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1889 Boston Base Ball Club Print
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,044.00
Baseball game-in-progess scene print of the 1889 Boston Base Ball Club published and copyrighted by noted Boston photographer and print maker G. Waldon Smith, with byline "Sold exclusively by Jordan, Marsh & Co., Boston." This print measures 12 x 9 inches. It features the very same image as appears one of the most highly regarded of all nineteenth-century baseball displays, but in a much smaller size. Many collectors are familiar with the image from its use in a large-format advertising display (24 x 20 inches) for the John A. Andrews & Co., in promotion of "The Boston Club Cigars and Tobacco." The offered smaller print bears no advertising for John A. Andrews & Co.; however, as noted along the base, it was "Sold exclusively by Jordan, Marsh & Co.," which was Boston's preeminent department store at the time. Based upon that information, it seems likely then that this smaller print was either offered for outright retail sale or was perhaps produced for use as a counter display sample for the large-format display sold at the store. While its precise method of issue remains a mystery, this is a very impressive and extremely rare print that is ideal for display, in a size that has the presence of a large baseball card. Entitled "Opening Game of the Boston Base Ball Club Season of 1889," the print features the Boston Base Ball Club on the field during the opening day of the season against New York. The inset photo in the lower left corner features portrait images of each Boston player. The images of the players in the field (as well as those on the sidelines) are illustrated with perfect likenesses: John Ward of New York is batting; John Clarkson is pitching; Radbourn is sitting on the sidelines, etc. Even the fans in the stands are perfect likenesses (and most likely include many notable baseball and Boston-area figures). The extraordinary detail allowed by the special process used in the production of this piece makes it one of the most outstanding of all pre-1900 baseball displays. Boston and New York were the two top clubs in the National League that season, with the Giants edging the Red Sox by one game to capture the pennant. Both clubs would finish near the bottom of the standings the following year, however, as almost all of the top players from each club, including Ward, Kelly, Ewing, Radbourn and Connor, would leave their respective teams to play in the newly formed Players League. An extraordinarily high-grade example of this significant nineteenth-century rarity and one seldom encountered in this format. Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $1,044.00
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