Extraordinary Circa 1870 Star Base Ball Club (Sunbury, PA) CDV

Sold For: $1,200

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 81

Item Year: 1870

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

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This rare CDV (circa 1870) pictures nine members of the "Star" baseball club posing together, shoulder to shoulder, on the field of play. Each of the players is pictured in his resplendent white bib-style uniform, featuring a star on the front, and all are holding bats. A vintage pencil notation, "Star B. B. Club," appears on the reverse. This piece is distinguished by the fact that, unlike many of the team CDVs from the 1860s and 1870s, this is the only one we have ever seen capturing the players posing on field in this manner as opposed to a formal indoor studio shot. The only other known example of this image appears on a stereoview card. While at first glance it is not apparent as to where this team hails from (many teams, including some very famous ones, were known as the Stars in the late 1860s-early 1870s), incredible research was undertaken by our consignor and others to determine, once and for all, the identity of the pictured club as the Stars of Sunbury, PA. The Northumberland County Historical Society, which covers the area where the team played, was able to match the geography and landmarks in the offered CDV with other period images. This is a remarkable on-the-field posed image, unlike any other we have ever seen on a CDV, and a simply extraordinary and unique example of early baseball photography that benefits from the positive identification of the depicted team. The CDV (2.5 x 4 inches) displays wear and discoloration to both the mount and photo along the top and upper right border areas, as well as a slight area of discoloration along the central-right portion of the photo. In Very Good condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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