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Lot # 838 (of 1137)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1850 Lemon Peel Ball

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $474

Early lemon peel ball, so named because its stitch pattern mimics the cuts used to peel a lemon. This ball features the classic lemon-peel design and is constructed of a single piece of leather, with the stitches meeting together at a single point along the top. This ball, which appears to be handmade, measures 8 inches in circumference and weighs 2.8 ounces. In the late 1850s the National Association of Baseball Players changed the standard specifications of a regulation ball. The new rules required that the baseball weigh 6.25 ounces (up from the previous standard of 5.5 ounces) and have a circumference of 10.25 inches (as opposed to the earlier measurement of 9 inches). Given that rule change and the dimensions of this ball, it seems highly likely that it dates to the early 1850s. The ball displays extremely heavy wear, including split seams, missing stitching, hardening and cracking to the leather, and a core that has shrunk considerably so that there is ample space between the leather and core. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $474


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