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Sports Antique of the Week Archive Page



Oct. 25th- 31st 2009

Standout items 

by SportsAntiques.com



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 10 inch diameter die cut 

Color illustrated children's book

 makers marks:

Ernest Nister, 


Printed in Bavaria

E.P Dutton & Co. 

New York

Fourteen pages - illustrated throughout


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When school is over and work is done, 

Then don't we have some splendid fun, 

We begin in wintry weather 

To inflate the ball of leather


Then we skate and pile the snow 

Till our cheeks are all aglow

Then we shall fish till sunny June

Makes the birdies sing in tune


And we stand against a wicket

To enjoy a game of cricket,

Fly Kites, spin tops, run races,

Play at leap frog in strange places,


Till you hear the old folks say,

As they watch us at our play,

"Ah! it's fun to be young and gay,

Enjoy life while you may!"



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Last week I went in an antiques store in Sacramento CA and found this book. I was taken back as I'd never seen it before. The dealer said he got it from someone who came in his store selling a bunch of paper and he picked it out. The fact it's die cut really makes it special! It's got some tears in some pages and the binding is loose. But it's not too bad, and the cover still looks good. The dealer had $25.00 on it and I got it for $20.00. If this were in excellent condition I estimate it would sell for  $500.00 - $600.00 at an antiquarian book show. 


The genera of Victorian children's books is an interesting one. The king of Victorian juvenile illustration in the United States during the late 19th century to early 20th century was Mcloughlin Bros. Mainly they producedgames.jpg (21482 bytes) board games and children's books. 

I only know of once sports related book Mcloughlin put out; that was the ABC Baseball book, which goes for major ABCMcloughlinBBBook.jpg (52610 bytes) money like $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 if you can find a copy. They are so rare I can't even recall seeing one for sale, except maybe once in Robert Edward years ago.


I don't recall ever seeing a Victorian juvenile football themed book. So when I saw this, I was taken back. Admittedly it is English, and I prefer American...but it's such a great book, being die cut especially, all is forgiven. Actually it appears partly American after all, though it is essentially English. Let me explain. MakerMarks.JPG (445458 bytes)The maker markings indicate it was produced by Ernest Nister of 

London, who was very a prominent producer of children's books in the late 19th-early 20th century, see here for a long list of books he produced. The book is also marked E.P Dutton & Co. New York. It's not perfectly clear what the connection was between E.P. Dutton and Earnest Nister but I speculate Dutton imported the book for the American market. I found a reference from the University of North Texas that address the Dutton-Nister connection see here. I also found a reference on google for an December 1894 "The Book Buyer" catalog that lists the Freddy's Football book, see here. So that confirms it from the 1890's! I also found a place on the web that sells art prints of this book, see here


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