1888 Wilbert Robinson Cabinet Card

Sold For: $1,800

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 70

Item Year: 1888

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

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Cabinet card picturing future Hall of Famer Wilbert Robinson as a member of the American Association's Philadelphia Athletics in 1888. This is an extremely early image of Robinson, who was in just his third season of Major League ball at the time. The name "Robinson" is neatly printed in black ink along the base of the mount. The photographer's credit, "F. Gutekunst 712 Arch St., Philadelphia," is stamped on the reverse. This photo was obviously used for publication purposes at one time, because a number of handwritten editorial notations appear on the reverse: "W. Robinson/2 Col Name + border/(leave out the word Athletic)/Clipper." There is also an affixed portion of lined paper on the reverse that reads "Do not soil the face of this picture. It must be returned to N. Engel, 27th Street near Bdwy." The name "Nick Engel" is also written on the reverse in pencil. Although no year is listed, it can be conclusively dated to 1888 because we have seen a team cabinet of the 1888 Philadelphia Athletics that features this exact image of Robinson within the team composite. Even though we have seen the image, we have never before seen this individual cabinet of Robinson, making it both a rare and desirable nineteenth-century Hall of Fame photo. The cabinet card displays evidence of slight trimming to the left and bottom borders, and all four corners have been clipped. Minor surface wear is evident on both the photo and mount. Technically in Good condition, but the photo is free of any significant defects and presents as Excellent. Encapsulated "Authentic" by SGC. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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