Pair of Circa 1860s Baseball Bats with Unique Provenance

Sold For: $600

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1501

Item Year: 1860

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Offered here is a unique pair of circa 1860s baseball bats in that they come with the provenance of having been originally obtained from the family of the young boy to whom they once belonged. The boy's name was Rolland G. Reed and his first initials and last name ("R. G. Reed") are clearly printed in vintage black paint on the longer of the two bats. Additionally, the bats are accompanied by a CDV of Rolland Reed, which pictures him at the approximate age of nine. The reverse of the CDV features an R15D Washington two-cent revenue stamp (issued between the years 1862 and 1871), the photographer's credit ("S. H. Meyers, Fair Haven, VT."), and the name "Rolland G. Reed" written in pencil. Each of the heavily worn bats is constructed of a lightweight wood and is painted red. The larger bat, bearing the boy's name, measures 37.5 inches and weighs 23 ounces. There is considerable wear at the top of the barrel, including wood loss and a large indentation. The second bat (29 inches; 20.6 ounces) is less heavily worn, but also displays loss of paint and numerous abrasions along the barrel. Early nineteenth-century bats dating from the 1860s are scarce. The fact that this pair comes with tangible provenance makes them all the more appealing. Total: 3 items (2 bats and CDV). Reserve $200. Estimate (open).

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