Published and copyrighted by noted Boston photographer and artist G. H. Hastings, this classic engraved print, titled Boston Base Ball Club 1888
, features a game-in-progress stadium scene with the Boston Base Ball Club on the field. This print is especially noteworthy in that the images of the players in the field (as well as those on the sidelines) are illustrated with perfect likenesses. John Clarkson is pitching, Mike "King" Kelly is catching, and Charles "Hoss" Radbourn is sitting on the sidelines. Even the fans in the stands are depicted with the same attention to detail, where John Ward and Harry Wright can be easily identified among those enjoying the game. The extraordinary detail makes this print one of the most unique and interesting of all pre-1900 baseball display pieces. This is one of only three similarly high-quality detailed black-and-white actual likeness baseball prints produced during the era. The other two are the 1884 Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, published by Gilbert & Bacon (an example of which is offered in this auction) and Opening Game of the Boston Base-Ball Club Season of 1889
, which was produced by fellow Boston photographer and artist G. Walden Smith. The print (16.5 x 12.25 inches; visible dimensions) displays a few light creases (mainly along the base), very light, scattered foxing, a small edge tear, and a tiny pinhole in the center. It should be noted that all of the flaws are quite unobtrusive and do not detract in the least from its overall Excellent appearance. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 23.5 x 19.5 inches. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000.
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