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1857-1858 "Porter's Spirit of the Times" Newspapers
Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $1,044.00
Two bound volumes of the weekly sporting and entertainment newspaper Porter's Spirit of the Times. One volume covers issues from March 7, 1857 thru August 29th, 1857. The second volume covers issues from September 5, 1857 thru February 27, 1858. Includes incredible period coverage of baseball games between the top teams of the era. Among the entries to be found in these volumes are articles relating to the election of officers of the various New York clubs including the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, the Excelsior Base Ball Club of Brooklyn, and the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn; game announcements; game summaries; and an amazing series of letters (the first appears in the October 24, 1857 issue) from an anonymous reader in which he begins by discussing the origins of baseball. He writes in part: "... the game has, no doubt, been played in this country for at least one century...New England, we believe, has always been the play-ground for our favorite game; and the boys of the various villages still play by the same rules as their fathers did before them. We also find that many games are played differing but little from the well known game of base..." In following issues the same writer discusses the history of many of the area's top clubs including the Knickerbockers (noting that the club was first formed in 1842), the Gothams (formed in 1852) and the Empires (formed in 1854). He also provides guidance to prospective clubs with regard to choosing officers, finding suitable grounds and choosing proper equipment. Interestingly, in his writings he also calls for a convention of the top clubs and the formation of a governing body for baseball (a sentiment echoed by a follow-up letter from a member of the Eagles), thus foreshadowing the formation of the National Association one year later. These newspapers are literally a treasure trove of information and period accounts relating to the earliest days of organized baseball. Excellent condition. Note: This lot is owned by Robert Edward Auctions, LLC. REA sold this consignment lot in May 2005 as Lot 630 (sale price $1,508), but a description error on our part regarding the precise issue dates included in these volumes was a significant issue for the buyer, as the dates actually included did not complete the buyer's library as intended. Thus REA issued a full refund and we are offering these consigned by an REA error account that has been specially created for this situation. Robert Edward Auctions strictly prohibits the purchase and sale at auction of materials owned by the auction house. Though this is a common (and, perhaps most interesting, often denied) industrywide practice, we believe this practice is the source of a great deal of the conflicts of interest, and resulting unethical and illegal activities, which are epidemic in the baseball card and memorabilia auction business. The offering of this lot as an REA error account lot is a rare and acceptable exception to our policies at Robert Edward Auctions, and whenever there are similar exceptions for legitimate reasons, our policy is to duly note this fact in the description just as we have done in this case. Total 2 volumes. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $1,044.00
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