Leather Head Handmade Basketball (Tan)

American-tanned leather basketball based on early lace-up designs, when the game itself was still being developed. Constructed with eight panels. Gets better with age. Each piece handmade in New Jersey, U.S.A. since 2006. (more info)

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  • Leather Head Handmade Basketball (Tan) - Kaufmann Mercantile1
  • Leather Head Handmade Basketball (Tan) - Kaufmann Mercantile2
  • Leather Head Handmade Basketball (Tan) - Kaufmann Mercantile3
  • Leather Head Handmade Basketball (Tan) - Kaufmann Mercantile4
Leather Head Handmade Basketball (Tan) - Kaufmann Mercantile

The first basketball games of the late 1800s were played by throwing soccer balls into fruit baskets. In the early 20th-century, the sport developed its own gear. Based on the research of these first basketballs, this small New Jersey company hand makes their balls from eight leather panels sewn together inside out. The ball is then inverted, a rubber bladder is inserted and inflated, and finally the ball is laced-up and finished.

While crafted to the exacting standards of an artisanal product, this ball wasn’t made to sit on a shelf looking pretty. The leather used is a tough American-tanned skin originally developed for heavy duty boots, so you know this basketball can take a serious beating.

 Along with meticulously sourced materials, carefully designed cutting dies and hard-earned skills, each ball is checked for quality at every step.

Handmade one at a time from start to finish, the quality is consistent, yet each iteration is distinctive. And like all the best things life, they only get better with age.

Use & Care

Dribble, shoot and score!

The genuine leather will age beautifully over time. Keep away from moisture and direct sunlight. If desired, condition the leather with oil.

Production & Design

Paul Cunningham’s first career was in Major League Baseball as an official photo editor. Meanwhile, he dabbled in leather crafting as a weekend hobby. His interests as a sports documentarian and leather hobbyist merged when Paul took on a new position as Senior Baseball Glove Craftsman for a glove importing company. Eventually, he started his own of leather sporting goods, including his Leather Head footballs, medicine balls, leather baseball gloves and well-known Lemon Ball baseballs, based on the original leather prototypes used when baseball was invented in the 19th-century. 


30 ¼ inches (77 cm) in circumference
Weighs 1 pound 8 ounces (0.7 kilograms)

Leather shell
Polyester thread
Rawhide lace
Rubber bladder

Made in
  • USA
  • Free shipping in the USA for orders $150+
  • $8.95 flat-rate for orders $35 - $150.
  • $4.95 flat-rate for orders under $35.
  • $29 flat-rate 2nd day for all US orders.
  • 90 days on all unused items.
  • Free return shipping in the US.
  • NY & NC.
  • Kaufmann Mercantile has partnered with BorderFree to offer shipping around the world. During checkout BorderFree will estimate charges for shipping, customs, and duties as applicable depending on the destination for your order. We currently offer the below attractive flat shipping rates with minimum orders.

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