Offered here is the earliest football we have ever handled. The white-leather ball features pronounced leather accents along the seams and 18 lace holes along the top. This is the exact style of ball, looking more like a melon than a modern-day football when properly inflated, that can be seen in many 19th-century football team photos. It appears that there are handwritten notations on one of the side panels, but they have long since faded beyond legibility. The ball displays excessive wear, including numerous scuffs and abrasions, loss of nearly all the leather lacing, and loss of the inflation valve (obviously, it is now deflated). This is a rare relic from the earliest days of the sport. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).
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