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1884 "Representatives of Professional Base Ball In America" Climax Tobacco Poster
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $5,581.25
Exceptionally rare 1884 advertising poster, entitled "Representatives of Professional Base Ball In America," issued by Climax Tobacco, originating from the estate of Hall of Fame shortstop George Wright. This poster is one of the most impressive of all nineteenth-century baseball display pieces. The sepia-toned lithograph features portraits of many of the game's most noteworthy pioneers. Included are A. G. Mills, N. E. Young, Al Spalding, Harry Wright, Cap Anson, Joe Start, Pop Snyder, Buck Ewing, Whitney, Morrill, Bennett, Dan Brouthers, Tim Keefe, Deasley, Hecker, and Harry Stovey. All the images are photo-like portraits executed with extraordinary detail. The publishing credit and date appears in lower right ("Root & Tinker, Tribune Building N.Y. 1884"). In addition to its rarity, the offered display may also be unique. Of the few examples previously known, all have advertising for Climax Tobacco along the top border. This example does not have the advertising for Climax Tobacco and represents a previously unseen variation. This poster was discovered only last year among a small group of baseball materials originating from the personal estate of George Wright, a member of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings and one of the greatest players of the nineteenth century. After his playing career, Wright ran a successful sporting-goods store in Boston, and this piece was sent by mail to him, presumably for display in his shop. The poster has had some extremely professionally executed restoration in the form of repairs to a number of tears. It has a strong Excellent to Mint appearance. Ideally, the poster has also been professionally linen-backed for preservation and to allow for framing. This is one of nineteenth-century baseball's premier display pieces and one of the few display items from the era that is universally recognized as museum-caliber. We estimate that approximately ten examples of this significant rarity are known to exist. Dimensions: 28 x 22 inches. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000+. SOLD FOR $5,581.25
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