Boston: Lilly, Wait, Colman and Holden, 1834. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding with paper label to front board. Rubbing to extremities and some soiling to boards. Spine slightly cocked and hinges cracked but holding. Front endpaper lacking, and inner margin of title page dampstained with some loss to paper (not affecting text). Early ownership inscription to header of title. Internally complete according to OCLC: , vii-viii, 164. Some scattered foxing and marginal soiling, but overall text is clean. A scarce book institutionally and in trade, OCLC records 14 copies with libraries, it has appeared only four times at auction in the past 37 years. Housed in a custom case with quarter morocco over cloth with chemise.
Hailed as the first appearance in America of baseball, and the earliest American illustration of the game, Carver's book is "one of the crown jewels of early baseball books" (Block). While the rules of this early iteration differ from what we now call America's Pastime, it is undeniably the basis for our national tradition. The present work placed the game among several other physical activities for children; and it was published in a small format "that was both accessible and affordable" for families with children. With fifteen chapters and an additional variety of sports recommended for energetic children, Carver's Book of Sports is an exceptional piece for almost any sports-oriented collection.
Block 196-197. (Item #4175)