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Lot # 22 (of 1641)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Team CDV - Newly Discovered Example!

Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $15,405

Graded FAIR 20 by SGC. Rare style carte-de-visite of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first all-professional team. This card originates from an extraordinary new find of eight circa 1870 baseball team cards that were included among 135 nineteenth-century CDVs and trade cards featuring various subjects. This is one of two 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings cards (each different in style) from this remarkable find. (All 135 cards in the find are featured in this auction in ten separate lots.) The 1869 Red Stockings CDV is one of the hobby's most classic and historically significant baseball cards. There are actually several different styles of 1869 Red Stockings team cards, all featuring the same photograph but displaying slightly different mounts. This is a very unusual variety, with the team name appearing to the right of the team image on the mount ("Red Stocking B. B. Club, of Cincinnati") and all players identified on the reverse (both extremely desirable design elements that are not shared by all 1869 Cincinnati Reds team CDVs). When this card was issued, the new technologies allowing for the mass production of photographs were in their infancy. Various popular subjects were candidates for such cards, especially famous political figures, entertainers, and historically significant geographical and architectural sites from far-away places. These carte-de-visite photographs were intended to be saved and stored in albums. In an age without television and little travel, these cards were a revolutionary tool allowing people to learn about the world around them. It is not surprising that photographs of the 1869 Red Stockings were a popular subject purchased and saved by fans. Led by Harry and George Wright, the Red Stockings toured the nation and went undefeated for ninety-two consecutive games. Because of their dominance, the team was a legend in its own day, though at the time, of course, no one could have imagined the impact they would have on the game. Just two years later the National Association, baseball's first all-professional league, was formed in large part because of the success of the Red Stockings. Shortly thereafter, in 1876, the National Association gave way to the National League and baseball officially became big business. The photo displays light contrast (a trait common to nearly all known examples); however, all of the identifying numbers on each player (which correspond to the player identifications on the reverse) are clearly legible. Each of the Cincinnati uniform logos is very light, but a few remain discernible with the naked eye. Its technical grade notwithstanding, this is one of the finest examples of this card we have ever seen. The mount (2.5 x 4 inches) displays only the slightest foxing on the reverse and two extremely tiny creases in the extreme lower and upper left corners (each is only visible from the reverse). The low technical grade it received from SCG is due almost entirely to a light pencil notation on the reverse that reads "1870." Without reference to that notation, the card is in strong Excellent condition and represents an exceptional and extremely high grade example of this highly prized CDV. As noted earlier, this card is new to the hobby and was just recently discovered by our consignor among 135 CDVs and trade cards left to her by her parents, who purchased them over twenty years ago at an antiques shop. This is an outstanding newly discovered 1869 Cincinnati Reds CDV that would be an important addition to any world class historical baseball collection and an extremely significant highlight in any advanced collection of nineteenth-century cards. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $15,405


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