Description

    1894 Baltimore Orioles Baseball Club Oversized Championship Silk. One of the rarest and most desirable pieces of 19th century baseball memorabilia to reach the auction block in recent memory. Deriving from an unknown player's estate in Maine, this exceptionally scarce artifact would only have been issued to members of this storied pennant-winning squad (and perhaps a few V.I.P.'s), so we take very little hesitation in stating that this is likely the only surviving specimen. The delicacy of the piece itself, measuring seventeen inches on each side and constructed of paper-thin textile, almost demands such an assertion. The fact that even a single such piece has survived eleven decades of life violates all laws of probability, and the fantastic EX condition of our offering suggests a long and lonely life tucked away in a dry attic and far from light, moisture and human hands. Imagine, not a single moth hole, not a single noteworthy stain after 111 years! It's so remarkable that we almost forget the brilliance of the piece itself, picturing sixteen members in individual vignettes, each identified by surname, of one of the 19th century's most famous ballclubs. Text at upper left reads, "1894 Champions, Baltimore Baseball Club" with a flag/pennant motif. Note the Hall of Fame talent: Wilbert Robinson, Dan Brouthers, Hughie Jennings, Kid Gleason, Wee Willie Keeler, Joe Kelley and manager Ned Hanlon. Though notorious for bending the rules of the game, from burying cinderblocks in front of home plate to achieve the famed high-sailing "Baltimore Chop" ground balls, to tripping opposing players as they rounded the bases, the '94 Orioles rank in most baseball historians' estimation as one of the most talented clubs ever assembled. Any piece related to this club will bring serious early baseball collectors running, but this opulent Victorian era artifact might just leave them flat-footed, jaw agape, too stunned to move.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 287

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