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  #1  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:44 AM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: Amy Welch

Hello,
Found this forum after a web search.
Would like to know if anyone on the forum could help identify an antique ball.
It's about 2 inches in diameter.
Thanks,
Amy
[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]

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Old 01-05-2009, 12:42 PM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: barrysloate

It has what is known as lemon peel stitching, and it looks to be around turn-of-the-century (1900). I think someone else could date it more accurately.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:29 PM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: Matt Hart

Barry is right, It looks like a lemon peel style ball. Dating could actually go back earlier than 1900. The size is to small to be a baseball tho. Perhaps a childs baseball or something used for a different sport. Most leather peel baseballs are brown. I've never seen a legitimate white lemon peel ball. Still neat tho.
Matt

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:33 PM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: davidcycleback

With the small size, maybe it's a golf ball. The lemon peal stitching would date it to the 1800s, probably 1870s or earlier.

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:08 PM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: Jimmy Leiderman

Interesting item.

I don't think it's a golf ball though.

I remember two lemon peel "sample" baseballs REA offered once that were about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.

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Old 01-05-2009, 11:36 PM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: William

I'll throw my hat in the ring. I'm going with early 20th century homemade baseball, or folk art reproduction. The leather color and condition definitely imply newer rather than older and the color of the stitch just doesn't seem right for 19th century. Either way, it's clearly homemade based on the haphazard stitching and the awkward line that the seams follow. Homemade baseballs never adhere to rules that dictate diameter and/or weight. Sometimes you get the size right or the weight right, but rarely both in a homemade ball. For the most part, a "professionally made" lemon peel ball would have been made by a cobbler or some other type of leather worker. By the time that factories got involved, the leagues were using figure eight style baseballs. The lack of standards is why the lemon peel balls are so wildly different in their appearance. People continued to make these style baseballs right up to, and into, the 20th century because they could be made simply from scraps of boot leather and didn't require any tools more complex than a knife and needle and thread.

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Old 01-06-2009, 09:39 AM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: 1880nonsports

I have a couple of balls that size and construction - presumably for the game of "fives or nines" (CRS) in my collection - although not as crudely produced. There were a couple of other games as well that children would play with a stick and a ball - and some English games (maybe it was nines?) that would use such a ball. Like the above poster suggests - who knows? I have 7/8 quality examples of early lemon peels up to figure 8 leather baseballs - hand stitched and manufactured. THE BEST READING ON THE ISSUE IN A SMALL BITE is on some threads from either early 2008 or in 2007 on the main board. Included is a GREAT timeline relative to production and rules for size/weight/construction. I'm a child of the fifties so my search techniques not great - just click the search feature and put in Lemon peel baseball.......

no guarantees whather written or implied
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:06 PM
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Default Antique Ball Question

Posted By: Jimmy

Hand made Americana type ball, most likely from 1900-1915 or so not 19th century

very interesting

please feel free to email me

Jimmy

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