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1886 Jim Mutrie Large-Format Cabinet Card (J. Wood, Photographer)
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $940.00
Striking large-format cabinet card of New York Giants manager Jim Mutrie produced by noted baseball photographer Joseph Wood. Mutrie is pictured here in formal attire, sporting his trademark handlebar mustache in all its glory! Few baseball characters from the 1880s are as recognizable as Gentleman Jim Mutrie, one of the nineteenth century's most prominent managers, who was well known for his dapper style of dress and grooming. Joseph Wood’s name and address appears in print in the lower margin of the mount. Although the photo is undated, this exact image of Mutrie is featured in a New York Giants team cabinet card produced by Wood in 1886 (an example of which appears as a separate lot elsewhere in this auction) and also appears as a woodcut in a Giants team composite published in the July 10, 1886, edition of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. While Mutrie is not in the N167 1886 Old Judge series, had he been, this is likely the image which would have been used. Mutrie began his Major League managerial career in 1883 with the New York Metropolitans of the American Association. After winning the pennant in 1884, he left to manage New York of the National League, taking with him a number of his AA players, including Tim Keefe and Dude Esterbrook. At the time, the New York Nationals had a large number of tall players and Mutrie often referred to the club as "his giants." The name was quickly seized upon by the fans, and thus the New York Giants were born. The team certainly lived up to the stature of its name, as the Giants captured consecutive World Championships under Mutrie in 1888 and 1889. This is a particularly majestic cabinet, noticeably larger than most cabinet cards of the era, including others by Joseph Wood Studios featuring Giants players. The cabinet photo (5 x 8.5 inches) displays a couple of insignificant creases and has had some minor restoration to the mount and to a few small background flaws, all of which are really very difficult to see and in no way detract from the card's overall extremely impressive Excellent appearance. Almost certainly unique, this is a magnificent portrait photograph of Jim Mutrie, who led his New York teams to the championship three times during the 1880s and who gave the Giants their name. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $940.00
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