Circa 1880 to Circa 1900 Unusual Cabinet Card Collection (7)

Sold For: $1,645

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 112

Item Year: 1899

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Cards (1830-1899)

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Addendum: The single player cabinet card by Pach Brothers photography studio of New York in this lot (item #3 listed below) portrays Harold C. Ernst (Harvard Class 1875). Ernst was very involved with Harvard baseball and even wrote a number of articles regarding early Harvard baseball activity, including one entitled “Early Baseball at Harvard” that was published in the April 14, 1915 issue of the Harvard Alumni Magazine. Our thanks to Jimmy Leiderman for taking the time to share this valuable information with us. It is greatly appreciated! This diverse collection of seven early baseball cabinet photos is highlighted by a team photo of the 1884 World Champion Providence Grays and a spectacular oversized example depicting a game in progress. This is a particularly fascinating group with each card being very unusual, interesting, and extremely rare (possibly unique). 1) 1884 Providence Grays. Fourteen players are posed together in formal attire, with inset photos of Bassett and Connelly appearing, respectively, in the lower left and right corners. Included here are "Hoss" Radbourn, manager F. C. Bancroft, Jerry Denny, Jack Farrell, Charlie Sweeney, Arthur Irwin, and Barney Gilligan. All of the players are identified in print along the base of the photo. The team identification, "Providence Base Ball Club - 1884," also appears in print along the base. A number of player names are written on the reverse of the mount (7 x 5.125 inches) in pencil, as is the notation "Donated by Walter J. Danahy - Framingham Mass - 1951." (The name "Walter J. Danahy" sounds very familiar to us but we have so far been unable to place it.) Although this photo pictures the Providence club in 1884, the cabinet appears to have been produced at a later date, possibly in the early 1900s, and the fact that some imperfections are "in" the photo as opposed to "on" the photo (indicating this is an old photo-of-a-photo) are consistent with this assessment. Vg-Ex. 2) Circa 1900 game-in-progress photo. This exceptional and fascinating oversized cabinet photo pictures a game in progress from the vantage point of directly behind home plate. Neither club is identified and the only clue as to its origin is the name of the photographer, "D. N. Knowles," which is stamped on the reverse. Game-in-progress photos from this era, of any size, are exceedingly rare and this one encompasses nearly the entire field with the exception of a small area down the left-field line. The cabinet, which measures 8.5 x 5.25 inches, displays moderate toning in the upper right corner and two lighter areas of minor toning near the center of the photo. The mount displays light wear and has a single pin hole in the center of the bottom border, otherwise Vg-Ex. 3) Circa 1880 player cabinet. This formal studio cabinet, produced by the well-known Pach Brothers photography studio of New York (the company, whose advertisement appears on the reverse, had other offices throughout the New England area) pictures a dapper ballplayer of the era standing arms akimbo with a ball in one hand. The "bib" style jersey worn by the player here was popular during the 1850s through the 1870s, but was out of fashion by the early 1880s. The identification "Harold Ernst - Boston" is scripted in black fountain pen along the base of the mount. (Research indicates that no player by that name ever played in the Major Leagues; therefore, if the identification is correct, this is either a minor league or amateur player.) Note: See addendum above for important additional new information regarding this cabinet card. The cabinet (4.25 x 6.5) displays exceptional clarity and contrast. Ex-Mt. 4) Circa 1890 player cabinet. The formal studio cabinet pictures a player posing in full uniform, with a Spalding bat in one hand, and a catcher's mask in the other. Both a catcher's mitt and chest protector are pictured at his feet. Other than the fact that he is a catcher, no other information is known about the player. The photographer's credit, "Ed. Carroll, Miltonvale, Kansas," appears stamped along the base. The cabinet (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays outstanding clarity and contrast. Nr-Mt. 5) 1892 Rodgers Base Ball Club of Toledo, Ohio. This beautifully designed composite photo features a group shot of the club in the center, surrounded by individual "action" poses of ten team members, plus a portrait image of the manager, E. Welch. Both the team photo and the individual photos were taken in a formal studio setting. "Rodgers BBC - 1892" is lettered beneath team photo ("Toledo" is lettered on the front of each player's jersey). Each of the individual players pictured is identified in print below his respective image (very small print, often illegible, for most of the players). The photographer's credit, "Chrisman & Koster of Toledo, Ohio," is stamped along the right border. The cabinet (6.5 x 4.25 inches) has a stain in the upper left corner, a linear abrasion running along the top half of the photo, and minor corner and edge wear. Vg. 6) 1897 Hampton Base Ball Club of Hampton, Iowa. The formal studio photo captures eleven members of the club in a classic team pose. The handwritten identification, "Hampton's Champion Ball Team - Season 1897," appears in black fountain pen underneath the image of the team. The photographer's credit, "C. F. Barrett - Hampton, IA." is stamped on the left border. The cabinet (7.5 x 5.5 inches) has numerous creases in the borders and heavy corner wear, but displays very well, and the photo is free of any major defects. Vg. 7) 1906 Star Baseball Club of Montreal, Canada. The formal studio photo captures fourteen members of the club in a classic team pose and features portrait insets of seven other individuals along the top and bottom. The team, "Star A. A. A. Baseball Club - 1906-1907," and all of the players are identified in print along the base of the mount. The photographer's credit, "Archambault - Montreal," is stamped along the base of the mount. The handwritten notation, "Star Athletic Assn - Montreal - 1906-1907," appears on the reverse. The cabinet (5.5 x 6.5 inches) has various small faults and edge wear but is very unusual and striking. Vg-Ex. Total: 7 cabinet photos. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+.

SOLD FOR $1,645

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