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Circa 1868 Baseball CDV Team Card Collection (3)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $4,700
In the early 1860s, for the first time ever, photographs were able to be reproduced economically and thus became widely available, by various means, to the general public. The carte-de-visite (often referred to as "CDV") was the most popular form of early mass-produced photography, and its introduction to the public coincided with both the Civil War and the growing popularity of baseball. All 1860s CDVs featuring baseball images are extremely rare, and examples featuring high-level organized teams are the most substantial and desirable. Offered here are three exceptional 1860s CDV team cards that are among the earliest of all baseball images. As noted below, different examples of two of these three team images are featured in Mark Rucker's groundbreaking work Baseball Cartes - The First Baseball Cards. 1) Williamsport B.B.C., circa 1868. Pictured are nine uniformed players and, presumably, the team’s manager (in street clothes), posing together in a formal studio setting. Although the uniform bears no name or insignia, the identification of the club can be reasonably determined by the photographer’s credit stamp on the reverse, which reads in part, “John F. Nice, Williamsport, PA.” Another example of this CDV (in lesser condition) is featured in Rucker's book (plate number 37), where Rucker notes that Williamsport was a member of the National Association of Base Ball Players (the governing body of organized baseball). Extremely strong condition. The CDV (4 x 2.5 inches) has just a hint of toning on a small area of the left border and a tiny stain on the photo (insignificant, on the image of the second player from the left), otherwise the CDV is in Excellent condition. 2) Xenia B.B.C., circa 1868. The Xenia B.B.C. hailed from Xenia, Ohio, and this CDV captures eight players posing together in a formal studio setting. Each player is pictured in uniform, which features a large “X” on the front. No photographer’s credit appears on the card. The CDV is a vertical in format, which is very unusual for an 1860s CDV team card. Very striking, with superb contrast, just a little surface wear, and a very light pencil line (barely detectable) towards the bottom (touching upon the legs of the seated players). In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. 3) Brandywine B.B.C., circa 1868. Ten uniformed players are pictured posing together in a formal studio setting. Although there are no identifiers on the card, another example of this CDV is featured in Rucker's book (plate number 35), where he identifies the team as the Brandywine B.B.C. He also notes the name of the photographer: "A. McCormick, Chester County, Pa." Both the mount and photo are trimmed along the base and a slight abrasion along the left border touches upon the photo. Without regard to the trimming, the CDV is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Total: 3 CDVs. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $4,700
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