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1878 "Parlor Base Ball" Game
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $3,190.00
The "Parlor Base Ball" game, produced in 1878, is the second oldest baseball board game ever produced. The only earlier baseball tabletop game is the 1869 "New Parlor Game of Base Ball." This is the first example of the "Parlor Base Ball" game we have ever seen. The hinged box is elaborately constructed of wood with decorated cardboard inlays on both the front and back lid. The front lid is lettered "Parlor Base Ball" and depicts an illustration of a period catcher and batter. The back lid displays a chess/checkerboard design. The box opens up to reveal a very colorful illustrated playing field in one compartment (featuring a game in progress) and a spinner with a large circular grid (which determines the "action") in the opposite compartment. Created during the earliest days of our National Pastime, it is interesting to note the positions of both the fielders and umpire depicted on the playing field. Both the first and third baseman are positioned in foul territory (the fair/foul rules were different at the time), while the umpire is positioned far behind the catcher as was the custom of the day. The game is in overall Very Good to Excellent condition. There are a few slight abrasions on the front cover and a two inch tear on the back cover. The interior playing field exhibits a few minor areas of spotting, as well as the initials "OBH," which have been lightly written in pencil. A few small tears are evident on the spinner grid (no paper loss). The game is complete with its original wood pieces; however, the original spinner has been replaced. This is an extremely attractive nineteenth-century display piece and an extraordinary example of this significant rarity. Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.5 x 1.75 inches. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $3,190.00
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