Imperial team-cabinet photo capturing the Excelsior Base Ball Club in 1872. The photograph pictures nine uniformed players and the club's formally attired manager posing together in a studio setting. Seven of the uniforms feature a bib-front jersey displaying a large "E" (lettered in an Old-English" font) on the front, while the remaining two feature dissimilar button-down jerseys. The identification of the team and year are based solely upon a vintage handwritten notation along the base of the mount that reads "Excelsior B. B. Club 1872." The most famous "Excelsior" base ball team during the era was, of course, the Brooklyn Excelsiors, whose roster at one time included such early diamond luminaries as Jim Creighton and Candy Cummings. It should be noted that "Excelsiors" was a very common team name in the mid-to-late nineteenth century and as such, it is extremely unlikely that this photo pictures the Brooklyn Excelsiors. However, it remains an exceptional early team image dating from the dawn of professional baseball, made all the more desirable by its impressive size. The photo (12.24 x 10 inches), which remains firmly affixed to its original cardboard mount (17.25 x 14.25 inches), displays light foxing and two light diagonal scratches. In Excellent condition overall. The matting and mount both display moderate wear, including water staining along the base. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).
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