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Early and important depiction of baseball lithography. Cover depicts two ballplayers in period costume, bracketing an illustration of an early baseball game, played before a small crowd of well-dressed spectators - the gentlemen in top hats, the ladies in hoop skirts. “Respectfully Dedicated / to the / Members of the / Mercantile Base Ball Club / of / Philada / by / John Zebley, Jr.” The four-count melody begins on page 3, “Con Spirito” (with Spirit). This item is extremely rare, with only a handful known to collectors. W - 9 5/8” x L - 12 3/4”, 8pp. The bottom edge has been cleanly trimmed, with approximately 1/3” missing, including the 1861 copyright date on Page 3. The binding and spine are deteriorated, with surface ink loss affecting the extreme left side of the cover image. Inner pages show light signs of ink transfer, occasional light staining and some foxing, but are overall VG. The cover itself, however, is excellent, with strong colors and without creasing, stains or other defects.
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