1896 Cincinnati Reds Team Pin with Buck Ewing! (Pettibone Manufacturing)

Sold For: $1,659

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1139

Item Year: 1896

Category: Pins

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Extraordinarily rare 1896 Cincinnati Reds team pin featuring portraits of the entire team. This pin is noteworthy on several counts: 1) This team pin includes legendary Hall of Famer Buck Ewing as a player/manager (he was manager of the Reds from 1895 to 1899). 2) This is from an extremely rare series of pins, and one of only two baseball pin sets dating from before 1900. Very few examples from this set have ever surfaced. We have seen only two different teams from this series to date (the other team is Pittsburgh). 3) This series has an extraordinary significance to collecting as it is the very first baseball celluloid pin set: 1896 was the first year of the celluloid pin. This series predates Cameo Pepsin Gum pins (commonly assumed by many to be the first baseball pins) by approximately two years. It is unknown exactly how these pins were issued, but each has the manufacturer's credit "The Pettibone MFG. Co." on the back. The pins are designed with lapel-style backs, with the lithographed portrait images trapped under a celluloid cover. Perfect, crisp detail to the portrait images, just a hint of foxing, and a tiny bit of tarnishing on the metal rim. Overall in Vg-Ex condition. Diameter: .75 inches. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,659

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