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Sports Antique of the Week Archive Page

SPORTS ANTIQUE 

OF THE WEEK

June 28th- July 4th 2009

Standout items 

by SportsAntiques.com

 

THIS WEEKS FEATURE

BBMatchSafe.jpg (62894 bytes)

c1890 

BASEBALL PLAYER 

FIGURAL MATCH HOLDER

4 1/2" tall X 4 1/4" wide

Priced $995.00, Offered by John D. Wahl Antiques, Richmond, New Hampshire, see listing

Found on Google while 

searching for baseball folk art

 

BBMatchSafeBack.jpg (48559 bytes)

back side

BBMatchSafeDown.jpg (55258 bytes)

looking down

 

Overview by Carlton Hendricks

I came across this match holder on the internet while looking for baseball folk art. It's listed on the J. D. Wahl Antiques website, who are located in Richmond New Hampshire. Based on the ring at the top this obviously hangs on the wall, so wouldn't be considered a match safe. In the antiques world you occasionally see early  decorative utilitarian items like this with a baseball motif, but they are rare.

 

I know I've seen this match holder before in the hobby. I believe it may have been made by the same concern that made a c1890's baseball mirror I have. My mirror has gold paint, whereas this match holder has white. The glass mirror is diamond shaped and originally came with a small cast baseball base that sat on the highest tip point of the mirror. Mine is missing that base, but going from memory, I believe the ones I've seen were identical to the cast baseball base on the front of the match holders pocket.

click photos

Mirror full.jpg (88048 bytes)

1890's baseball mirror, likely same maker as match holder

full case & top.jpg (93439 bytes)

MirrorCompare.jpg (85133 bytes)

Mirror and 

match holder comparison

 

Dating this item is not easy as it isn't marked, and we have little to go on. We do have couple of clues though. There is a catchers mask on the front of the match pocket so we know for sure it's from after 1877 when the catchers mask was invented by Fred Thayer at Harvard in 1877. And the pill box cap would likely place it pre 1900. So we can fairly well place it between 1877 and 1900. For the sake of identification I've gone with c1890's, but it could have originated in the 1880's.

 

There is a small bit of damage in that the center strip of the fence has had the end knocked off on the viewers left, but the character of the modeling is such that you don't notice it.

 

ALSO, CLICK HERE TO 

READ THE CHATTER ABOUT THIS ITEM ON NET54

 

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