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Vintage Baseball Decorative Collection (8)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $2,350
The tremendous rise in the popularity of baseball during the late 1800s greatly influenced many aspects of popular culture, especially the decorative arts. This turn-of-the-century collection consists of a number of artistic display pieces, both ornamental and functional, each paying homage to our national pastime. 1-2) Non-Matching Pair of Huebach Baseball Statues. These two brightly painted porcelain statues were produced in the 1890s in Huebach, Germany, as indicated by the stamp on the bottom of each. The figurines depict both a pitcher and batter in similar style period uniforms. The pitcher, dressed in blue, holds a ball in front of his chest. The batter, dressed in pink, stands at the plate with bat in hand. These delicate statues were offered in several sizes, with the larger examples selling for considerably more than their smaller counterparts. Originally sold in pairs as decorative accents to provide beauty to well-furnished Victorian homes, they still accomplish their intended purpose today. Because of their fragile nature, these statues break easily. Many did not survive, and those that did are often chipped or cracked and repaired. The pitcher measures 9.75 inches in height and is in Near-Mint condition, with no apparent chips, cracks, or repairs. The batter measures 7.5 inches in height and has a number of condition flaws. It appears that the statue was once broken completely in two around the waist and subsequently repaired. There is a small fissure running vertically down the side of the right leg and the rear top portion of the bat has chipped off. While technically in Good condition due to the repairs, the piece still displays beautifully. 3-4) Pair of Occupational Shaving Mugs. All types of occupational shaving mugs are highly collected; however, baseball-theme shaving mugs are particularly rare and desirable. Occupational shaving mugs were very popular between the years 1880 and 1920. Though clearly magnificent decorative works of art, their rise in popularity before the turn-of-the-century was caused as much out of a concern for public health as artistic expression. Due to an epidemic of disease that appeared to relate to shaving, barbers began the practice of keeping individual shaving mugs for each of their regular patrons. In fact, many towns and cities passed legislation requiring the use of individual mugs, with the mugs identified by name and number. Because illiteracy was still widespread during the era, particularly in rural areas, barbers often labeled the mugs with a picture of the patron's trade or primary tools. A regular patron at a barbershop was recognized and honored with his own mug, often beautifully decorated. Mugs have survived to this day featuring nearly every occupation of the time, including doctor, butcher, tanner, telegraph operator, woodworker, plumber, etc. The offered white ceramic mugs each measure 3.75 inches in height and feature a diameter of 3.5 inches. The first pictures a painted crossed bats-and-ball motif on the front and bears the name of the owner "B. G. Crowell" in ornate gilt letters below. Gilt accents surround both the top and bottom rims. Produced by Tressemanes & Vogt of Limoges, France, as noted by the stamping on the bottom. Ex; with a few tiny dings along the top rim and slight wear to the gilt trim along the base and top. The second mug bears a larger crossed-bats-and-ball motif surrounded by a floral pattern. Vg-Ex; with repairs to a number of small cracks and/or chips along the base. 5) Circa 1890 Baseball Cane. Wooden cane with silver-colored handle and tip. The handle features an engraved baseball scene of a pitcher, batter, catcher, and fielder on a diamond on one side, and a depiction of a bat and cap on the opposite side. The name "M. Headley" is also engraved on the top. 35 inches long. The handle is worn, with a few minor dents and most of the finish on the wood shaft has flaked off. Vg. This is a fascinating rarity of great potential interest to both baseball and antique cane collectors. 6) Nineteenth-Century Watch Holder. This decorative metal watch holder features a figural image of a young child holding a bat, with a ball at his feet, on one side, and a mustached gentleman in a period baseball uniform on the other side. The notation "Home Visitors" is engraved on the banner supported by the two stanchions positioned behind the figures. A small hook, from which to hang a watch, is supported by a cross stanchion. Ex; with moderate surface wear throughout, including a slight loss of finish on the figural pieces. 4.5 inches high and 5 inches wide. 7) Baseball Chocolate Mold. Metal chocolate mold, bearing the name "Loft" on each side, crafted in the design of a baseball. 9.5 in circumference. Vg; with a number of tiny dents and some tarnishing. 8) Circa 1910 "Yankee Boy Plug Cut" Tobacco Container. The colorful container features an illustration of a young boy in uniform striking a batting pose on the front. 4 inches high and 3.5 inches long. Vg; with moderate surface wear, including a few scratches. Total: 8 items. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,350
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