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1871 Washington Olympic B.B.C. J.A. Pierce & Co. Advertising Card
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $46,400.00
The following four lots represent a collection of four newly discovered CDV team cards issued in 1871 by Chicago baseball goods store J.A. Pierce & Company featuring composite photographs of Major League teams of the then brand new National Association of Professional Baseball Players. This set is extraordinarily significant in that it represents one of the earliest of all baseball card sets. Because 1871 is the first season of the National Association, the first-ever professional baseball league, all cards from this set might reasonably be defined as "rookie cards" of each player featured. Each card has the team and all players identified at the bottom of the mount and features advertising for J.A. Pierce & Company on reverse. The entire set probably included every team in the National Association. Prior to the recent discovery of these four cards we had only seen a single example from the set, the 1871 Chicago B.B.C., an example of which is also offered in this auction, and had previously assumed this was a "one-card set" issued to promote the Chicago sporting goods company advertised on the reverse. In addition to these four cards, while researching the set we have also located four additional examples housed in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society. Those four cards include the 1871 Haymakers, Chicago, Boston, and Athletics. The recently discovered collection of four cards includes the Boston Red Stockings B.B.C., the Washington Olympics B.B.C., the Philadelphia Athletics B.B.C., and the Fort Wayne Kekionga B.B.C. Each card has one player identified in all capital letters and in each case this player is the most prominent player on the team. The street address for J.A. Pierce on the reverse of each card has been changed from "117 West Madison Street" to "129 West Madison Street" by crossing out the "117" by hand and adding the "129" to the left. This change is executed in the same hand on each card, and is how these cards were issued by J.A. Pierce & Co. This change was made to reflect the store's move during 1871, which was possibly related to the Great Chicago Fire of that same year. Each of these four cards is, to the best of our knowledge, unique or one of only two examples known, and the only examples currently known in private hands (these are the only examples known of Kekionga and Olympics, and one of each of the two examples known for Boston and the Athletics, with the other examples of those two team cards in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society). These four cards represent one of the most interesting and exciting finds dating from the dawn of both professional baseball and the dawn of "the baseball card." Each card measures 2.5 x 4.25 inches.
Newly discovered CDV team card of the 1871 Washington Olympics, issued by Chicago baseball goods store J.A. Pierce & Company, one of a series of team cards featuring composite photographs of Major League teams of the then brand new National Association of Professional Baseball Players. Tilted "Olympic B.B.C., 1871" and including five players from the 1869 Red Stockings (Leonard, Allison, Brainard, Sweasy, and Waterman) as well as Davey Force, each of whom are among baseball's most significant early professional baseball stars. The street address for J.A. Pierce on the reverse has been changed from "117 West Madison Street" to "129 West Madison Street" by crossing out the "117" by hand and adding the "129" to the left. This change was made to reflect the store's move during 1871, which was possibly related to the Great Chicago Fire of that same year. Several light creases are more easily seen from the reverse. Very Good condition with a far superior overall appearance. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $46,400.00
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