in that each item offered here pictures, in illustrated form, either an early baseball scene or a depiction of one of the many similar bat-and-ball games from which baseball evolved. In many cases, those illustrations are also accompanied by either verses or brief descriptions of the games pictured. Many of the books display interior pencil notations and/or the names of former owners. 1) Youthful Sports, New York: Mahlon Day, 1825, chapbook features a woodcut and brief commentary of "Trap and Ball." 16 pages. 2 x 3.5 inches. Cover missing. Gd. First example we have ever seen of this extraordinary rarity. 2) Juvenile Pastimes In Verse, New York: Mahlon Day, 1830, chapbook features a woodcut of "Trap and Ball." 2.25 x 3.5 inches. Vg-Ex. 3) Sports of Youth, New Haven: S. Babcock, 1838, chapbook features a woodcut of a game called "Playing Ball." The author writes "Ah! This is my favorite game. This is an excellent amusement for boys. How eager all the little fellows appear. One of them stands ready to toss the ball, - one to knock it, and two to run after it, if they fail to catch it." 2 x 3 inches. Gd. 4) The Boy's Story Book For Winter Evenings, Providence: Geo. P. Daniels, 1839, hardcover chapbook features an interior woodcut titled "Ball." The text describes a number of "ball" games including "Base, or Goal Ball." 3.75 x 5.75 inches. Interior pages Very Good, with foxing and heavy wear to the covers. 5) Animal Biography: or Book of Natural History, New Haven: S. Babcock, circa 1839 (the date is written in pencil on the cover), chapbook features an illustration of a ball-and-bat game on the cover. 3.75 x 5.75 inches. Vg, with toning and foxing. 6) Pictures and Stories For The Young: or Pleasing Tales in Poetry and Prose, New Haven: S. Babcock, 1841, chapbook features an illustration of a ball-and-bat game on the cover (cover is nearly identical to the preceding book). 3.75 x 5.75 inches. Gd. 7) The Gift of Friendship: Seasoned With Instruction Both For The Mind And The Eye, New Haven: S. Babcock, circa 1841, chapbook features an illustration of a ball and bat game on the cover (cover is nearly identical to the two preceding books). 3.75 x 5.75 inches. Gd. 8) Specimens of Penmanship, Middletown: E. Hunt & Co., 1842, the cover of this children's writing tablet features the familiar illustration of baseball being played on the Boston Common that first appeared in Carver's Book of Sports in 1834. 6.25 x 7.75 inches. All of the pages bear writing samples from the former owner. Vg. 9) The Evergreen - A Poetic Gift For Little Folks, New Haven: S. Babcock, 1850, chapbook features an illustration of a ball-and-bat game on the cover (identical to those on the covers of the other Babcock books in this lot). 3.25 x 3.75 inches. Foxing throughout, Vg. 10) Sanders' Pictorial Primer: or An Introduction to 'Sanders' First Reader', New York: Ivison & Phinney, 1858, hard-bound book features a group of boys playing baseball within a larger illustration titled "The Playground." Interior foxing, Vg. 4.75 x 7 inches. 11) The Casket, Filled With Pleasant Stories For The Improvement Of The Young, New York: J.S. Redfield, circa 1859 (based upon the vintage pencil inscription along the interior), chapbook features a small illustration of boys playing baseball on the cover. 3.75 x 6 inches. Cover has detached from the spine, back cover is nearly detached as well. Fr-Gd. 12) The First Reader Of The School And Family Series, New York: Harper Brothers, 1860, hard-bound book features a baseball illustration and a description of the game along the interior. 5 x 7.5 inches. Interior pages Gd, heavy wear to covers. 13) 1840s "Reward of Merit" school certificate, undated, features a color illustration of boys playing an early form of baseball (bat resembles a cricket bat), 6.5 x 3 inches. Never issued, Ex-Mt, rarely found in high grade. This is an extraordinary collection of early baseball items including many extremely early and significant rarities. This unique collection has been assembled by our consignor over a period of decades. Total: 13 items. Reserve $800. Estimate $1,500/$2,500+. SOLD FOR $928.00
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