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  #1  
Old 02-10-2021, 04:07 AM
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Default 19th Century Memorabilia

Where has all the great 19th century memorabilia gone. Major auction houses used to regularly have more extensive offerings in this area. This is no longer the case. Other sources are also lacking. Since most 19th century collectors are generally holding on to what they have, does this just show how rare this stuff is?
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2021, 06:05 AM
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Gary, I too have been wondering. There are, of course, many factors involved, but it seems historical importance has declined substantially as a consideration for interest. Probably many reasons for this but there does not appear to be a basic knowledge of early baseball history pre Cobb. Many 19th century collectors are looking for historically important items, and, to be honest, the rarer and more unique the better. This rarity is not defined by a grade, but actual rarity of the item itself. While you and I may not fully understand the comparative price differentials between these items and cards etc, it is the essence of collecting. Let’s just hope that enough stuff starts to appear that we can all acquire an item of interest.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2021, 07:11 AM
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Too many generations have past within the family's of those who were related to those who made the game 190 years ago. Their knowledge of what they may have had is now gone or they have been hounded by collectors for years and someone in the family allowed themselves to be taken.

Is there still a "find" out there?
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2021, 09:59 AM
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Very well said by all who have added thus far...I am still trying to figure out where the items and interest have gone. That said, for those of us passionate about the early game, I think we're as hungry as ever for pieces associated with it.

Perhaps we should all post our most recent 19th C. pick up...who knows, maybe it'll inspire others. Or, encourage all those guys needing funds to buy Mantle, Robinson, and Aaron cards to sell us their remaining 19th C. stuff!

Here's my most recent...pick up from August of 2020.

Jon
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2021, 10:04 AM
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A significant number of the "great" 19th memorabilia items sold in the past turned out to be counterfeits. Really great genuine 19th baseball memorabilia has always been incredibly scarce, and people's perceptions as to the amount in circulation perhaps was skewed by including the fakes with the real items. Now that many of these fakes have been identified and removed from circulation, I would not be surprised if the continued relative dearth of great offerings will remain the rule going forward.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2021, 10:06 AM
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As an antique hockey and baseball collector, there is very little reverence or respect for the history of either sport on a large scale by collectors - with this obviously more so with hockey. Sadly, this is the absolute truth.


While some on here will claim many care about the history and origin, most actually don't, with the proof in the valuation. When modern items produced five minutes ago with ZERO historical significance far outsell painstakingly rare and even unique antique items that fully illustrate the game and it's colourful history....

that says it all.


As time continues to pass with a new generation of collectors.... this apathy will greatly increase. The bright side for the few lovers out there of the early game?
The majority of 19th century baseball items will continue to drop in value, making new acquisitions much more achievable.
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2021, 11:41 AM
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There was a early photo - tintype collection auction over the summer that was outstanding. Photos come and go, some nice stuff out there when you see it!

Gloves, bats and other game type items are getting hard to find. I collect the guides and they have been hard to find in recent years.

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  #8  
Old 02-10-2021, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryPassamonte View Post
Where has all the great 19th century memorabilia gone. Major auction houses used to regularly have more extensive offerings in this area. This is no longer the case. Other sources are also lacking. Since most 19th century collectors are generally holding on to what they have, does this just show how rare this stuff is?
I have about 40 N172 old judge which includes all 26 poses of the 1887 Detroit. Still Need some tough Detroit players, but no luck lately. I have gone thru many collecting phases, complete sets 1960’s thru 1990’s. Detroit sets T206, T207, 1952, 53, 55, 57 Topps and much memorabilia for Detroit. Now waiting for more Detroit 19th Century which collectors seem to be holding. LOL
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2021, 01:03 AM
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Ever since the advent of eBay and on-line auctions (becoming prevalent around the year 2,000), much of the good stuff has found its way into collections. And because of the extreme rarity, most advanced collectors are hesitant to let their best pieces go. Same applies to me personally... I would much rather sell or consign a piece that has a chance of resurfacing some day. It's very difficult to part with ultra-rare items that have defied Father Time against all odds.... especially when in nice condition.

This phenomenon largely explains the dwindling number of 19th century offerings seen at auction. There are other factors as well, such as those mentioned previously in this thread.

When 19th Century collectors start "aging out" and some of these items start to reappear in the marketplace, I'm confident prices will be quite strong. There will always be a demand for truly rare and landmark pieces that were instrumental in shaping the game.

On the rare occasion something turns up these days (such as a Trophy Bat, Pillbox Hat, Lace-front Jersey, Workman's Glove, Thayer Mask, etc.) I seemingly always get outbid now. Back in the 1990s - early 2000s, I had a far better "wining percentage" on these antique items. There's simply more demand and far less supply these days.

The recent escalation of card prices (especially for items that aren't even rare) has been beyond impressive. But sooner or later, that bubble will inevitably burst. Truly rare artifacts will realize a more steady and stable rise over time.

That said, we may be in for a few more years of this dry spell.
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2021, 05:41 AM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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It seems like most of us have similar thoughts.
To go along with Jonathon’s suggestion I am posting my last pickup, a circa 1865 cdv of Archie Bush and James McClure. An expanded version of my Net 54 post on this was just published on John Thorn’s Our Game blog if anyone wants to learn more about Archie.
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2021, 11:57 AM
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I've read Bruce's article and it's well worth reading. The history of the game's early players is always of great interest.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2021, 12:11 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Thanks Gary.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2021, 04:00 AM
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There is not one piece of 19th century memorabilia in the new REA. I guess this validates what is being said here.
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2021, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryPassamonte View Post
There is not one piece of 19th century memorabilia in the new REA. I guess this validates what is being said here.
Well to be fair, it is strictly a card auction. REA is now doing these lower-grade events periodically for collectors with smaller budgets. They'll still do their premier events, but have now added these smaller auctions, similar to what Hunt does monthly and Heritage does weekly.

The next REA premier event will be much more telling.

Last edited by perezfan; 02-12-2021 at 12:57 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2021, 12:57 PM
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As for Heritage...

They ARE in the midst of a premier auction. On the card side, they have a very nice assortment of 1895 Mayo Cut Plugs.

But on the memorabilia side, not a single lot from the 1800s. It's not that the interest or demand is lacking.... most of this stuff is simply mired away in peoples' collections.

Last edited by perezfan; 02-12-2021 at 12:58 PM.
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  #16  
Old 02-12-2021, 01:42 PM
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Mark- REA does have a small group of post 1900 memorabilia, but point well taken on the current auction not being a premier event. REA has had a smaller and smaller 19th century memorabilia offering in recent years. Unfortunately, I wasn't collecting memorabilia when the selection was diverse and contained on many pages in the catalog.
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  #17  
Old 02-12-2021, 01:47 PM
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Mark- REA does have a small selection of post 1900 memorabilia, but your point is well taken on this not being a premier event. REA has had a smaller and smaller offering of 19th century memorabilia in recent years. Unfortunately, I wasn't collecting memorabilia when REA had the great selection.

Sorry, duplicate post.

Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 02-12-2021 at 01:52 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-12-2021, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryPassamonte View Post
Mark- REA does have a small group of post 1900 memorabilia, but point well taken on the current auction not being a premier event. REA has had a smaller and smaller 19th century memorabilia offering in recent years. Unfortunately, I wasn't collecting memorabilia when the selection was diverse and contained on many pages in the catalog.
Crap, you're right...

I could have sworn their official announcement of these auctions said "cards only", but I stand corrected. I checked the current memorabilia offerings and it was very sparse, IMHO. Thanks for the clarification!
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2021, 03:05 PM
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Default Some cdvs

Recently picked up a small collection of pre 1880 images, including these 3 cdvs.
I don’t have any confirmed information on any of them as far as teams or id’s, other than photographer information on 2 of them. However, I have found a reference to a Hamilton Ohio Resolutes who played the 1870 Cincinnati Red Stockings, losing badly. There is a star on his cap.
The earliest, possibly circa 1860 or so, is interesting as a it depicts a transitional batting stance between cricket and base ball.
Appreciate any thoughts or help.
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2021, 03:26 PM
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Default 3 pre 1878 team images

1871 Central Base Ball Club, Plainfield NJ, players are identified
Circa 1878 Chicago area team by renowned photographer Carlos Gentile
1878 Washington and Lee team. Apparently, Sykes, their pitcher, used the curve ball for the first time in a college game in the South. UVA felt cheated.
Sykes learned the curve from Bobby Mathews.
Help appreciated on information.
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  #21  
Old 05-11-2021, 03:29 PM
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It's always nice to see images I've never seen. The transitional bating stance cdv sure does look early. This "Lon Kinch" cdv is the only other one I've seen with the "stance." The Kinch cdv is no longer in my collection.
The Plainfield cdv looks very familiar.
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Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 05-11-2021 at 03:30 PM.
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  #22  
Old 05-11-2021, 04:19 PM
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Gary, I had seen that Kinch and that helped me decide I wanted this one.
I like them all, but the Lainfield and stance ones are my current favorites.
I still have 2 stereoviews to add.
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  #23  
Old 05-11-2021, 04:29 PM
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Default 2 steroviews

These are the last images of the group I picked up.
A game being played on the beach in Nantasket, Massachusetts, in front of the Rockland house, circa 1875-78 I think.
A Williston Academy gymnasium game in progress to go with 2 other Williston Academy images I already had with players in a line, not a game. In 1996, the Rucker auction speculated that the image depicts the 1870 Cincinnati Red Stockings practicing on their tour. I have no evidence of that, but they are very well attired and I think there may be a resemblance to a couple known players, but I don’t think I can ever prove a connection, although I am hopeful someone can help. This is encased in glass, sealed by copper.
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  #24  
Old 05-11-2021, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgar3 View Post
Recently picked up a small collection of pre 1880 images, including these 3 cdvs.
I don’t have any confirmed information on any of them as far as teams or id’s, other than photographer information on 2 of them. However, I have found a reference to a Hamilton Ohio Resolutes who played the 1870 Cincinnati Red Stockings, losing badly. There is a star on his cap.
The earliest, possibly circa 1860 or so, is interesting as a it depicts a transitional batting stance between cricket and base ball.
Appreciate any thoughts or help.
The first one definitely is an oldie. Long pants and all. 1860 is about right. Maybe even a year or two earlier.

Last edited by drcy; 05-11-2021 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:56 PM
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Thank you David, I thought it might be as early as 1858 or so, but did not want to overstate it. I appreciate your opinion.
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  #26  
Old 05-11-2021, 05:13 PM
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Default Image from Rucker auction about Williston stereoview

I should have included this in the stereoview post.
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File Type: jpg C3E18805-5F18-47E9-8488-0D9CB759B882.jpg (9.8 KB, 320 views)
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  #27  
Old 05-11-2021, 06:52 PM
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Default Some CDV's

Great pickups Bruce! Thanks for sharing! It's been a long time since I've seen so many great and historic images.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bgar3 View Post
Recently picked up a small collection of pre 1880 images, including these 3 cdvs.
I don’t have any confirmed information on any of them as far as teams or id’s, other than photographer information on 2 of them. However, I have found a reference to a Hamilton Ohio Resolutes who played the 1870 Cincinnati Red Stockings, losing badly. There is a star on his cap.
The earliest, possibly circa 1860 or so, is interesting as a it depicts a transitional batting stance between cricket and base ball.
Appreciate any thoughts or help.
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  #28  
Old 05-11-2021, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgar3 View Post
Thank you David, I thought it might be as early as 1858 or so, but did not want to overstate it. I appreciate your opinion.
1858 (possibly even earlier?) sounds like quite a reasonable dating. The studio image-- zero decorations or props in the studio, he's propped up by the wall-- is very early. I'm very confident it's Pre-Civil War & Pre-1860.

Last edited by drcy; 05-11-2021 at 06:57 PM.
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  #29  
Old 05-11-2021, 08:24 PM
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Default found a guy at a show

long ago (Massachusetts early 90's?) who was doing this glass/copper thing. At first I thought it neat - they displayed and preserved and so I probably did 10/15 trade cards and a few CDV/Cabs along with a couple of advertising pieces by mail. After learning more about the care and storage of my "stuff" I began to worry my precious images adhere to the glass or suffer light damage due to some sort of refraction and/or lack of UVB protection. I still have a couple larger pieces and have sold the rest. If it were mine - I'd free it :-)
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  #30  
Old 05-12-2021, 05:09 AM
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Yes, I am trying to figure out how to do that. Any ideas? I don’t encase anything
And am anxious to preserve it.
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  #31  
Old 05-12-2021, 12:25 PM
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Default Parts of my Collection

The Pittsburgh Schedule is probably my favorite 19th centaury piece. This image does not do it justice unfortunately. Th e trophy is very detailed, the base has baseballs as its base and the pill box hat on the center piece is very cool. The Statue is by Jonathon Scott and is about 17" tall and very heavy
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File Type: jpg 1894 Pittsburgh BBC Schedule Poster.jpg (83.9 KB, 255 views)
File Type: jpg 1889 Ornate Trophy.jpg (51.1 KB, 256 views)
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  #32  
Old 05-12-2021, 06:55 PM
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It looked like we were back to posting 19th C. stuff...I couldn't resist...hope more stuff gets posted soon...keep it coming!!

1. Very cool 19th C. flask with a cap that turns into a shot cup...the flask is decorated with a pillbox cap and cleverly reads, "A Night...Cap"

2. Beautiful, hand painted Harvard BBC Stein

3. 1887 Trophy Cup awarded to the Calhoun Band for the Baseball Championship of Henry Cty., MO.

I love the images that have been recently posted, too...looking forward to some more from that genre.

Jonathan
www.dugouttreasures.com
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File Type: jpg Stein.jpg (69.1 KB, 233 views)
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  #33  
Old 05-13-2021, 03:09 AM
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Great stuff! Bruce, nice haul. The stance on your first image reminds me of “The Pitcher” statue cdv.

https://robertedwardauctions.com/auc.../#&gid=1&pid=4


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  #34  
Old 05-13-2021, 04:48 AM
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George, thanks and yes, it does remind me of that. Good call.
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  #35  
Old 05-14-2021, 09:38 AM
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Default Item #1: Athletic Base Ball Club

Hello everyone,

I am new here so please excuse me if I take a misstep. I found this thread / site via searching the internet for 19th century baseball. The reason for my search is because of a box of papers I have which I refer to as the "Steele Box".

The "Steele Box" is from around 1870's up through the early 1890's. The box once belonged to a person named "Charles Steele". In the box there were primarily papers, unfortunately not all of them are baseball related but some are.

I see in this thread some folks are asking if there are anymore vintage baseball items to be found. I don't know if papers fall into that category but I can share some of what I have if you'd like.

The papers in the box are sort of interconnected, meaning Charles Steele was a firefighter, banker, planned excursions, theatre buff. The box has a number of subjects within it like baseball letters, receipts, a few ledgers, a few checks, schedules and so on. Most of this is local NJ and NY teams from that timeframe. The reason I say that they are interconnected is because the baseball team Mr Steele was on was a team of firefighters that played ball back then.

I did on ant to add one more things. I would like to learn more about what I have and early ball. I am also hoping folks here could help with that. Finding information out there on the internets is not easy as you must already know.

Please let me know if you would like to see some images of what I have. Here is one example which may help you to decide....
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Last edited by Mforder; 05-14-2021 at 11:29 AM. Reason: added title
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  #36  
Old 05-14-2021, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mforder View Post
Hello everyone,

I am new here so please excuse me if I take a misstep. I found this thread / site via searching the internet for 19th century baseball. The reason for my search is because of a box of papers I have which I refer to as the "Steele Box".

The "Steele Box" is from around 1870's up through the early 1890's. The box once belonged to a person named "Charles Steele". In the box there were primarily papers, unfortunately not all of them are baseball related but some are.

I see in this thread some folks are asking if there are anymore vintage baseball items to be found. I don't know if papers fall into that category but I can share some of what I have if you'd like.

The papers in the box are sort of interconnected, meaning Charles Steele was a firefighter, banker, planned excursions, theatre buff. The box has a number of subjects within it like baseball letters, receipts, a few ledgers, a few checks, schedules and so on. Most of this is local NJ and NY teams from that timeframe. The reason I say that they are interconnected is because the baseball team Mr Steele was on was a team of firefighters that played ball back then.

I did on ant to add one more things. I would like to learn more about what I have and early ball. I am also hoping folks here could help with that. Finding information out there on the internets is not easy as you must already know.

Please let me know if you would like to see some images of what I have. Here is one example which may help you to decide....
Very interesting. You'll find a lot of interested and knowledgeable people on this topic here. You found the right spot.

Last edited by drcy; 05-14-2021 at 09:14 PM.
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  #37  
Old 05-14-2021, 10:56 AM
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David,

Thank you! It's a relief to have found the right place. I hope that the papers don't disappoint. It's nothing like the items folks have already posted. I cannot believe what I am seeing, it's a museum. The items are fascinating.

Would it be more appropriate to create a separate thread specific to the box itself? This way it remains contained?

Thank you for your help,

---Mark

Last edited by Mforder; 05-14-2021 at 11:01 AM.
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  #38  
Old 05-14-2021, 10:58 AM
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Yes, more images. I am also from New Jersey and have some reference books I can check out after seeing more images. Last year I picked up a group of letters that discussed local teams, but also had some college and pro stuff from the early 70’s. This is a good find and interesting to many of us. 19th century stuff great.
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  #39  
Old 05-14-2021, 11:00 AM
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By all means, show all you like.
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Old 05-14-2021, 11:13 AM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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Will do. It will take time to create pics and all. I only have some digitized. Thank you.
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Old 05-14-2021, 11:22 AM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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Default Item #2: Riverside A.C. on Railroad Mills Snuff letterhead

I guess any information on this would be appreciated. Knowing only that is more than I know now. If there is more please feel free to share.

Thank you,

---Mark
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File Type: jpg Letter-24a.jpg (73.8 KB, 149 views)

Last edited by Mforder; 05-14-2021 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 05-14-2021, 11:36 AM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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Default Item #3: Halsey Base Ball Club

The letter itself mentions arranging a game or two with the Halsey B.B.C., Newark, NJ. They refer to themselves as an amateur team. I find it interesting how they need to not the status in some of the letter like Item #1 above where that team states that they were semi-professional.
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Old 05-14-2021, 12:39 PM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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Default Item #4: Gutta Rubber 1893 Score Card

There are two of these in nice shape. One of them lists the players and their positions on the Newton Steamer Companies' baseball team.

They also include the National League & American Association schedule.
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File Type: jpg BB-Sched-1a.jpg (64.2 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg BB-Sched-1b.jpg (72.4 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg BB-Sched-1c.jpg (76.9 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg BB-Sched-1d.jpg (76.6 KB, 146 views)
File Type: jpg BB-Sched-1e.jpg (73.6 KB, 144 views)
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Old 05-14-2021, 12:59 PM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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Default Item #5: Note with names that may be of interest

I really don't nor can imagine that this piece of paper means much to anyone but what I found interesting is why was it in the box, what would it mean, and why these names? I'm pretty sure some of the names are recognizable (I think?).
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Last edited by Mforder; 05-14-2021 at 01:26 PM. Reason: typo
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  #45  
Old 05-14-2021, 01:04 PM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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Default Temperature / Interest so far?

Just looking for a temperature test. Are the folks here still interested?
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  #46  
Old 05-14-2021, 01:41 PM
doug.goodman doug.goodman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mforder View Post
There are two of these in nice shape. One of them lists the players and their positions on the Newton Steamer Companies' baseball team.

They also include the National League & American Association schedule.
That's really cool, too bad the game wasn't scored...
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  #47  
Old 05-14-2021, 02:08 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Still interested here. A little for my reference books so far, but those schedule scorebooks are interesting. Gotta percha was used for early golf balls among other things. The note is also interesting with the A G Spalding reference and other names. Nice stuff.
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  #48  
Old 05-14-2021, 06:59 PM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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I was actually wondering if that note would even get any attention. I am glad I posted it.

Last edited by Mforder; 05-14-2021 at 06:59 PM.
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  #49  
Old 05-14-2021, 09:16 PM
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If you want to start your own thread in this forum go ahead. People will be interested to hear all about it and see lots of photos. This is a baseball history and vintage memorabilia site, so go ahead.

If you are looking to sell, many big auction houses would be interested.

Last edited by drcy; 05-14-2021 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:12 AM
Mforder Mforder is offline
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Hi David,

I'll take your advice and do that this way it'll under one roof in a sense. I'll add a link to this post that way other folks can see what has already been posted. I'll also add the story to the new post of the "Steele Box".

Thank you,

---Mark
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