Historical Hockey Memorabilia Auction Winter 2017
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/8/2017
Long before Ruth, night baseball and the World Series, before automobiles and the convenience of electricity, even the 140 year old National League was still a few seasons away when this offered bat was most likely first made and used. Absolutely stunning in appearance, this especially large and imposing bat saw diamond action during the formative years of the American pastime, with the grizzly events of the Civil War still fresh in the minds of most. At approx. 41 ¾” with a bulbous-style knob common for the era, the extremely rare and heavy bat features noticeable lathe marks on the handle, knob and along the top of the flat barrel. Most likely seeing use in the late-1860s, great patina is present, especially along the handle and at the top of the barrel. A thrilling item to hold and contemplate, this antique bat may be the oldest item we’ve had the pleasure of handling.
We should note that the possibility exists of earlier manufacture and use, considering this bat’s size of roughly 41 ¾” along with just over a 3” barrel. A ruling from 1859 limited a bat’s diameter to no larger than 2 ½”, later amended to 2 ¾”, while a second ruling from 1869 limited the length of any given bat to no longer than 42 inches. Regarding condition, dryness has caused several separate thin grain cracks of varying lengths that run down one side of the bat, with a very slight bow mentioned strictly for accuracy, with a few small knotholes also present. These imperfections do little to nothing to affect the aesthetics or display value, with the bat remaining completely solid with a rich and wonderful dark patina.
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