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Seminal 1867 "The Base Ball Quadrille" Sheet Music Featuring the Boston Tri-Mountains BBC

Lot Number 851

Quantity: Bid Starts: 07/27/2015 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 2500.00  Bid Ends: 08/06/2015 23:30:00 
Bid Count: Overtime: 30 Minutes
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Bid Reserve: Reserve Not Met    
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In the time since our catalog went to press, it has come to our attention that a wonderful recent posting on the Baseball Researcher blog identifies both the Quadrille's mysterious, mustachioed cover figure (Frank Barrows) and the photographer (James Wallace Black) who immortalized him. As a side note, it is also worth mention that according to official MLB historian John Thorn, the very bat pictured on the Quadrille's cover was sold at auction in 1996 for $37,400.


"Modern baseball had been born in the brain of an American soldier," Albert Spalding once said of the Civil War’s monumental impact on our national pastime. "It received its baptism in the bloody days of our Nation's direst danger. It had its early evolution when soldiers, North and South, were striving to forget their foes by cultivating, through this grand game, fraternal friendship with comrades in arms.”


Presented is one of the greatest tributes to baseball’s unprecedented postwar boom, when the Grand Old Game was yet new and sweeping across the country like wildfire. A pinnacle acquisition for 19th-century collectors in general and sheet-music mavens in particular, this offering of the impossibly rare "Base Ball Quadrille” last sold at auction for over $9,000 in 2005, and it currently hails from the Lew Lipset Collection—which Huggins & Scott will proudly be handling in upcoming auctions for 2015 and 2016. The sought-after artifact celebrates the historic Boston Tri-Mountains who not only won the 1867 New England Association tournament, but who more importantly were credited a decade earlier as the very first New England team to eschew the "Massachusetts Game Rules" (which combined Town Ball and Rounders) in favor of the revolutionary New York-style "Knickerbocker Rules" that made baseball what it is today. Unlike most early examples of baseball sheet music, this 10x13 production showcases full-color printing and a full-length individual portrait rather than the typical game action scenes. What’s more, as noted in Official MLB Historian John Thorn’s article “Early Baseball in Boston,” the foreground actually pictures the silver trophy bat received by the Tri-Mountains for their 1867 championship triumph. Evidently removed from a book or album with resulting spine wear, this remarkably well-preserved survivor exhibits fabulous colors and bold text. Edges and spine is missing the original binding string therefore making its technical grade VG-EX, however the color photo on the front and the interior pages present NM. The reverse cover has framing tape marks that have been removed and left slight paper loss or staining.


This item has a reserve (estimated value $10,000 - $15,000).

Pictures  (Click on Photo to Enlarge)