Circa 1860s Collapsible Drinking Cup with Engraved Baseball Game-in-Progress Scene on Lid!

Sold For: $600

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1484

Item Year: 1865

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Circa 1860s collapsible pewter drinking cup in leather case. These novel drinking cups are not particularly rare today, as they were popular both with civilians and military personnel (fragments of these cups are frequently found at Civil War sites). What makes this example unique, however, is the intricately engraved metal lid, which pictures a period baseball game-in-progress scene. The image pictures a diamond, nine fielders, a batter, two separate team benches, and an umpire (holding an umbrella) standing off to the side of the batter and catcher. We have never seen another example of a collapsible drinking cup decorated in this manner and we can only assume that it was owned by a ballplayer, who probably used it often between innings to help quench his thirst. This is one of the most unusual baseball items we have ever handled and one that would make a welcome addition to any advanced nineteenth-century baseball collection. The engraved lid is moderately tarnished and both the cup and case display wear commensurate with their age and former use. In Excellent condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).


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