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1869 Kearsarge New Hampshire Base Ball Club Cabinet Card Set (11) - Earliest-Known Baseball Set of Studio Cabinets!
Starting Bid - $1,500, Sold For - $3,555
This very unusual and unique set of eleven studio cabinet cards features individual portrait studies of the esteemed members of the 1869 Kearsarge, New Hampshire, Base Ball Club. In addition to being a rare and exceptional representation of early baseball studio photography, this cabinet-card series holds the distinction of being the earliest-known set of studio photographer cabinet cards featuring baseball players. In fact, aside from this series, we are unaware of any cabinet cards featuring baseball players dating from the 1860s. Cabinet cards did not become popular until the 1870s, when they slowly replaced the formerly popular CDV photograph. This set can be dated to exactly 1869 because that is the only year in which the Kearsarge team was in existence. The photographer's name "Kimball Bros." and "Concord, NH" appear imprinted in red along the bottom of each mount. Players are neatly identified in pencil on the reverses, and the respective player's position identification (1st base, 2nd base, etc.) is also neatly provided on each front, in pencil on the mount beneath each portrait. Elegantly posed, each player is captured in the same studio setting, several standing with bats, most seated, all in uniform. Each of these cabinet cards may be unique. We are unaware of any other examples from this series to ever surface. Four cards are creased, but are still very presentable. The photo quality is very strong on eight cards, and a little on the light side on three (but still very respectable). All exhibit general wear, especially to the corners. In overall Good to Very Good condition. This outstanding set was sold many years ago at REA, all the way back in May 2004 (Lot 79), at which time it realized $4,600. Reserve $1,500. Estimate $3,000+. SOLD FOR $3,555
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