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Lot # 1245 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1859 New York Knickerbockers and Brooklyn Excelsiors Team Photo

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $940.00

This extremely rare, possibly unique baseball display photograph, taken in 1859, captures the "First Nine" of the New York Knickerbockers and Brooklyn Excelsiors as they pose together, in uniform, on the field of play. At the time this photo was taken, both the Knickerbockers and Excelsiors were two of New York's top clubs. This extraordinary image captures both clubs in full uniform and represents one of the earliest baseball images of either team. A number of period bats are in full view and it is interesting to note the formal attire of the umpire, dressed in top hat and tails, who is standing in the center of the photo. Included, among other notables of the era, is Harry Wright (sixth from the left), one of the game's true "founding fathers," pictured here as a member of the Knickerbockers. Photographic images of top teams dating from this era are extremely rare. In fact, they are practically nonexistent. The offered example is most definitely a second-generation print. Though it is a nineteenth century photograph, it is actually a photograph of the original, produced years later. This was not an uncommon practice in the early days of photography, and, in fact, many early images of all types were produced in this manner. To the best of our knowledge, the original from which this was produced no longer exists, so this nineteenth-century Imperial cabinet-style photograph may be the only alternative for someone wanting to own this extraordinary and extremely historic image. The photograph (13.5 x 18.75 inches) is in Near Mint condition; however, because it is an early photograph of a photograph, the image displays the imperfections of the original, including a minor water stain along the bottom border. Mounted onto a heavy cardboard backing to total dimensions of 14 x 12 inches. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $940.00


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