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Circa 1890s Baseball Wooden Counter Display Box
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $829.50
Extremely rare point-of-sale wooden display box for "The Standard Double Cover Baseball." This special display box was supplied to merchants by the manufacturer. The illustrated lid features a hand holding the "Double Cover" baseball, while the lettering below alerts patrons that "The Standard Base Balls For Sale Here." This is only the fourth example of this rare and very substantial display piece we have ever seen. The only example we have handled in recent times appeared as Lot 1213 in our May 2011 auction, where it realized a final sales price of $2,938. This box is slightly different in design than that example in that it does not have a hinged lid. Instead, the box cover neatly slides over the base to close. Originally, the box had five interior interlocking wooden slats that formed twelve cubicles to provide compartments to neatly display twelve balls. The slats are no longer present, but the grooves upon the sides that they slid into remain as evidence of their removal. (One can easily envision having new slats made to house balls.) While the exact year of this box's manufacture is unknown, it almost certainly dates to the late nineteenth century, most likely circa 1890s. The box (9.75 x 12.75 x 3.25 inches) displays a vertical crack along the left side of the lid that extends from border to border, affecting the "S" in "Standard" and the "B" in "Base Balls." Otherwise, it shows only normal wear commensurate with its age and former use. In Very Good condition overall. This is an exceptional nineteenth-century baseball advertising display piece with a strong "old country store" appeal. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $829.50
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