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Circa 1866 Rockingham Nine Team CDV and 1867 Rockingham Trophy Ball
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $4,993.75
Dating from the late 1860s, each of these two rare items relates to the Rockingham Nine baseball club of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, one of New England's top clubs of the era. The first is a circa 1866 team CDV (2.4 x 4 inches) of the club posing together in a studio setting. The players are pictured in a classic team pose, holding both balls and bats. Four bases, including the circular home and pitching plates, are displayed in front of the team. The notation "Portsmouth N. H." is written in pencil along the left front border. Sophisticated collectors will recognize this CDV as the very card pictured in Mark Rucker's book Baseball Cartes - The First Baseball Cards , where it appears as plate number twenty-seven. The photographer's stamp, "Davis Brothers - Portsmouth, N. H.," appears on the reverse. The name "Wm. E. Hoyt - Portsmouth, N. H." also appears on the reverse (penned in vintage black ink), as does the pencil notation "Rockingham Nine of Portsmouth NH by W. Hoyt - Amateur." There is a small stain at the top of the photo (not affecting any of the player images) and the mount displays minor wear, but the contrast and presentation are outstanding. Very Good condition overall. The second item is a gold-painted trophy ball commemorating Rockingham's victory over Essex on July 4, 1867. The lemon-peel style baseball is lettered in black paint and reads "Rockingham vs Essex - Newburyport - July 4, 1867 - 52 to 10." The patriotic association between baseball and July 4th can be traced back to the earliest days of our national pastime, as the date of this ball clearly attests. Ever since the sport first took hold, baseball games have always been a central part of the festivities commemorating our nation's independence, a tradition that continues to this day. Newburyport is a small coastal town in northern Massachusetts, located in the county of Essex. The proximity of the town to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, also a coastal town, probably fostered a healthy rivalry between the clubs, though, as the score on the ball indicates, Essex offered little in the way of competition that day. The ball remains in exceptional condition. All of the gold paint and black lettering are intact. Except for some light soiling and very minor crazing the ball displays much as it did when first issued. Excellent condition. This is the first nineteenth-century trophy ball that we recall seeing that commemorates a July 4th game. All early baseball trophy balls are rare. This is an exceptional example, featuring one of the area's top clubs. Each of the two items in this lot is an exceptional and unique rarity. Together, the trophy ball and CDV compliment one another and make for a unique and extraordinary display that would be a significant addition to even the most advanced nineteenth-century baseball collection. Total: 2 items (CDV and trophy ball). Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $4,993.75
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