Carved baseball player figure starring at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s will feature a carved figure of a baseball player in its Americana sale early next year.

The four foot, circa 1890 lot is the work of the New York City-based carver Samuel Robb, a man best known for his exemplary cigar store Indians.

It's thought to be a likeness of legendary batter Michael J "King" Kelly.

Samuel Robb baseball

This carving stands at just over 4 feet tall

Robb (1851-1928) can be thought of as the Rodin of the American carvers of the late 19th and early 20th century.

He’s unmatched in the detail and realism of his work.  

Ball players are among the rarest items in Robb’s catalogue, hence the valuation of up to $500,000.

It could easily go higher.

The record for US promotional folk carvings is $747,000, set for an “Indian Princess” cigar store display in 2013 (also thought to be Robb’s work).

A chair made in the New Haven pilgrim colony, circa 1640-1660, is another intriguing lot.

Pilgrim chair Sothebys

This chair was made for Richard Mansfield (1611-1655), born in Devon in the UK

That dates it to 20-40 years after the arrival of the Mayflower, making this one of the oldest pieces of furniture to have been made in the US by settlers.

It has been passed down in the Mansfield-Merriam family for close to 400 years.  

Pieces of this age and pedigree are impossibly rare. This item is valued at $500,000 ahead of the January 18 date in New York.

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