G.A. Bastman – Stockholm

Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch Collection, American Glass Gallery

This circa 1880 to 1890, 2-5/8″ diameter, golden-amber target ball is embossed ‘G. A. BASTMAN – STOCKHOLM’. The copy is positioned in a wide center band with a quilted diamond pattern above and below the band. The Swedish ball was made from a 2-piece mold and has a rough sheared mouth. The ball is in perfect condition and is considered extremely rare with less than a half dozen examples extant.

Other Swedish target balls include the Sandviks Glasbr Hofmantorp, the Mauritz – Widfors, and the A. TH. Nyberg Goteborg from the Swedish seaport of Goteborg. We have an example of the Goteborg target ball in the museum.

Georg August Bastman was initially a spice dealer starting his business in 1858. He converted his business interests to hunting and sporting and created the Georg A. Bastman Company in 1877. Bastman placed regular advertisements stating that he sold modern and first-class guns, ammunition, hunting and fishing gear, and sporting goods.

Even now, you can find the Bastman logo on ski-gear and sports equipment in museums and in auctions for Olympic games sporting memorabilia.

In the 1880s, Bastman relocated his business to Riddarhustorget. During this period he would produce the target balls with his name embossed proudly around the circumference. He also put out a robust sporting catalog and was treasurer of the Swedish Hunting Association from 1870 to 1902 which is how long his business lasted.

From an 1886 article in Swedish Companies and Men in Commerce, Industry and Art.

During the ever-increasing pile of sports and body exercises – including gymnastics associations as well as racing and sailing clubs, rowing, ball, skiing, and ice skating clubs – it is, of course, important to be able to stay at home here equipped with the necessary tools. Mr. Georg A. Bastman has realized that this was a need to fill, which is why in 1877 he founded the still flourishing company. The company also manufactures fishing gear and exports moose and reindeer horns.

Georg A. Bastman was born in Finska, Stockholm, Sweden on August 10, 1836. He married Johanna Carolina Edling on April 3, 1859, in Stockholm. The couple lived at Stigbergsgatan 17 which is pictured below. This road leads to Renstiernasgatan in Eastern Stockholm.

The property consisted of a two-story street house with the gable facing the street and a farmhouse that extended from the street inwards to the yard. Both buildings existed in 1730 and were owned by the city boatman Olof Krok. He sold the property in 1779 to the tights weaver, A. Söderberg who repaired and equipped the street house with, among other things, new fireplaces, new furnishings, and a new roof tile. It followed several owners, among them the naval information officer Thulander and then his widow B.M. Thulander, who owned the property between the 1830s and 1860s, and the spice shop operator G. A. Bastman who owned the property during the 1870s and 1880s. Since the renovation in 1779 and until the modernization in 1980, the buildings were largely unchanged. Georg A. Bastman would die on August 19, 1918, in Stockholm.

Primary Image: The G. A. Bastman Stockholm target ball imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Support: Reference to the American Glass Gallery, The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Shooting Ephemera, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019

Support Image: “G. A. BASTMAN – STOCKHOLM” Target Ball, Sweden, 1880 – 1900. Golden amber, quilted diamond pattern above and below wide center band, 2-piece mold, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8”, perfect. Extremely rare, believed to be less than a half-dozen known examples. G. A. Bastman was a gunmaker in Stockholm, in the 1880s. – American Glass Gallery – The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Ephemera, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019

Support Image: Auction Lot 130: “G.A. Bastman Stockholm” Target Ball, two-piece mold construction, Sweden, 1880-1900. Spherical with quilted diamond pattern above and below center band, bright golden amber, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8 inches. Extremely rare with few known examples. Big, bold embossing. Fine condition. Cindy Gaffney collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company

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