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Lot # 1165 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1886 Detroit Wolverines Team Cabinet Photo (with HOFers Thompson, Brouthers, Hanlon, and White!)

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $4,443.75

Rare cabinet photo capturing fourteen members of the 1886 Detroit Wolverines of the National League. The formal studio photograph pictures the players in uniform, with each team member identified in print along the base of the mount: manager Bill Watkins, Sam Thompson, Dan Brouthers, Ned Hanlon, Deacon White, Charlie Bennett, Lady Baldwin, Hardy Richardson, Sam Crane, Larry Twitchell, C. L. Hall, Charles Getzien, Jim Manning, and Jack Rowe. Also printed on the mount is the caption "Detroit Base Ball Club - Season 1886." The photographer's credit, "Tomlinson," appears in the lower left. While we have seen various cabinet photos of the Detroit Wolverines from 1887, the season in which they were World Champions, this is only the second example we can recall seeing dating from 1886. The other, an imperial cabinet photo in Near Mint condition, sold at public auction for $6,568 in 2000. It should be noted that the team pictured here, featuring future Hall of Famers Brouthers, Thompson, Hanlon, and White, is essentially the same club that won the World Championship the following year. Any and all nineteenth-century Major League team cabinets are rare and this example only just recently entered the hobby. The photo surfaced in the small Michigan town of Pokagon, which is central to its provenance, because that is the same town where Wolverines pitcher Lady Baldwin lived at the time. According to an accompanying letter from the original owner, Braxton Dodd, his grandfather, who lived in Pokagon, was friends with the Baldwin family. While he does not know exactly how his family came to acquire the cabinet photo, it seems obvious that it came from Baldwin. A handwritten notation on the reverse of the mount, written by Dodd's mother, also seems to imply that the photo was obtained from Baldwin. In part: "Claude Baldwin (C. B.) was a pitcher for the Detroit Baseball club, which is the Detroit Tigers of today. He was the son of Wm Baldwin and they were from our village of Pokagon, Michigan." Included with Dodd's letter of provenance is a handwritten note he found with the photo, dated September 5, 1889, in which a gentleman from a neighboring town is asking if Dodd's uncle and "Baldwin" can play a game of ball the following week. The photo (6.75 x 5.25 inches) displays a small strip of clear tape in the upper left corner in repair of a small tear and there is a small white blemish on Manning's image. Light spotting affects both the photo and mount. In Very Good condition overall. The mount (10 x 8 inches) displays moderate toning and light staining throughout, as well as corner wear. In Good to Very Good condition overall. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,500+. SOLD FOR $4,443.75


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