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Lot # 1168 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Nineteenth-Century Baseball Cabinet-Card Collection (13)

Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $4,700.00

Addendum: Based on comparison with images of Louisville ballplayers in the N172 Old Judge set, it is a certainty that the player on the Sholten Studios of St. Louis studio cabinet card in this lot (identified in the description as possibly a Major League player) is, in fact, Major Leaguer Sam Smith of the Louisville Colonels of the American Association. Thanks Tom B and Jay M!

This collection of twelve circa 1890 baseball cabinet photos (and one 1903 cabinet card) originates from the personal collection of Bob Westlake, a former minor-league catcher whose career spanned the years 1886 through 1905. They have been consigned directly to this auction by Westlake's great grandson, and were found among the same group of family photos as the two highly significant team photographs featuring Sol White that are offered elsewhere in this auction. While not nearly as valuable or as historically important as either of the two Sol White photos, this is a very interesting group of early baseball photographs. 1) Large-format cabinet (5.25 x 8.5 inches) that pictures a "staged" baseball scene of a player sliding into a base. The formal studio photograph pictures a member of "Mansfield" applying the tag to a sliding runner. While the image is attractive, its significance also lies in the fact that the fielder is clearly wearing a very early full-fingered leather glove on his left hand. The glove is almost identical to a workman's glove and features no webbing. Such gloves appeared around 1890 and were sometimes used in conjunction with the more commonly seen "fingerless" gloves of the era. Today, examples of "full-fingered" gloves from the 1800s, as well as photos of players wearing them, are exceedingly rare. The photographer's name ("Pollen") and city ("Mansfield, O.") are printed along the base of the border. The cabinet has a tack hole along the top as well as a small vertical tear along the top border that extends into the photo. Adhesive residue remains on the reverse from its once having been mounted into an album, and the two players are identified in ink on the photo, otherwise in Very Good condition overall. 2-8) Seven cabinet cards picturing individual members of the Portland, Maine, ball club of the Atlantic League, each pictured in a bust-length pose. Westlake played with Portland in 1891 and we can safely assume that these seven photos date from that year. The photographer's name ("Charles E. Jackson") appears on the front and reverse. Each player is identified in pencil on the reverse. Overall Good to Very Good condition. 9-12) Each of the remaining five circa 1890 cabinet cards (each by a different studio) pictures players on different clubs. One player (by Sholten Studios of St. Louis, Vg) appears to possibly be a Major Leaguer. Ideally, all are pictured in uniform holding a piece of equipment, be it bat, ball, or glove. All of the cabinets measure 4.25 x 6.5 inches. One is Ex, two Vg, one Good. 13) The final card is an original Carl Horner cabinet card (5 x 7.25 inches) of former Major League third baseman Hunter Hill. The formal studio photo pictures Hill in uniform as a member of the St. Louis Browns and features the name "Carl Horner" ornately printed along the base of the mount. The year of the photo can be definitively dated to 1903 due to the fact that this is the exact same image of Hill featured in the famous 1903 American League team-composite photograph issued by the Horner studios that year. Overall in Good condition. Total 13 cabinet cards. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $4,700.00


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