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1860 Alexander Cartwright Ambrotype Photo
Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $9,200.00
Quarter-plate ambrotype photograph of Alexander Joy Cartwright, measuring approximately 3.5 x 4.5 inches and housed in period thermoplastic photographic case. This museum-caliber photograph is one of the few known original images of Cartwright, who is universally recognized as one of the most important of all early baseball figures, and who is often referred to as "The Father of Baseball." Cartwright was one of the original Knickerbockers. He is widely recognized as the individual who can most truly lay claim to being "The Man Who Invented Baseball." This unique photograph features Cartwright standing behind two other individuals. The man at left is thus far unidentified. Anne Cartwright, the current Cartwright Family matriarch and the wife of Alexander's great-grandson, has identified the man at left as Cartwright's brother Alfred, who like Alexander was a member of the Knickerbocker Club. The origins of baseball may be murky, but Cartwright's significant contributions are without question great, despite Cooperstown's promotion of The Doubleday Myth at Cartwright's expense. (Although please note that Cartwright is a member of the Hall of Fame; Doubleday has his field and his legend, but no formal membership into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.) This is one of only five or six photographs known to exist of Cartwright as a young man (there are approximately the same number of additional images known featuring him in his latter years). This image was taken in approximately 1860 when Cartwright was in Hawaii, and is one of only two Ambrotype photographs of him known to exist. (Ambrotypes are an early form of photography, popular exclusively from 1854 to the mid 1860s, in which the photographic image is actually produced directly onto a glass plate. The addition of a black backing allows the image to be viewed as a positive image, and provides a unique "three-dimensional" effect when examined closely.) This ambrotype photograph, as well as the other few original early known Cartwright photographs, originates directly from the Cartwright Family. The photo tones are clear and bold, with several areas of period hand-colored tinting on shirts, as well as additional gold accents highlighting gold watch chains and rings, provided by the Ambrotype artist. A very fine crack in the glass runs from just above the middle of the left edge, to the center of the bottom edge. For ideal preservation, a professional conservator has treated the crack to ensure its stability. The conservator's treatment report and a signed letter of provenance also accompanies the ambrotype from Anne Cartwright. This extraordinary original ambrotype photograph represents one of the collecting world's very few photographic images in existence of Alexander Joy Cartwright, who is universally recognized as one of the most important figures in the history of baseball. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $7,000/$10,000. SOLD FOR $9,200.00
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