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1891 Boston BBC Team Cabinet Card with Dan Brouthers and Hugh Duffy
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $3,770.00
Extraordinary previously unknown team cabinet card of the 1891 Boston Base Ball Club of the American Association by C. F. Conly, one of the most prominent of all Boston photographers, featuring individual portraits of all fifteen team members including Dan Brouthers and Hugh Duffy, surrounding a traditionally posed team photograph. Of special note is the fact the cabinet card has an ink stamp in the margin area advertising for John Morrill's sporting goods store. The stamp reads "From John F. Morrill & Co. Sporting & Athletic Goods 12 Broomfield St., Boston," giving this card the additional distinction of being issued as an advertising vehicle for a very prominent Boston sporting goods establishment. This card is previously undocumented. This is the first time an image of this cabinet card has ever appeared in print, let alone been available for auction. This Boston team is very significant in that 1891 was the final year of the American Association and Boston was the champion of the league in this final season. The design of the cabinet is also very interesting and unusual, with individual portraits surrounding the team photograph, and advertising for Conly appearing not just on the mount, as is always the case with Conly individual player cabinets, but also as part of the design of the photograph. Beneath the team photo is a panel which reads "Bostons 1891, Conly Photo, 465 Washington St. Boston" in an attractive calligraphic design. It is interesting to note that, upon very close inspection, the tacks from the photographer's setup of the shot can easily be seen in the corners of each portrait and the team photo. (The photograph was produced by Conly by taking a photograph of the images presented arranged in this composite form.) In addition to Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers and Hugh Duffy, the individual portraits include ace pitcher George Haddock, Charlie Buffinton, Morgan Murphy, Tom Brown, Hardy Richardson, John Irwin and Paul Radford. The credit stamp of photographer C.F. Conly also appears on the reverse. A pencil notation reading "Hugh Duffy Roxbury" appears on the reverse (according to our authenticators, this is not a signature). The fact that this card was distributed as a promotional vehicle by John Morrill's sporting goods store gives this card a very interesting additional significance. "Honest John" Morrill was a popular sports figure in Boston, having starred with Boston both as a player and manager. Like a number of other prominent sports figures of the era, Morrill was also an entrepreneur and relied on his celebrity status to help promote sales of his sporting goods. The card (4.25 x 6.5 inches) has a crease in the left corner (on the mount only, not affecting the mounted photo) and some very light soiling, and is otherwise in Excellent condition. The mounted photograph is in Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $3,770.00
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