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Lot # 683 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1860 Live Oak Polka Sheet Music

Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $10,440.00

The 1860 Live Oak Polka sheet music is the earliest and most spectacular of all color baseball sheet music. It is also universally recognized as one of the most significant and revered of all nineteenth- century baseball display pieces, and represents the very first baseball chromolithographic art print. The song is dedicated to the Live Oak Base Ball Club of Rochester, New York. The cover depicts a baseball game-in-progress with a patriotic motif of an American flag draped across the top. A player is pictured in the foreground, leaning on a bat in full period uniform. The detail of the game in progress scene is remarkable, with players in uniforms, spectators in formal dress, and tremendous background detail. There are very few baseball-related lithographic art pieces dating from the era of the Civil War. This is one of the few, the earliest, and perhaps the very finest, with unparalleled design and production values. This is a rare piece, equally at home in a museum setting or a most advanced collection devoted to Americana, the Civil War, American lithography, or baseball. The last example ever seen at auction appeared as Lot #1 in Robert Edward Auctions' May 2004 auction, selling at that time for a hammer price of $15,000. There may be other items in this sale that will sell for more, but no other single item represents all that we value in terms of aesthetics, and the rich early history of the game of baseball, than The Live Oak Polka sheet music. We are aware of fewer than five examples of The Live Oak Polka. This is an extraordinary example of the most desirable of all baseball sheet music, and one of the premier nineteenth-century baseball display pieces. Published by Endicott & Co. Lithographers of New York. With extremely strong colors, with only some very minor age spotting, an extremely insignificant small edge tear on top border (no paper loss, mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy) and a corner crease in the lower right. Interior sheet music pages are complete, intact, and very clean. 10 x 13 inches. Framed and matted to the dimensions of 17 x 14 inches. In superb Excellent condition. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000/$15,000. SOLD FOR $10,440.00

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