Circa Nineteenth-Century Catching Gear Collection - Masks and Chest Protectors

Sold For: $840

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1510

Item Year: 1890

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Collection of four early catcher's masks and three chest protectors, all of which appear to date from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Only two of the masks and one of the protectors bears a manufacturing label, but all are of high-quality construction. The most novel piece in this collection is one of the chest protectors, which has an attached metal air valve so that it can be inflated. Such chest protectors, marketed as "pneumatic," seem to have been popular in the 1910s and 1920s. One of the other two chest protectors features a D&M manufacturer's label and is stamped "79X." All of the protectors display heavy wear and are in Very Good condition overall. All of the masks feature a wire "birdcage" design. Two of the masks, one of which was manufactured by Reach, are very small and most likely represent youth styles. One of the two larger masks displays a manufacturer's logo, but it is faded beyond legibility. Like the protectors, all display heavy use, including tears to the padding, repairs, and broken straps. In Good condition overall. Total: 7 items (4 masks and 3 chest protectors). Reserve $200. Estimate $500+.

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