SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – An extraordinary baseball signed six times by New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig – believed to be the only one in existence – leads an auction packed with rare Americana offered by Fine Estates, Inc. March 21. Online bidding is offered through LiveAuctioneers.com. The Gehrig baseball is signed on all six panels by Gehrig, and also features signatures by Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, and Strangler Lewis. The Gehrig signatures vary in quality, but are all legible. The baseball carries an $8,000 estimate.
A fully-working, 1937 Rock-Ola World Series Baseball arcade game is on tap with an estimate of $20,000-$25,000. Its cabinet is pristine and all players are intact and seem to work correctly. A second rare sports coin-op game, a 1947 Chicago Coin Basketball arcade machine survives in very good cosmetic and working order with an estimate of $4,000).
A crisply-signed Spalding “King of the Diamond” baseball signed by both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig is a collector’s dream with an estimate of $10,000-$15,000. The ball features steel tipped fountain pen signatures.
A framed display of vintage baseball bats and clipped signatures of Babe Ruth, Jimmy Foxx, and Mel Ott carries an estimate of $7,500-$12,000. The display includes a Louisville Slugger Babe Ruth 40 B.R. baseball bat, a Louisville Slugger Jimmie Foxx 40 J.F. baseball bat, and a Rawlings Mel Ott baseball bat.
Another exciting find is a circa-1927 photograph signed by the “Sultan of Swat,” Babe Ruth, when he visited a “base ball club” of children who called themselves the “Big Bayou B.B.C.” The photo is estimated to sell for $2,000-$3,000.
A highly rarely-seen, 88-pound bound Super Bowl XL The Opus MVP Edition book, presented in its original slip cover, boasts 35 surviving Super Bowl MVP signatures. The volume is numbered 112 of a limited printing 400. It is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
The sale also includes a large assortment of team-signed San Francisco 49ers footballs.
Making its auction debut is a fine, single-owner collection of rare pinbacks and Americana memorabilia features. It includes thousands of buttons and pins dating from the late 1800s through 20th-century presidential campaigns.
Two particularly rare pinbacks feature bright, bold colors from a period of America’s sordid past. A group of three, early 20th century Ku Klux Klan buttons and tokens, with a portrait of 1922-1939 KKK Imperial Wizard Hiram Wesley Evans.
A second rarely-seen pinback features a circa-1894 portrait of noted Italian American organized crime boss Vito Cascio Ferro, also known as Vito Contessa. The item includes a $400-$800 estimate.
Beyond the large selection of pinbacks, the sale includes rare pieces of early 20th-century Americana. Women’s suffrage memorabilia, Spanish-American war buttons and pins, medals, vintage political ribbons, campaign buttons and much more are included.
A stunning, 1940s Wurlitzer 1015 Bubble 78rpm jukebox in very good cosmetic condition is a star of the sale, with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. With minor condition issues, the machine is complete and appears to function correctly. Dazzling lights and the coveted “bubbler” function work well.
Additional highlights include two, original Steiff vintage mohair humpback teddy bears, measuring 31-inches and 22-inches tall, with an estimate of $1,500-$2,000.
Fine Estate, Inc.’s March 21 auction will offer worldwide bidding through LiveAuctioneers.
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