Cast-metal baseball figurine picturing a generic member of the Chicago Base Ball Club, circa 1876. The figurine, featured in a pitching pose, displays a "C" on its chest and the words "Chicago Club" on its belt. This is actually one of a matching pair produced at the time, with the other picturing a generic member of the Hartford Base Ball Club in a batting pose. Fortunately, the figurines can be accurately dated to the four-year period 1874-1877 because of Hartford's short-lived major league status. Hartford joined the National Association, baseball's first professional league, in 1874. Two years later the club became a charter member of the National League before folding after the 1877 season. These figurines were a popular design at the time, and we have seen them incorporated into a number of different products. (Presumably all date from circa 1876, though it is always possible the manufacturer used the design for additional years.)This particular example was fashioned into a lamp. It is mounted upon a square wooden platform, which in turn rests upon an ornately designed metal base. The silver-colored figurine (7 inches in height; 3.5-inch diameter base) displays wear commensurate with its age, including a few minor surface blemishes. Two screws were attached to the bottom of the piece to secure it to the wood base, with one of the screw applications (on the left side of the figural piece) resulting in circular hole at the point of attachment. We have not tested to see if the lamp actually works for fear of possibly damaging the piece (the original electrical wiring has been spliced together with a more modern plug unit) and, as always when dealing with very old electrical pieces, we recommend that the winning bidder first have it examined by a qualified electrician prior to plugging it in. In Very Good condition overall. Total dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 14 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000.
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