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Go Back Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used

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Old 10-05-2020, 06:32 AM
CarltonHendricks's Avatar
CarltonHendricks CarltonHendricks is offline
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Twenty two years ago I saw one of these Vienna baseball bronzes that you can read about in the feature linked above. I couldn’t afford that one and I had been on the lookout for another ever since. Recently a collector I’ve known a while who only collects University of Pennsylvania items wanted three things from my collection and I traded them for this Vienna. I gave up my Leyendecker U. Penn football poster, a big porcelain U. Penn football lamp (the collector had a matching lamp so now he has a pair), and a 12” plaster figure of a U. Penn football player (which I most hated to give up of the three)…I gave it a lot of thought since it’s so worn. I consulted two collector friends who gave the thumbs up.

On the one hand yes it’s worn and beat up…but on the other hand…you’re 300% sure it’s original from the wear. And speaking of the wear…it would have to be the most mysterious statue I’ve ever dealt with. Reason being…how could it have gotten that worn…And the arm is cracked…hey It’s bronze...I don’t think I’ve ever heard of bronze cracking…and besides that how could it have gotten cracked downward the way it is…Bronze is extremely strong stuff…And then there’s the base…How in the world could the paint have gotten that much wear and yet the red marble base is essentially perfect!....puzzling and a mystery. To me it looks like it has been clanging around in a toy box full of toys for about three generations...Like there parents let them play with it as a toy...Another thing I'll mention is the catchers mask is missing. You'll see the featured one has the mask...They were so finely crafted you could remove them!

But being I already had three other Vienna sports bronzes it fit in perfectly with them…a billiards one…two joined boxers…and a group of three soccer players going for the ball…I found that soccer one at the Hillsborough Antiques show about 20 years ago and had to throw down some very serious money to get it…The lady was an experienced antiques dealer from the east coast and knew what she had!…Out of the zillions of Vienna bronzes produced during the late 19th century to the late 1930’s very few sports ones were made.

In all the years I’ve known of the one I did the feature on…I never stopped to think about the P on the batters cap…And there’s an H on the catchers, (cap worn backwards). I understand that under the bronze base of mine, the words “Harvard and Pennsylvania” is written. I hate to disturb it though so haven’t looked. To add more to the mystery...Because the other one I featured also had the same P on the cap...I would speculate that perhaps some well heeled parent of a Harvard or Penn student had them made special order...

Auction House Description:
Exceedingly scarce antique cast metal baseball player statue titled "Two Strikes" showing a batter and a catcher. Circa 1890s. Much of the original paint remains, including the letter P on the batter and the letter H on the catcher. When metal statue was removed from base the words "Harvard and Pennsylvania" were found written under the metal baseplate, indicating that the players depict a game between University of Pennsylvania Quakers and Harvard Crimson, both Ivy League schools. Good condition with original base plaque and minor damage to the bat. Measures 6 1/2" tall.

Another interesting tid-bit is one day I was thumbing thru a book on Victorian Interiors...and guess what I spotted in a c1905 photo...see at very bottom this post...

Do you read Sports Antique of the Week? Check it out on my site of the Week

Last edited by CarltonHendricks; 10-30-2020 at 12:52 AM.
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