1888 Waghter's Parlor Base Ball Game

Sold For: $1,528

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1171

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This extremely rare and attractive tabletop game is not only one of the earliest baseball "pinball" type games ever produced but a very substantial nineteenth-century baseball display piece as well. Its provenance is equally impressive. This Waghter's Parlor Base Ball Game is the very example that once resided in the famous Mark Cooper Collection and is the actual plate specimen that is pictured in Cooper's definitive reference work: Baseball Games: Home Versions of the National Pastime, 1860s-1960s ( Schiffer Book for Collectors, 1995 ). The colorful game board, which is a paper application on wood, features a baseball diamond design with illustrations of the respective fielders at each position. Lettered along the top, in an arching fashion, is "Waghter's Parlor Base Ball." The game is designed to begin with the insertion of the ball into a shooter (missing from this game) located at the pitcher's position on the diamond. From there it is propelled onto the game board. The ball then proceeds to navigate its course through a maze of metal pins. A series of holes scattered about the board are meant to "catch" the ball, with each hole determining a specific outcome (fly out, error, 2-base hit, etc.). A home run is signified by the ball hitting the bell at the bottom. The game board displays normal wear commensurate with its age and former use including light soiling, minor staining, crazing, and a few tiny surface abrasions. The original "shooter" mechanism, as well as the original ball, are not included. This is an extremely rare game and only the second example we have ever offered. Wood, metal, and paper construction. Dimensions: 11.5 x 23.5 x 1.25 inches. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,528

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