August Live 2014
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
The first time we laid eyes on an ornate music box such as this was in August 2007 when an identical example sold for over $30,000. Two other scarce survivors with different designs have also surfaced—one of which originated from the Wrigley estate, giving good indication that such an item was well at home within the upper-tier elements of society and was probably quite costly.
The 6-1/2"-tall, silver plate over brass over base metal, figural music box is full of that wonderful detailing that was so typical for decorative pieces of the Edwardian Age. Brass was obviously chosen as the metal for the secondary layer to allow the inscription to expose its contrasting color, providing glittering golden accents that add greatly to the item's appearance. But while this type of intaglio detailing is a common decorative touch on many jewelry store items of that time, there is nothing common about the high-end novelty piece itself. An item like this was designed to either attract the eye of a man of means, or to be used as an important presentation or award piece. As such, it is doubtful that too many were produced.
The music box's three-dimensional figural elements include a crossed pair of late 1800s styled bats and a huge baseball that is 4-1/2" in diameter and hinged at its center. Opening the ball reveals an open storage area in the lower section and a music box mechanism mounted within the top, covered over by a highly ornate facing plate. (A couple of slow turns on the mechanism's built-in key produces a liltingly slow rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" that could likely benefit from servicing.) The outer design of the ball incorporates appropriately placed stitching and three depictions of ballplayers wearing squared caps and laced-front jerseys, all set against a pointillistic background. The stamped mark of "116" appears on both of the hinge sections of the ball as the item's only visible text. Superb EX/MT to NM condition with the lightest, even patina and with the blue-velvet underside showing expected minor wear including one small bare spot. An incredible and elite household artifact, with a baseball theme accomplished in the most genteel manner imaginable, this turn-of-the-century music box represents the ultimate in refinement!
Sensational Early 1900s Silver Baseball "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" Music Box
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