Extraordinary, high-grade 1914 Boston Braves leather, signed by Hall of Fame second baseman Johnny Evers and teammate Paul Strand. Needless to say, this the first 1914 Braves leather we have ever seen signed by one of the team members, let alone a player of Evers' legendary stature. Both players have signed the piece upon their respective images, with Evers' black fountain-pen signature grading "3/4; light, but legible) and Strand's blue-ink signature grading "9." The name of each player pictured here (including Evers and Strand) has been written in blue ink upon the player's respective image by a former owner. These decorative leather displays, with tassels along all four borders, were produced to commemorate the 1914 "Miracle" Boston Braves' World Championship. The design features a large team photo in the center, including manager George Stallings (inset in upper left corner), Johnny Evers, Rabbit Maranville and Dolf Luque. "Boston Braves" is lettered above the team photo, and "World Champions" is lettered below. These leather displays were very expensive in 1914, which no doubt contributes to their great rarity today. It is interesting to note that the production of these leathers was an art form that appears to have been popular for just a very short time. Only a few different leather display tributes featuring baseball teams are known to exist, and all date within a year or two of 1914. Like most leathers, this particular one was intended for use as a pillowcase and features a red-felt backing (the pillow would be inserted between the leather and felt, and then both halves would be tied together with the preexisting leather lacing. The offered piece is a true condition rarity and represents one of the finest examples we have seen. Aside from the ink identifications on each player and two extremely tiny abrasions, the leather remains in remarkable Near Mint condition, looking much like it did when issued some 100 years ago. Approximately 23 x 27 inches. Reserve $500. Estimate (open).
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