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Extraordinary 1860s ABC Baseball Plate Collection (8)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $9,860.00
Collection of eight different 1860s glazed-ceramic children's plates featuring baseball scenes. These early ceramics are called "ABC plates" because the alphabet is embossed around the perimeter of each plate as a learning tool for children. In the 1860s plates were produced featuring many different subjects of special interest to youngsters, which presumably would make learning the alphabet all the more enjoyable. ABC plates featuring baseball scenes are particularly rare and desirable. This collection of eight plates, assembled over a period of twenty years, is the largest and best collection of baseball ABC plates we have ever seen. These plates usually surface just one at a time. An offering of a collection of eight is, to the best of our knowledge, unprecedented. Five of the eight plates feature different baseball illustrations, each with a caption (such as "Caught on the Fly" or "Base Ball Pitcher"); the remaining three plates are not duplicates, but are size or color variations. Over the years, we have seen only the five different designs included in this collection, and it would be reasonable to assume that this may represent all the baseball ABC plate designs ever issued. The plates vary in size from six to eight inches in diameter. The transfer illustrations have no fading. Two of the plates have small rim chips, all are otherwise in overall Excellent condition. This is an outstanding and possibly unique collection of these very scarce generic baseball display pieces. Baseball ABC plates date from the earliest days of the game. In large part because of their rarity, they have received little attention from baseball collectors, and are probably more well known in the general antique and Americana fields than the baseball collecting world. They are exceptional for display, and represent one of the most outstanding values of all nineteenth-century baseball memorabilia. The collection is accompanied by an additional 1860s ABC plate (Diameter: 6.75 inches) featuring an elaborate cricket game-in-progess scene (Ex). Total 9 plates. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $9,860.00
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