1867 Harvard Base Ball Club Team Photograph

Sold For: $1,800

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1750

Item Year: 1867

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Stunning original photograph of the 1867 Harvard University baseball team. This is an extraordinary image of one of the most prominent teams of the era. In the 1860s, before the formal establishment of baseball as a professional sport, college teams were among the most accomplished of all baseball clubs, playing ball at what would soon come to be viewed as a professional level. Clubs such as Harvard, in addition to playing other college teams, often played the very best non-college teams in their region as well. Harvard was among the most respected of all baseball clubs at this time. The photograph has flawless contrast and incredible detail. Of special note is that the team is posed around the coveted silver ball, in a display case on a table in the center, and the two players in front are each holding trophy bats. The members of the Harvard club were champions and they were obviously very proud of their trophies. It is very rare to find images of teams posed with early championship awards in this manner. The photograph is mounted on a thick early album-page stock. In this era, photo albums were created at great expense. This page was very likely long ago removed from an album owned by one of the players. On the margin below, the team and all players are neatly identified in pencil. Included is George A. Flagg, who in 1862, along with classmate Frank Wright, first organized the Harvard nine. The great success of the Harvard baseball team, which exclusively played the New York style game, is credited with hastening the ascendancy of the New York game in the 1860s in New England. The photograph (7.75 x 6 inches) is in Mint condition with flawless contrast and extraordinary detail. The mount (13 x 9.75 inches) is in Excellent to Mint condition. This photograph is a prize and one of the finest 1860s college baseball team photographs we have ever seen. The large format also makes this photograph particularly ideal for display. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).

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