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1888 History of Baseball: Sphere and Ash by Jacob Morse - Extraordinary Rarity (Newly Discovered)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,629
History of Baseball: Sphere and Ash by Jacob Morse. First edition, published by J. F. Spoffard & Co., Herald Building, Boston 1888. One of the great rarities of early baseball publications, this book was long thought to be found only in research libraries or other public institutions. This is only the second example of this great rarity that we have ever handled and, to the best of our knowledge, one of only two in private hands. The offered book was only just recently discovered by the family of a (deceased) advanced book collector. As a point of reference, the only other known example of this book in private hands was offered in Robert Edward Auctions' May 2013 sale, where it realized a final sale price of $10,665. This 64-page soft-cover book by Boston sportswriter Jacob Morse is a history of the game's early years. The book features engraved woodcut illustrations of twenty-one of the most prominent players of the time, including Anson, Welch, Kelly, G. Wright, Brouthers, and Ward. The final sixteen pages of the publication consist of advertisements for various products. The book (5 x 7.5 inches) is complete with both of its soft covers and has been professionally bound in green leather boards. The original front cover has undergone professional conservation by the removal of clear tape along the right and bottom borders, with the outline of the former tape areas still clearly visible. Also evident on both covers are a few moderate water stains. There is a name written in red ink ("J. Easbon") on the cover, which might be that of a former owner. The back cover displays a one-inch diagonal tear. A small water stain along the top of the front cover also affects the first few pages, otherwise all of the pages are clean and bright. In Very Good condition overall. A Camden reprint of the book is included for everyday reading. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,629
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