Rare Vintage Baseball Doorstop

Sold For: $480

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1499

Item Year: 1899

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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This unique cast-iron door stop, weighing forty-four ounces, depicts a pitcher, batter, and catcher, with the words "Base Ball" lettered along the front of the base. No manufacturer's stamping or date are evident. Collectors will immediately recognize the three figures here as those depicted on the classic "Dark Town Battery" mechanical bank, which was manufactured by the J & E Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, in the 1880s. This is only the second example of this doorstop we have ever seen. The first appeared as Lot 978 in our October 2015 auction, where it realized $1,560. The doorstop (7.5 x 2.5 x 6.25 inches) is painted and while we cannot say for certain whether or not the paint is original, we do note that the previous example we sold had a trace of red paint on the catcher's hat, which matches the color of the hat on the offered piece. Nearly all of the paint remains intact and the doorstop exhibits just general wear commensurate with its age and former use. This is an extremely rare and unusual figural baseball piece and one that would be at home in many different types of collections, as well as make a fine companion piece to either the Dark Town Battery bank or trade card. Reserve $400. Estimate $1,000+.

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