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Lot # 973 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Alexander Joy Cartwright Collection Including Ambrotype and Signed Document (7)

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $9,987.50

Each of the following seven items was originally obtained directly from the estate of Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr., one of the founding fathers of baseball. Cartwright, who was born and raised in New York City, helped devise the modern-day rules of baseball in 1845 as a member of the famed New York Knickerbockers. A few years later, he packed his bat and ball and traveled West, eventually settling in Hawaii, where he lived for the rest of his life. This collection is highlighted by an extremely rare ambrotype of Cartwright, as well as a signed document. 1) Ambrotype (early type of photograph consisting of a positive silver image on glass) of Alexander Cartwright and three unidentified friends, circa 1850s. This is not only one of the few original surviving photos of Cartwright but one of the earliest as well. Most of the few original photos of Cartwright today date from his later years. Here, Cartwright appears much as he does in the photo he posed for with the other members of the New York Knickerbockers in the late 1840s. The photo (3.25 x 4.25 inches) displays a large diagonal crack, as well as a smaller crack that runs through Cartwright's image. A few pieces of clear tape (applied many decades ago in repair of the cracks) remain on the front. The photo is still housed in its period gilt frame. Good condition. 2) Handwritten note, on the front of an envelope, signed by Cartwright. Cartwright's blue fountain pen notation reads "Life Membership - Honolulu Athletic Association" and has been signed "A. J. Cartwright." Both the signature and notation grade "9/10." The pencil notation "82," probably representing the year, appears next to the ink notation. This document is highly significant as it represents, to the best of our knowledge, the only Alexander Cartwright signed document relating to sports obtained from his estate (the other signed documents are all business related). The envelope (9.5 x 4 inches) bears no other markings or writing and is in Very Good condition with some light foxing. 3-4) 1890 Hawaiian Base Ball Association Stock Certificate (Incorporated May 29, 1890) made out to "A. J. Cartwright Jr." The certificate (8.5 x 4.75 inches), dated June 12, 1890, certifies that Cartwright is the owner of five shares of stock and it has been signed on the front by both the President and Secretary of the Association. The reverse makes note that Cartwright paid $10 a share. This certificate is significant both in that it is directly related to Cartwright and baseball, and in that Cartwright introduced the game of baseball to the Hawaiian Islands in the 1850s. The stock certificate has a light horizontal fold line and a small tear along the bottom border. In Very Good to Excellent condition. The certificate is accompanied by a one-page receipt (8 x 10 inches, Vg), dated Oct 28, 1895, acknowledging payment to the estate of the Hawaiian royal family by the Hawaiian Base Ball Association for the six-month rental of their baseball grounds. Cartwright was a great friend of the royal family and handled nearly all of their business affairs. After his death, Cartwright's heirs continued as executors of Queen Emma's estate. 5) Photo of Alexander Cartwright. The oval photo, on sturdy stock, pictures Cartwright in a formal studio pose, circa 1850. Period pencil notations on the reverse indicate that this photo was made from a daguerreotype of Cartwright and was later given by the royal family to Bruce Cartwright (Alexander Cartwright's grandson). We believe the production of this photograph dates from the 1870s or 1880s. The photo (6 x 8 inches) displays two vertical fold lines (not affecting the image) and is otherwise in Excellent condition. 6) Cabinet photo (7.25 x 5 inches) of Cartwright's home in Honolulu, taken in 1892, the year of his death. Period ink notations on the reverse identify this as Cartwright's home and make note that the photo is the property of his grandson Bruce Cartwright. Vg. 7) Hall of Fame plaque postcard of Alexander Cartwright, postmarked August 14, 1939 from Cooperstown, New York. The card (3.5 x 5.5 inches) is written by a friend of the family to Mrs. Bruce Cartwright telling her how sorry they are that the family couldn't make the trip to Cooperstown to see her husband's grandfather's plaque. This is an extraordinary postcard in that it was largely through the efforts of Bruce Cartwright that the contributions of Alexander Cartwright were properly recognized and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939. Bruce Cartwright died on March 11, 1939, just three months before the official opening ceremonies of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Vg-Ex. Total 7 items. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,987.50

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