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Nineteenth-Century Harper and Leslie's Baseball Woodcut Collection (18),1867-1874 Spirit of the Times Newspapers (19)
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $533
During the nineteenth century, most baseball fans were acquainted with the game's top stars and clubs by the wonderful woodcut illustrations appearing in various illustrated newspapers of the day, the most prominent of which were Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Today, those illustrations remain highly prized by collectors, both for their aesthetic appeal, and the for the fact that they remain much more affordable than actual photographs from the period. As such, woodcut illustrations have always represented perhaps the finest value of all nineteenth-century baseball items. Offered here are a total of eighteen baseball woodcut illustrations (sixteen taken from Harper's Weekly and two taken from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper), plus twenty-one complete newspapers featuring baseball content, including The Illustrated London News (April 6, 1889), which in our experience is a particularly rare title. Unless otherwise noted, all of the woodcut illustrations are in the form of either individual pages or "double page" centerfolds.
10/15/59 - "A Base Ball Match at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken" - centerfold illustration - appears to be the complete paper (pages 657-672). 10/15/59 - "A Base Ball Match at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken" - centerfold illustration. 7/1/65 - "Grand Match between the Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia and the Resolute Club of Brooklyn, N. Y. Thursday, June 15th at the Union Grounds, Brooklyn" - page illustration. 11/25/65 - "Champion Nine of the Atlantic Base-Ball Club of Brooklyn, L. I." - page illustration. 11/3/66 - "The 'Atlantic' Base-Ball Club of Brooklyn, and the 'Athletic' of Philadelphia" - page illustration (page is trimmed down to the illustration). 10/26/67 - The Champion Nine of the Union Base Ball Club of Morrisania, New York" - page illustration. 7/2/70 - "Base Ball Match between the Red Stockings and the Atlantics" - centerfold illustration. 6/27/74 - "International Base-Ball - The Boston Champions" - page illustration. 7/25/74 - "International Base-Ball - The Philadelphia Athletics" - page illustration. 7/27/78 - "Base Ball at Blackville The 'White Stockings' against the 'Black Legs' - First Blood for the 'Black Legs" - page illustration. 9/30/82 - "The Providence Base-Ball Club" - page illustration. 9/10/87 - "Thrown Out at Second" - centerfold illustration. 10/20/88 - "The Winning Battery of the New York Base Ball Team" (Keefe and Ewing) - page illustration. 4/27/89 - "The First League Game of Base-Ball of the the Season" - page illustration. 11/9/89 - "William Ewing, Captain of the New York Base-Ball Club" - cover illustration. 9/26/91 - "The Manhattan Athletic Club Grounds" - page illustration.
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper:
11/3/66 - "The Great Contest between the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn and the Athletics of Philadelphia at the Capitoline Grounds, Fulton Avenue, Brooklyn, Monday, Oct. 16th" - page illustration. 7/17/69 - "The Picked Nine of the Cincinnati (Red Stockings) Base Ball Club of Cincinnati, Ohio" - page illustration.
The newspapers offered here, all of which have been removed from bound albums, are as follows:
Wilke's Spirit of the Times (8 total): 7/13/67, 8/10/67, 8/17/67, 8/24/67, 10/19/67, 11/2/67, 4/4/68, and 6/27/68. Spirit of the Times (11 total): 10/10/68, 12/31/70, 1/7/71, 1/14/71, 1/21/71, 3/18/71, 7/8/71, 11/22/73, 12/13/73, and 1/3/74. The Illustrated London News (4/6/89). This issue features a wonderful centerfold illustration of Spalding's World Tourists in London. The New York Clipper (9/8/88).
The woodcut illustrations display normal wear commensurate with their age and fragile nature, including minor edge tears/chipping. A few have also been slightly trimmed. They range in grade from Gd to Ex, averaging Vg-Ex. The newspapers all display binding holes, from having been removed from an album, light foxing, and moderate tears throughout. Despite the flaws, all of the papers maintain their integrity and appear to be complete. In Good to Very Good condition overall. Total: 39 items (18 woodcuts and 21 newspapers). Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $533
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