Gold watches are considered a retirement gift, but Ed “Big Ed” Delahanty received this rose gold model in 1887—when he was just 19—on the occasion of his move to the major leagues. The power hitter left Ohio’s Mansfield Base Ball Club for the Philadelphia Quarkers; this engraved watch was a gift from fans as a token of their appreciation.
Though the timepiece no longer works, Delahanty’s place in the Baseball Hall of Fame—and the relative scarcity of his remaining personal effects—makes this a particularly valuable item, according to Christie’s baseball specialist Simeon Lipman. “Delahanty was certainly a legendary player. Very little material of his is out there,” says Lipman. “To find something personally given to him is very, very special.”