Pair of Circa 1876 Baseball Figurines

Sold For: $1,778

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 992

Item Year: 1876

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Pair of complementary cast-metal baseball figurines picturing generic members of the Hartford and Chicago ball clubs, respectively. The Hartford figure, which is depicted in a batting pose, features an "H" on its chest, and the words "Hartford Club" lettered on its belt. The Chicago figurine, which strikes a pitching pose, features a "C" on its chest and the words "Chicago Club" on its belt. Fortunately, these pieces 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, including a lamp base. As one can see here, they are also extremely attractive as stand-alone pieces. This pair has the special provenance of having once been part of the legendary Barry Halper Collection, and the base of the Hartford figurine still bears the original 2001 auction sticker from the historic sale of his collection. Each figurine (approximately 8.5 inches in height on a 4-inch diameter base) displays wear commensurate with its age (mainly along the base) and is in Excellent condition overall. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $1,778

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